Game One Hundred Forty-Two – Cubs 2 Brewers 0
WP – Ryan Dempster (10-8) LP – Jeff Suppan (6-10) Save – Carlos Marmol (13)
The Chicago Cubs improved to six games over .500 for the first time since August 10 behind a dominating performance by Ryan Dempster. Dempster put together one of his better outings of the season and the Cubs defense stepped up when the Brewers put the ball in play.
Ryan Dempster allowed just four hits in eight shutout innings, walked one, hit Ryan Braun and struck out four on 108 pitches. Sam Fuld made a game changing catch in the fifth inning that kept Jason Kendall from tying the game at one. Kendall recorded the Brewers’ first hit, a two-out bloop single to center. Kendall stole second on a delayed steal and took third on a throwing error by Geovany Soto. Frank Catalanotto followed with what appeared to be at least a single to right center. Fuld covered a lot of ground and made an incredible diving catch to preserve the lead.
The Cubs defense turned a rare 6-5-3 double play in the seventh. After Casey McGehee led off the inning with the Brewers’ third hit, a single to center, Prince Fielder hit a grounder up the middle to Ryan Theriot. With the Cubs in the shift, Theriot threw to Aramis Ramirez covering second but his throw was off line to Derrek Lee. Lee came off the bag and tagged Fielder to complete the double play.
The Brewers put two on with two out in the eighth … with Ryan Dempster running out of steam. Felipe Lopez lined a 1-2 pitch to third, a leaping Aramis Ramirez knocked the ball down and threw out Lopez at first to end the inning.
Carlos Marmol picked up his 13th save of the year and is a perfect 9-for-9 in save opportunities since being named the team’s closer.
The Cubs offense was mesmerized once again by Jeff Suppan. The veteran junker-baller allowed just one run on three hits in seven innings with four walks and two strikeouts. But one of the three hits was Derrek Lee’s 33rd homer of the year … a solo shot to right center in the fourth.
Mike Fontenot pinch-hit for Ryan Dempster to start the eighth and doubled off the left field wall. Ryan Theriot sacrificed Fontenot to third and Kosuke Fukudome hit a sacrifice fly to center on a 0-2 pitch from David Weathers.
Ryan Dempster earned his tenth win of the year and improved to 11-3 in his career against Milwaukee. Monday night was the Cubs’ fifth shutout of the season, their first since a 2-0 win against the Astros on September 2. Dempster has combined on two of the Cubs’ five shutouts (7-0 win over the Dodgers on May 30).
The Cubs have won six of their last seven games and Monday night was all about Ryan Dempster. Dempster completed eight innings of work for the first time all season, Monday night was Dempster’s 27th start of the year.
Dempster made short order of the Brewers early on that helped him keep his pitch count low.
- First Inning – 1-2-3 on six pitches
- Second Inning – Worked around a leadoff walk to Prince Fielder
- Third Inning – 1-2-3 on twelve pitches
- Fourth Inning – 1-2-3 on seven pitches
Ryan Dempster struck out Mike Cameron swinging to start the fifth and retired Jody Gerut on a ground out to second. Jason Kendall blooped a single to center on a 1-2 pitch from Dempster, the Brewers first hit.
With Frank Catalanotto at the plate, Kendall took second on a delayed steal after the first pitch strike from Dempster. Geovany Soto’s throw ended up in center and Kendall advanced to third. Sam Fuld’s throw got away but Dempster was backing up the play and kept Kendall from scoring the tying run.
Catalanotto then ripped a 2-1 pitch into right center and it appeared the game would be tied at one … but Sam Fuld made another highlight reel catch to end the inning.
Dempster faced the minimum in the sixth after Felipe Lopez reached on the Brewers’ second hit. Craig Counsell struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch and Soto completed the strike ’em out, throw ’em out to end the inning.
The Brewers put a runner on for the third inning in a row in the seventh. Casey McGehee led of the inning with a single to center on a 0-1 pitch. With the shift on, Prince Fielder hit a hard grounder up the middle. Ryan Theriot was positioned perfectly, he tossed to Aramis Ramirez covering second. Ramirez threw to first but his throw was off line to the home plate side of the bag. Derrek Lee came off the bag and tagged Fielder to complete the double play. Mike Cameron grounded out to short to end the inning.
Frank Catalanotto made the game a little interesting in the eighth. With the Cubs up 1-0, Catalanotto singled to center with two outs. Ryan Braun pinch-hit for Jeff Suppan and was hit on a 2-1 pitch from Ryan Dempster. Felipe Lopez hit a liner to third on a 1-2 pitch. Ramirez tried to make a leaping catch on a ball hit over his head but could not haul it in. Ramirez knocked the ball down and threw out Lopez to end the inning.
Monday’s game took only two hours and 15 minutes.
Carlos Zambrano will face Yovani Gallardo on Tuesday night.