Game One Hundred Thirty-Three – Cubs 7 Pirates 14
WP – Jeff Karstens (3-10) LP – Ryan Dempster (12-9) Save – None
Ryan Dempster simply did not have it Tuesday night … and the worst road team in all of baseball pounded the Cubs once again. Dempster labored through the first two innings on a hot night at Wrigley. He allowed five runs on 51 pitches before six outs were recorded.
Dempster could not find a rhythm but it was his mistake that opened the floodgates. Dempster bobbled a tailor made double play ball off the bat of Garrett Jones that would have gotten him out of the first inning. But instead, Dempster was only able to get one … and before he could record the third out, the Mighty Pirates took a commanding 4-0 lead.
Ryan Dempster had allowed only five earned runs in his last five starts combined … and he allowed that many in just two innings Tuesday night. Dempster left after three innings, his shortest outing of the season, and seven earned runs … a new season low. Dempster’s line: seven runs on seven hits with three walks, four strikeouts and a hit batsman on 70 pitches, 43 for strikes.
Dempster came into Tuesday in search of career win 100 but instead he picked up his ninth loss of the season.
While Dempster was struggling with his command and finding a rhythm, the Cubs’ pathetic offense was busy making Jeff Karstens look like a Cy Young candidate. Karstens retired the Cubs on just 10 pitches in the first inning … and sat down six of the first seven batters he faced. The Cubs managed only two singles in the first four innings.
Jeff Karstens picked up his first road win of the season … and just his third win of the year. The last time Karstens won a game, before Tuesday, was back on June 19. The Cubs quit once again Tuesday night. Karstens allowed two runs on four hits without a walk, again without a walk, and six strikeouts in six dominating innings.
The Cubs young pen provided the Mighty Pirates additional batting practice in relief of Ryan Dempster. Marcos Mateo was not good but Mike Quade said he’s working on stuff with Larry Rothschild. Mateo gave up four runs on four hits, two long homers, without a walk and five strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. An error by Starlin Castro gave the Pirates a fourth out in the seventh, and ran up the Cubs’ unearned run total. James Russell could not pitch around Castro’s mistake and allowed three more runs on three hits.
Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol actually kept the Mighty Pirates off the board in the eighth and ninth.
The Cubs’ lone highlight prior to the eighth inning was a two-run homer by Koyie Hill in the fifth. Hill’s dinger was his first of the year … the last time Hill hit a homer was May 29, 2009.
The Cubs scored five of their seven runs in the eighth off of Sean Gallagher and Chan Ho Park. Micah Hoffpauir doubled in a run. Starlin Castro singled in and scored a run … and Darwin Barney singled and scored in the eighth as well.
Starlin Castro raised his average to .315 with a 2-for-4 night at the plate. Castro drove in the Cubs’ fourth run in the eighth … his 40th RBI of the year.
The Pirates ended their 14-game road losing streak Tuesday night and improved to 5-3 at Wrigley this season … the Pirates last win outside of PNC Park came on July 28 at Coors Field. The Mighty Pirates continued their domination of the Cubs in Twenty-Ten and improved to 10-4 versus Chicago this season.
The Cubs finished August with a 10-19 record and with the latest embarrassment, slipped back to 21 under the mediocre mark on the year (56-77) … After scoring 14 runs Monday night, the Cubs predictably gave up 14 on Tuesday. Look, what can you say … It’s a Way of Life.
Ryan Dempster threw from behind in the count all evening. After retiring Andrew McCutchen on a ground out to third, Dempster walked Jose Tabata on four pitches. Neil Walker chopped a 1-2 pitch into right, Tabata ended up at third on the play.
The game ended on a bobble by Ryan Dempster. Garrett Jones broke his bat and hit a roller back to Dempster. Dempster tried to throw the ball before he caught it … then he lost the ball and could only get one out, Jones at first. Tabata scored, 1-0 Pirates.
With Neil Walker at second, Pedro Alvarez lined a double into left center. Walker scored … 2-0 Pirates. Dempster hit Ryan Doumit on a 0-1 pitch then served up a fastball right down the middle to Ronny Cedeno. Cedeno doubled to right center and gave the Pirates a 4-0 lead.
Dempster struck out Chris Snyder to end the first.
The Pirates went back to work in the second. Dempster walked Andrew McCutchen with one out. McCutchen stole second and scored on a triple to right center by Jose Tabata. With the infield in and one out, Dempster struck out Neil Walker but walked Garrett Jones.
Pedro Alvarez struck out to end the second.
Ryan Dempster took the hill in the third and gave up two more runs. Ryan Doumit led off with a single to right on a 3-1 pitch. Chris Snyder singled with one out ahead of a sacrifice bunt by Jeff Karstens. With runners on second and third with two outs, Andrew McCutchen singled to center … Doumit and Snyder scored, 7-0 Pirates.
Ryan Dempster was lifted for a pinch hitter, Carlos Zambrano, in the bottom of the third.
Marcos Mateo picked up where Dempster left off … and served up a two-run homer to Garrett Jones in the fourth. 9-0 Pirates after four complete … and the embarrassment continued.
While the Pirates were keeping the scoreboard operator hopping, the Cubs managed only two hits, both singles, in the first four innings.
Mateo kept the Bucs off the board in the fifth … the only time the Mighty Pirates did not score in the first seven innings.
Koyie Hill made it 9-2 in the bottom of the fifth on his first homer since May 29, 2009. With Alfonso Soriano on first, Hill ripped a 1-0 pitch into the bleachers in right.
Marcos Mateo served up his second longball of the night in the top of the sixth. Neil Walker hit another homer off Cubs’ pitching, a two-run shot that gave the Pirates a commanding 11-2 lead.
The Pirates made it 14-2 after Starlin Castro booted another ball in the seventh. Chris Snyder reached on an error by Castro. James Russell struck out Jeff Karstens but Andrew McCutchen beat out a grounder down the third base line. Jose Tabata then singled to left … 12-2 Pirates.
Neil Walker doubled to left center on a 3-1 pitch from Russell. McCutchen and Tabata scored … 14-2. All three runs were unearned. The Cubs have now allowed 88 unearned runs this season.
Koyie Hill doubled off Sean Gallagher to start the eighth. Darwin Barney singled to right. Hill held at third and scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Blake DeWitt. Barney advanced to second and scored on a single to center by Starlin Castro.
Micah Hoffpauir hit for Sean Marshall and ripped a double to center. Castro scored … 14-5 Pirates. Xavier Nady followed with a single to center and plated Hoffpauir with the Cubs’ sixth run.
John Russell went to his pen for Chan Ho Park with two outs and Nady at first.
Nady took second and scored on a single to left by Soriano … 14-7 Pirates. Tyler Colvin popped out to right to end the inning.
For as bad as the Pittsburgh Pirates may be, they at least have players that appear to care and try their best every time they cross the lines … too bad no one can say the same about the Chicago Cubs.
Tom Gorzelanny against James McDonald in the series, and season finale against the Pirates Wednesday afternoon.