Game Eighty-One – Cubs 2 Giants 1
WP – Carlos Marmol (2-2, BS 5) LP – Sergio Romo (3-1) Save – None
The Cubs needed a long and effective start from Ryan Dempster on Wednesday night … and Dempster delivered a gem. Dempster out pitched Tim Lincecum and took a 1-0 lead into the ninth after Blake DeWitt drove in Carlos Pena with a single in the seventh.
Dempster retired 20 in a row before Tony Campana misplayed a ball of the bat of Pat Burrell into a leadoff double. Carlos Marmol was called on to keep the Giants from tying the game.
Marmol gave up a one-out single to Emmanuel Burriss that drove in pinch runner Bill Hall with the tying run … Marmol’s fifth blown save of the season. The Giants ended up loading the bases with one out but Marmol got out of the jam when Cody Ross grounded into a 6-4-3 inning ending double play.
Tony Campana led off the ninth with an infield single. Campana advanced to second on a sac bunt by Reed Johnson and then to third on a ground out to short off the bat of Geovany Soto. Mike Quade went to his bench and sent up Aramis Ramirez to hit for Carlos Marmol.
Aramis Ramirez came through with a single to left on a 0-2 pitch, Campana scored and the Cubs walked off with a win.
Ryan Dempster received a no decision after eight-plus innings of shutout ball. Dempster ended up allowing one run on three hits without a walk and six strikeouts. Dempster threw only 83 pitches, 59 for strikes.
The Cubs managed just eight hits on Wednesday night. Carlos Pena (1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored) scored the first run of the game on a RBI single by Blake DeWitt (2-for-3 with a double and a RBI) in the seventh.
Tony Campana (1-for-1 with a run scored), Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3, a double), Kosuke Fukudome (1-for-4) and Darwin Barney (1-for-4) all tallied single hits on Wednesday night.
The Cubs still have not hung a loss on Tim Lincecum at Wrigley.
With Wednesday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 33-48 on the season, 15 games below .500 …
Dempster found a rhythm early and took advantage of a very aggressive Giants offense. Dempster’s pitch counts per inning on Wednesday night: 10, 15, 8, 12, 6, 7, 9, 11 and 5.
The Cubs wasted a big chance in the fifth inning to push across a run. Blake DeWitt led off the fifth with a double to right. Lincecum then uncorked a wild pitch on the first offering to Alfonso Soriano. DeWitt advanced to third with no outs in a scoreless game.
Alfonso Soriano worked the count to 3-2 before swinging at a ball in the left-hander’s batter’s box for the first out of the inning. Reed Johnson was patient, ran the count to 2-2 but was caught looking at an inside pitch for strike three. Lincecum intentionally walked Geovany Soto, the first free pass of the game. Ryan Dempster struck out to end the inning.
Ryan Dempster kept the Giants off the board in the sixth and retired the Giants in order on seven pitches. The Cubs did nothing against Lincecum in the sixth … and Dempster sat down the Giants in order in the seventh.
With nothing but goose eggs on the board, Carlos Pena led off the seventh with a double to right. Blake DeWitt ripped Lincecum’s first pitch into right. Pena scored … 1-0 Cubs. With Alfonso Soriano at the plate, DeWitt swiped second. Soriano struck out again for the first out of the inning.
Reed Johnson hit the first pitch to Tejada at short. Blake DeWitt broke from second and was thrown out at third. Johnson reached first and advanced to second on Soto’s second walk of the night. With runners on first and second with two out, Dempster struck out to end the inning.
Dempster retired the Giants in order in the eighth … 20 in a row at the time and at the end of eight, Dempster had thrown 78 pitches, 57 for strikes.
Ramon Ramirez took over in the eighth and retired Fukudome on a ground out to third. Darwin Barney singled to center and took second on a wild pitch with Castro at the plate. Castro grounded out to short and Bruce Bochy went to his pen.
Jeremy Affeldt replaced Ramirez and walked Carlos Pena. Jeff Baker hit for DeWitt and grounded out to second on a 1-0 pitch to end the inning.
Ryan Dempster took the hill to start the ninth. Pat Burrell hit for Jeremy Affeldt and reached out and poked a 2-2 pitch into left center. Tony Campana dove and tried to make the catch but missed and the ball rolled all the way to the vines. Campana misplayed the ball into a double … an outfielder cannot leave his feet in that spot unless he is 100% sure he can make that catch.
Bruce Bochy sent Bill Hall out to run for Burrell.
Mike Quade made the slow walk and took out Ryan Dempster after allowing just his third hit of the game. Carlos Marmol came in and struck out Andres Torres swinging. Marmol fell behind Emmanuel Burriss 3-1 before getting a swing and a miss on his trademark slider. Burriss ripped Marmol’s next pitch into center. Campana charged the ball but his weak throw was well up the third baseline and Hall scored standing. Game tied at one.
Burriss took second on the throw to the plate so Quade walked Sandoval. With one out, the game tied at one and runners on first and second, Aubrey Huff hit a bloop into right center. Campana tried to make a diving catch but could not secure the ball. Burriss advanced but held at third.
With the bases loaded and one out, Cody Ross fell behind 0-2 then hit a grounder to Castro at short on a 1-2 pitch. Castro-to-Barney-to Pena … inning over.
Ryan Dempster more than deserved the win on Wednesday night.
Tony Campana led off the bottom of the ninth with an infield single to the hole at short. Campana hit a 1-0 pitch from Sergio Romo just out of the reach of the drawn in Sandoval … and Tejada didn’t have a chance.
Reed Johnson dropped down a perfect sac bunt up the first baseline to advance Campana into scoring position. After Geovany Soto grounded out to short, Campana advanced to second, Quade went to his bench and sent up Aramis Ramirez to hit for Carlos Marmol.
Four years after Aramis Ramirez’s dramatic homer off Francisco Cordero that helped turn around the 2007 campaign … Aramis Ramirez blooped a 0-2 pitch into left. Campana scored the winning run … Cubs Win!
It was nice to see this version of the Chicago Cubs play a solid game against a good team … and an even better starting pitcher.
Carlos Zambrano will face Matt Cain in the finale of the extended four-game series on Thursday afternoon.