Dempster and the Kids Deliver a Win at Wrigley – Cubs 11 Mets 1

Game Forty-Six – Cubs 11 Mets 1
WP – Ryan Dempster (3-4) LP – Jonathan Niese (3-5) Save – None

wflag.jpgThe Cubs began their nine-game homestand on a positive note. Ryan Dempster put together a very good outing after a shaky start. Dempster posted his second win at Wrigley in as many games after allowing only one run in seven innings of work.

The Mets defense gave the Cubs extra opportunities in the second that led to a big inning. The Cubs scored five runs in the second and four of them were unearned. The Cubs kept tacking on and plated at least one run in half of their at bats. The Cubs took advantage of three Mets errors, two by Ronny Paulino, that led to five unearned runs on the night.

Double Trouble‘ led the way Tuesday night … with an assist from Luis Montanez. Darwin Barney (2-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI) and Starlin Castro (3-for-5 with a triple and two RBI) combined for five of the Cubs’ 13 hits and drove in four of the Cubs’ 11 runs. With two more RBI for Barney and Castro Tuesday night, they now share the team lead in RBI (23) with Alfonso Soriano.

With three more hits on Tuesday night, Starlin Castro has 150 since the All-Star break, tops in the National League and second in baseball behind Ichiro Suzuki (153). Tuesday night marked the 19th time this season that Darwin Barney recorded a multi-hit game. Barney’s 54 hits is tops among all rookies in baseball.

Eleven years after the Cubs took him with the third overall pick in the 2000 draft, Luis Montanez made his Cubs’ debut and drove in first run of the game with a double to right. Montanez was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, a RBI and two runs scored in his Cubs debut.

Carlos Zambrano got into the action Tuesday night. Z pinch-hit for Dempster with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh. Zambrano drove in a pair with a single to center.

Reed Johnson chipped in with a 1-for-4 performance out of the leadoff spot that included a walk, a run scored and a RBI. Johnson made another highlight reel catch behind Ryan Dempster in the seventh inning.

The Cubs won for the tenth time at Wrigley and improved to 21-25 on the season, four games below .500 …

On a day the Cubs received another blow to their rotation, Ryan Dempster pitched through early struggles and put together one of his best starts at Wrigley in two seasons.

Ryan Dempster labored through the first two innings Tuesday night. Dempster struggled in the first and if not for Koyie Hill throwing out Jose Reyes on an attempted steal of second, Dempster might have given up a run … but the bottom line is he did not.

The Mets put the pressure on Dempster in the second. Dempster gave up back-to-back one-out singles to Willie Harris and Ronny Paulino. After Ruben Tejada flied out to right center, Jonathan Niese worked the count to 3-2. Niese fouled off three pitches before Dempster threw what should have been ball four. Niese could not hold up and was called out on strikes. Dempster threw 28 pitches in the second, 18 for strikes and after two complete, Dempster’s pitch count stood at 43, 26 for strikes.

The Cubs took advantage of the extra opportunities the Mets’ defense gave them in the second. Q’s offense scored five runs … four of them were unearned.

Aramis Ramirez reached on a bloop single to shallow right off Ruben Tejada’s glove. After Ramirez reached on the Cubs’ first hit, Carlos Pena tried to lay down a bunt on a 2-2 pitch. Pena tried to pull the bat back but tipped it into Paulino’s glove.

Alfonso Soriano ripped Niese’s first pitch under the glove of Justin Turner into left. With runners on first and second with one out, Luis Montanez finally made his Cubs’ debut.

The former first round pick of the Cubs (third overall in the 2000 draft) sliced a 0-1 pitch into right. Montanez ended up at second with a double as Ramirez scored the game’s first run.

With runners on second and third with one out, Koyie Hill hit a routine grounder to Daniel Murphy at first. Murphy threw home and the ball went off of the top of Paulino’s glove. Soriano slid in safe with the Cubs second run of the game. Montanez ended up at third on the play.

Ryan Dempster sacrificed Hill to second.

Reed Johnson worked a walk to load the bases for ‘Double Trouble‘. Darwin Barney came through again with runners in scoring position. Barney ripped a single into right past a diving Tejada. Montanez and Hill scored … 4-0 Cubs. Reed Johnson ended up at third and scored on a single to left by Starlin Castro. Aramis Ramirez, the 10th batter of the inning, flied out to left to end the inning.

