Game Sixty – Cubs 4 Reds 1
WP – Ryan Dempster (5-5) LP – Bronson Arroyo (4-6) Save – Carlos Marmol (11)
Can’t this team just play and win a game without any drama? The Cubs eight-game losing streak came to an end Wednesday afternoon behind a strong performance from Ryan Dempster … after it appeared he was going to be a pre-game scratch.
Ryan Dempster beat the Reds for the first time at Great American Ball Park (1-7 in 26 games, 13 starts) after experiencing pain in his right hip during warm-ups. After the game, Dempster said he felt fine prior to throwing in the pen. Dempster indicated he felt pain in his hip after pushing off the rubber during warm-ups. The pain was so severe that Mike Quade had Rodrigo Lopez get loose … just in case.
Dempster’s velocity was off in the first inning but he was able to labor through the 23-pitch inning in which the Reds loaded the bases but were not able to push across a run. Dempster ended up allowing one run on three hits with a walk and eight strikeouts in six innings. Dempster tossed 113 pitches, 64 for strikes.
After a rough start, Dempster finished his afternoon by striking out Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Miguel Cairo … all swinging. Dempster sat down the last 10 batters he faced.
Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood and Sean Marshall combined to strikeout 12 Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday afternoon.
The Cubs actually hit the ball with a little bit of authority against Bronson Arroyo Wednesday afternoon. The Cubs pounded out nine hits, eight against Arroyo, and five went for extra bases … including two home runs.
Carlos Pena (1-for-4 with a walk, a home run and two RBI) and Aramis Ramirez (1-for-4 with a home run and a walk) hit back-to-back jacks in the third inning. Pena’s two run bomb gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead and Ramirez’s solo homer gave Ryan Dempster a little breathing room.
Kosuke Fukudome hit a pair of doubles and added a walk in five trips to the plate and Tony Campana notched a multi-hit game (2-for-4) and added a stolen base. The Cubs other extra base knock came off the bat of Koyie Hill (2-for-3 with a walk and a double). The Cubs fourth and final run came on a balk by Jose Arredondo in the seventh.
The Cubs offense did enough to beat Bronson Arroyo for the first time since 2007 but the Cubs had chances in five straight innings to put the game well out of reach of the Reds. Q’s offense left two runners on base five innings in a row (fourth through the eighth) and finished the game 0-for-9 with RISP, 10 left on base.
For one day the Cubs played ball like a Major League team. With Wednesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 24-36 on the season, 12 games below the mediocre mark … After it appeared that Ryan Dempster would be a late scratch, Dempster took the hill and escaped the first inning without allowing any runs. Dempster retired Stubbs on a line out to Barney at short. Dempster hit Brandon Phillips on a 1-2 pitch as he tried to loosen up the sore hip.
Joey Votto singled, Phillips advanced to third and Bruce walked to load the bases.
Miguel Cairo popped out to Blake DeWitt at second base then Fred Lewis grounded out to Carlos Pena. Pena tossed to Dempster to end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing against Arroyo in the second and third.
The Reds scored the first run of the game in the third. Drew Stubbs led off with a single to center. Stubbs stole second with Phillips at the plate and advanced to third when Phillips grounded out to second.
Joey Votto was caught looking at a 3-2 pitch for the second out.
Jay Bruce followed with a single to right. Stubbs scored easily … 1-0 Reds. Cairo grounded out to short to end the inning.
The Cubs took advantage of the Reds only error of the game in the fourth. After Barney tapped back to Arroyo to start the inning, Blake DeWitt reached on a fielding error by Paul Janish.
Carlos Pena put together another good at bat … that resulted in his ninth longball of the season. Pena launched a 2-2 pitch from Arroyo well out of the park in right. When Pena hit the ball, the question was where would it land … not if it would leave the park.
With the Cubs up 2-1, Aramis Ramirez stepped in and hit Arroyo’s first pitch over the wall in left. The Cubs hit back-to-back homers for the second time this season (Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano in Arizona on April 29).
The Cubs took a 3-1 lead but were not done in the fourth.
After Brad Snyder grounded out to second, Tony Campana reached on an infield single … with a slid into first. Campana broke for second on a 2-1 offering to Hill. Koyie singled to center to flip the order. Dempster tapped back to Arroyo to end the inning.
Dempster put together a shut down inning in the fourth … three up, three down.
The Cubs were not able to push across a run in the fifth after a leadoff double by Kosuke Fukudome. A passed ball allowed Kosuke to advance to third with no outs. With the infield in, Darwin Barney popped out to right on a 2-2 pitch and Blake DeWitt grounded out to second on the first pitch. Pena flied out to left to end the inning.
Dempster retired the Reds in order in the bottom of the fifth.
Again, the Cubs put a pair on in the sixth and came away empty. Tony Campana reached on a two-out single to left. After Campana stole second, Dusty intentionally walked Koyie Hill. Dempster struck out swinging to end the inning.
Dempster struck out the side in the sixth to end his afternoon.
Ryan Dempster really stepped up when his team needed him Wednesday morning. Dempster pitched through pain and picked up a win.
The Reds gave the Cubs a run in the seventh. Fukudome reached on a ground rule double to left … a fan reached over the wall down the left field line. Barney sacrificed Fukudome to third and ended Arroyo’s afternoon. Dusty Baker went to his pen and brought in Bill Bray to face Carlos Pena.
Pena ended up working a walk against the southpaw. Baker went back to his pen and brought in Jose Arredondo to face Aramis Ramirez.
To Ramirez’s credit, he was very patient against Arredondo and it led to a run. Ramirez looked at three out of the zone before looking at a strike and fouling off a ball. Arredondo then balked on a 3-2 offering to Ramirez. Arredondo went to throw to first but Votto was not there …
Kosuke Fukudome trotted home … 4-1 Cubs. Brad Snyder struck out looking to end the inning.
Kerry Wood, Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol allowed one hit (a two-out triple in the seventh by Paul Janish off Wood) and struck out four over the last three innings to nail down the Cubs first win of the month.
Winning sure does beat the alternative …
The Cubs open a four-game series in Philadelphia on Thursday night. Randy Wells against Kyle Kendrick in game one.