Game Two – Cubs 2 Braves 3
WP – Peter Moylan (1-0) LP – John Grabow (0-1, BS 1) Save – Billy Wagner (1)
Ryan Dempster did all he could on Wednesday night in Atlanta. Dempster was in line to pickup his first career win at Turner Field after a tremendous outing. Dempster allowed one run on three hits in six innings with two walks, a hit batsman and nine strikeouts. The only run he was credited with came after Mike Fontenot dropped the third out in the second inning. Jason Heyward doubled in McCann with the Braves’ lone run off of Demspter.
Dempster departed after six innings and 95 pitches with a 2-1 lead.
After Sean Marshall mowed down the Braves in the seventh. John Grabow blew it for the Cubs in the eighth. Grabow could not find the strike zone when he needed it the most.
Grabow allowed a one-out double to Martin Prado on a 1-2 pitch, that just missed leaving the park, Grabow fell behind Chipper Jones 3-1. With first base open, Grabow threw one right down main and Jones deposited it over the wall in left center. The two-run shot gave the Braves a 3-2 lead.
Billy Wagner threw smoke in the ninth and picked up his first save of the year. Wagner gave up a two-out single to Alfonso Soriano but struck out the side to end the game … Geovany Soto was the 27th out and did not take the bat off his shoulder.
The Braves tried to give the Cubs the game. Gifts from the umps and Troy Glaus led to the two unearned runs against Jair Jurrjens in the fifth.
Alfonso Soriano scored the Cubs’ first run on an error by Glaus and Ryan Theriot plated Mike Fontenot with a sacrifice fly to center.
While John Grabow will take a majority of the heat for the loss, the Cubs played another sloppy game. Ryan Dempster’s outing will get overlooked due to the way the Cubs lost the game. Dempster performed like a number one pitcher on Wednesday night and put his team in position to win the game.
After retiring the Braves in order in the first, he walked Brian McCann on four pitches to start the second. Dempster struck out Troy Glaus and Yunel Escobar but on a 3-2 pitch to Escobar, McCann broke for second.
Geovany Soto put the ball where all Mike Fontenot had to do was tag McCann but he could not hang on … and dropped the third out.
Jason Heyward took advantage of the second out and ripped a double to right. McCann scored, 1-0 Braves.
Dempster worked in and out of a jam in the third. Melky Cabrera reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Theriot stopped the ball but could not get enough on the throw. Martin Prado followed with a single to left past a diving Ryan Theriot.
With runners on first and second with no outs, Chipper Jones grounded out to second. Fontenot took the sure out as both runners advanced on the play. Dempster intentionally walked Brian McCann to load the bases with no outs.
Ryan Dempster struck out Troy Glaus and Yunel Escobar swinging to end the inning.
Dempster went into cruise control following the intentional walk to McCann. He struck out four in a row in route to retiring the Braves in order in his final three innings of work.
The Cubs offense looked out of sync again on Wednesday night.
Ryan Dempster recorded one of the Cubs’ three hits off of Jair Jurrjens in the third inning. But it took until the fifth before the Cubs could finally put runs on the board.
Marlon Byrd led off the fifth with a walk. Alfonso Soriano hit what appeared to be a 5-4-3 double play but Soriano was called safe at first. Mike Fontenot recorded his first hit of the season, a single to right center.
Soriano advanced to third but did not look good rounding second base. Geovany Soto walked to load the bases with one out.
Ryan Dempster tried to check his swing but tapped the ball to Troy Glaus. The Braves’ first baseman looked at home before he caught the ball. Glaus bobbled it, Soriano scored and tied the game at one.
Ryan Theriot followed and hit a fly into medium depth centerfield. Nate McLouth made a strong throw to the plate but McCann could not hold on and Fontenot scored the go ahead run.
Randy Wells will try to notch his first win of Twenty-Ten on Thursday night in the series finale against the Braves. Next up for Bobby Cox … Tommy Hanson will face the Cubs for the first time in his career.