After two the Cubs had a 5-0 lead.

Ryan Dempster settled down and kept the Mets off the board in the third and fourth … but they broke through in the fifth.

The Mets got on the board in the fifth after a leadoff double by Ruben Tejada. Niese sacrificed Tejada to third. Jose Reyes reached on a infield single on a ball ticketed for center. The ball went off of Barney’s glove and into shallow center. Tejada scored the Mets’ first run of the game.

Dempster ran the count to 3-2 on Daniel Murphy. Reyes took off for second and made it safely as Murphy grounded out to second for the second out. Carlos Beltran lined out to center to end the inning.

The Cubs took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth.

Darwin Barney led off the fifth with a single to center on a 3-1 pitch. Starlin Castro then ripped a hanging breaking ball into right. Carlos Beltran misplayed the ball off the sidewall and Castro ended up at third with a standing triple. Barney scored the Cubs’ sixth run on Castro’s 23rd RBI of the season.

With the infield in, Aramis Ramirez hit the first pitch back up the middle. Ruben Tejada made a diving stop and threw out Castro as he tried to make it back to third. Castro was out and received an earful from his manager.

Carlos Pena flied out to left and Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster retired the Mets in order in the sixth on just seven pitches, five for strikes. Dempster’s pitch count after six innings … 89 total, 54 for strikes.

The Mets defense gave the Cubs another run in the bottom of the sixth. Luis Montanez led off the inning with his second hit of the game, a single to left. Koyie Hill turned on a 2-1 offering from Taylor Buchholtz and dropped a single into right.

Ryan Dempster attempted to sacrifice both runners up ninety feet but bunted the ball to hard back up the box. Daniel Murphy picked the ball and made a strong throw to third to force Montanez for the first out.

With runners on first and second, Reed Johnson struck out swinging on a ball in the dirt on a 1-2 pitch. Paulino tried to throw behind Dempster but the ball ended up in right. Hill scored and Dempster ended up at third. Darwin Barney popped out to center to end the inning.

At the end of six, the Cubs led 7-1.

Dempster retired three of the four batters he faced in the seventh to end his night. Ryan Dempster allowed one run on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts on 97 pitches, 61 for strikes.

After Starlin Castro grounded out to start the inning, Taylor Buchholtz hit Aramis Ramirez on a 1-2 pitch and opened the floodgates. Terry Collins went to his pen for the southpaw Pat Misch. Misch struck out Carlos Pena for the second out.

Alfonso Soriano then doubled into right. Ramirez held at third with two outs and the Cubs up 7-1. Tony Campana ran for Soriano.

Luis Montanez walked on four pitches to load the bases. Koyie Hill then drove in a run without taking the bat off his shoulder. Misch walked Hill on four pitches to force in Ramirez with the Cubs’ eighth run.

Mike Quade went to his bench and sent up Carlos Zambrano to pinch hit for Ryan Dempster. Z tried to hit a slam but settled for a single to center off the glove of a diving Ruben Tejada. Campana and Montanez scored … 10-1 Cubs.

Reed Johnson followed with a single to left. Hill scored and the Cubs led by 10 at 11-1.

After the ball got past the Mets’ left fielder, Fernando Martinez, allowed Z and Johnson to advance to second and third, Darwin Barney struck out swinging to end the inning.

Jeff Samardzija closed out the game by retiring three of the four batters he faced in the ninth.

Q’s offense performed much-better Tuesday night and finished the game 5-for-15 with RISP and eight left on base.

The Cubs must play better at Wrigley Field … and Tuesday night Q’s squad did just that.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Weather permitting … Casey Coleman will face Dillon Gee under the lights in game two.

Quote of the Day

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." - Albert Einstein
  • jw

    I don’t care how bad this situation is its always good to trash the Mets.

    • studio179

      Yes, it is always good to trash the Mets. I miss the Mets in the same division as the Cubs though. To me, the Brewers or Astros do not demand baseball hatred like the Red Birds do or Mets did playing multi series games. That rivalry lost much of its zing once MLB realigned them.

