First Star - Ryan Dempster (.298)
Second Star – Eric Patterson (.119)
Third Star – Derrek Lee (.109)
Turd of the Game – Javier Vazquez (-.174)
I took two things away from this game last night and both were encouraging to me.
- Ryan Dempster is legit - Not only has he been great this year as a converted starter, which a way more than anyone could’ve asked for, but he understands that going back to the rotation takes a ton of preparation on his part. I’ve heard from several sources, including Dempster last night on the broadcast that he was doing immense amounts of training to assure his body is ready for 200+ innings of work this year. Teammates have said that when they called him in the off-season, he would not be able to hang out because he was always in the gym. Lou Piniella has said that he runs like a mad man. All of these things coupled with the fact that, according to Dempster, he understands how to watch film now after hanging with Greg Maddux, seems to have transformed him into a completely different pitcher than he was when he was with Florida and Cincy. He’s not that guy anymore and I’m completely invested.
- Eric Patterson needs to get the nod – On Tuesday, the Cubs have already made it clear that Sean Marshall will be the guy that gets the call to replace Zambrano in the rotation. That being said, someone has to be optioned back to AAA. There are a few choices: Micah Hoffpauir has options remaining, but with Daryle Ward still on the shelf, it seems more valuable to keep his versatility on the roster to be able to spell Derrek Lee at first or give you a lefty bat off the bench. Eric Patterson usually gets the boot when these things come up, but after the two games he’s had in the Sox series, how can you possibly demote the guy? That really only leaves Matt Murton. It seems like a raw deal, especially when you want to showcase Murton for a trade, but ultimately someone has to go and it seems like it should be Murton. What are your thoughts?