At the outset, please note that as of this week, anything that will or will not happen until “after the All-Star” break is no longer really scary. Because the All-Star break is less than two weeks from now. Seems crazy early and stuff, but it’s where we are. The upshot: “until after the All-Star break” is now merely descriptive and informative, not scary.
Anyway: Ryan Dempster won’t be back until after the All-Star break. He was originally eligible to come back this past Sunday and, as recently as a couple of days ago, the Cubs thought he’d miss only one start. But I guess his strained right lat muscle is still not 100%.
No sense rushing him. He needs to be healthy for the end of July — and the trade deadline — not the beginning.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.