      • jw

        Agree that was fun when they were in the same division, it is a bit different now but since 69 I savor every win against them

  • paulcatanese

    Do you think Ricketts got the message last night? Fans were chanting LOU,LOU when he came up and Castro and Barney, again an again do the job.How much longer will Ricketts allow JH to handle this team with a jaded view of young players?
    It seems as though every time they bring some one up they do the job where the vets are still failing. Campana, no way they could doble him up, great to watch him run.

    • Richard Hood

      God I hope so. I am just glad that Lou got a chance to shine.

       If there was some smart people in Chicago they would start sending a message Ramirez about half assing on defense. I can understand not running hard out of the box ever time but that olay crap he pulled in the 9th should get him a spot next to Quade today.

      • paulcatanese

        I agree Richard, and the other thing(I may be wrong here) was there was two outs with Aram on first when Soriono hit his double. Why was Aram not running full out on contact. He should have scored on that play,instead loafs into third. I know the third out of the inning should not be made at third base, but at home is a gamble worth taking if he had run right from the beginning.

        • Richard Hood

          Aram always seems to look like he is doggin it on the bases. I do not know if that is just his running style or he has been told to know his body or what. But visually it looks like lack of effort.

  • paulcatanese

    This one is for Brian as he said he was there last night. How fast do you think
    Campana is? He looked like a blur on TV, must be exciting in person where
    some perspective can be there.

  • paulcatanese

    Several years ago the Oakland A’s under Finley had hired a track man to use as a pinch runner, well he was fast,but as I recall not too smart about running the bases. I think he was picked off first more than he reached second and thrown out stealing because of not knowing how to to take a lead. Does not remind me of Campana as he knows what he is doing, just the last time I remember somone being on the team as a pinch runner.

    • Richard Hood

      I think with his effort he can prove himself enough to get spot starts. It might just take some time because he has to prove to hendry that his talent evaluators are wrong about his ceiling.  I can tell that Quade likes the kid but it goes back to who is in control. I still think Hendry has his fingers all over the line up card. There is no other reason that Ramirez would be batting 4th on this team.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree all year about JH and his control over Quade. Another interesting subject was Hendry’s saying he is optomistic with Byrd coming back this year, not to take anything at all from Byrd, hope he gets well. But what would that prove? Back into the three spot? The Cubs are a lot more solid with what they have in the outfield right now than they have been all year. Fuko fine as the fouth
         outfielder. The Aram situation is unreal and cannot be justified in any,any way. He just splits the lineup in half. I never thought I would think this,but look forward to Pena cleaning up after Aram.

        • Richard Hood

          My thing about Aram is I loved his game up till the last 2 years. It seems like as his body has gotten brittle so has his work ethic and I just do not get it. His horrible start last year when he was telling Rudy that he didn’t want his help kind of soured him to me then when he was working with Rudy he seem to start hitting but quit playing defense on a routine basis. He has moments when he still is one of the better 3rd baseman in baseball  (That diving play against the BoSox was awesome) but the play of him everyday has been lacking bigtime.

        • Richard Hood

          I think that Byrd has a place on this team. It just isn’t as a starting CF’er. I would love to see a move made where he could play a corner but with his lack of arm that would have to be left. He will not bat 3rd when he comes back I do not think but you never know.

          I just hope he gets his eyes fixed because they were a problem way before he got drilled. For the last 3 weeks or so he seemed to not be able to pick up breaks as good as he use to.
          I hope we are not in a Sammy Sosa situation where he will be bailing out at everything inside for the rest of his career now. Sammy’s beaning killed his confidence on the inside pitch and I hope that isn’t what happens here.

          • paulcatanese

            I would say everytime he looks in the mirror he will be reminded of that inside pitch,very difficult to get over. I was beaned twice once batting left handed and once batting right handed, stitches with one and took a ride in the ambulance. It stays with you for a while, especially on curve balls, but in the end he can come back,If I did I know he can as I was a chicken to begin with. 

          • Richard Hood

            The same thing happened to me in AAU ball during High School. The only way for me to get over it was to do my batting practice with a bat behind my feet to keep me from bailing out. It worked but I still wonder if I could have kept playing if it had not happened.

          • paulcatanese

            I did Richard and played more than 20 years more, but always with a helmut on.

  • Darrenmcculloch

    Tony Campana is the next Cedric Landrum.  The last almost exclusive pinch runner the Cubs had on the team.