Friday, May 18, 2007

Dempster rebounds in win

Angel Pagan has been hot, so he got to play center field and bat second. That seemed to work, as Pagan drove in the game-tying runs on his third hit of the day and scored the winning run on Toby Hall's passed ball. Lilly threw seven strong innings for his eighth quality start and picked up his fourth win of the year.

In the eighth inning, I thought Lou should've lifted Cliff Floyd after Ozzie made the switch to force the lefty-lefty matchup. Len and Bob were speculating that Derrek Lee would hit for Floyd, and I was kind of hoping Lee was healthy enough to bat. Obviously, if Lee wasn't well enough to bat, it was the right thing to leave Floyd in there, so I really can't hold that against Lou. Besides, Floyd got the job done; he drove the run home.

I absolutely agree with how Lou handled the bullpen. He had Wuertz and Howry warming in the seventh inning, but when we took the lead in the bottom of that inning, Wuertz sat down and Howry got the call. I know Bobby's been struggling this year, but if we want to be successful, we need him to take the eighth inning role. At the time, it was only a one-run game so Lou again made the right decision by having Ohman throwing in the bullpen just in case.

Then, with a three-run lead in the ninth, Piniella didn't hesitate to go back to Dempster. Despite his struggles yesterday, Dempster was still 8-for-9 in saves and he is, unquestionably, the team's closer. I'm glad that the Cubs gave Dempster another chance right after his meltdown yesterday and I'm glad Dempster could rebound and convert the save.

I would've liked to have seen us run on Toby Hall a little more, however. I understand that Mark Buehrle is one of the best in the game at holding runners on, but it seemed to be like Hall was short-arming the ball back to Buehrle every time. I wasn't convinced that Hall would've been able to get the ball all the way to second base.

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