Dempster Hung Too Many – Cubs 4 Brewers 6

Game One Hundred Thirty-Three – Cubs 4 Brewers 6
WP – Yovani Gallardo (15-8) LP – Ryan Dempster (10-10) Save – John Axford (39)

The Cubs dropped their seventh straight game at Miller Park on Saturday night. Ryan Dempster did not have anything and was lifted after just four innings … the shortest outing of his career against the Brewers.

The Brewers basically took batting practice against Dempster. The Brewers scored three runs in the first and put up runs in each of the first three innings. Six of the Brewers seven hits off Dempster went for extra bases … three doubles, a triple and two home runs.

Ryan Dempster departed after four innings and allowing five runs on seven hits (two home runs) with two walks and three strikeouts on 89 pitches (62 for strikes). Dempster could not put hitters away and found himself in long at bats in a short outing.

The Cubs offense struggled once again with runners in scoring position. Q’s offense out hit the Brewers 10-9 but only two of the Cubs 10 hits went for extra bases. The Cubs finished the game 3-for-9 with RISP and left eight on base. In the last six games, the Cubs are 8-for-58 with runners in scoring position and have stranded 52 baserunners.

Alfonso Soriano (2-for-4 with a double, four RBI and a stolen base) drove in all four of the Cubs’ runs with a second inning single and a bases clearing double in the eighth. The four RBI represented a season-high for Soriano. Soriano also stole third in the eighth, his second stolen base of the year.

Both Starlin Castro (11 games) and Aramis Ramirez (16 games) extended their hitting streaks. Starlin Castro singled and walked in five trips to the plate and tied his career long hitting streak with 11. Aramis Ramirez singled twice and scored on Soriano’s double in the eighth.

Tyler Colvin was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored hitting out of the fifth spot in Mike Quade’s lineup.

With Saturday’s loss (lost six of last seven), the Cubs dropped back to 57-76 on the season, 19 games below .500 …

After the Cubs did nothing against Yovani Gallardo in the first, the Brewers came out swinging against Ryan Dempster … and put the game away shortly after it started.

Corey Hart ripped a 1-2 pitch over Marlon Byrd’s head in center for a double. Dempster struck out Nyjer Morgan but could not get one past Ryan Braun. Braun doubled to left on a 0-1 pitch and drove in Hart with the game’s first run. Dempster struck out Prince Fielder swinging on the 10th pitch of the at bat.

Casey McGehee, who has promised to always stick it to the Cubs, did it again on Saturday night. McGehee launched Dempster’s first pitch over the wall in left … 3-0 Brewers five batters into the game. Betancourt lined out to Soriano to end the inning.

At the end of one, 3-0 Brewers and with Yovani Gallardo on the mound the game was basically over.

Carlos Pena led off the second with his third bunt hit of the week. Gallardo was charged with a throwing error that allowed Pena to reach. Tyler Colvin followed with the Cubs first hit, a single to left. Pena held at second with no outs.

Marlon Byrd’s struggles continued. Byrd struck out swinging for the first out of the inning.

Alfonso Soriano picked up his teammate and drove in Pena with a single to left. Colvin held at second with one down. Geovany Soto struck out swinging … and so did Dempster to end the inning. Two more runners left on base by two players that are supposed to drive in runs.

Ryan Dempster just did not have anything on Saturday night. After his team took advantage of an error and put up at least one run, Dempster gave it right back in the next half inning.

Dempster walked Jerry Hairston, Jr. to start the second. Jonathan Lucroy hit a weak grounder to short. Castro threw to second and forced Hairston, Jr., but they could not turn two. Gallardo bunted Lucroy to second and the Brewers’ catcher scored on a triple to center off the bat of Corey Hart … 4-1 Brewers.

Nyjer Morgan flied out to center to end the inning.

Aramis Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single to center in the third … but that was all for the Cubs in the third.

The Brewers scored for the third inning in a row thanks to a big fly off the bat of Prince Fielder. After Marlon Byrd robbed Ryan Braun of an extra base hit with a tremendous leaping catch at the wall in center to start the inning, Prince Fielder launched Dempster’s first pitch over the wall in right … 5-1 Brewers.

Casey McGehee followed Fielder’s homer with a single but was caught trying to steal second … Betancourt flied out to right to end the inning.

At the end of three, 5-1 Brewers.

Marlon Byrd collected a one out single to right in the fourth … but that was it.

Former Cub, Jerry Hairston, Jr. led off the bottom of the fourth with a ground rule double to right center. Dempster struck out Lucroy and retired Gallardo on a ground out to short. Hairston, Jr. advanced to second on the Gallardo grounder and held when Dempster walked Corey Hart on the eighth pitch of the at bat. Nyjer Morgan grounded out to second to end the inning … and Dempster’s outing.

Ryan Dempster was lifted in the top of the fifth for Tony Campana. Campana flied out to center for the first out.

Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an infield single but was erased when Barney grounded into a 1-4-6-3 double play.

Ramon Ortiz took over in the fifth … and sat down the Brewers in order.

The Cubs did nothing against Gallardo in the sixth … and the Brewers did nothing against Ramon Ortiz in the home half of the sixth.

At the end of six, 5-1 Brewers.

Marlon Byrd led off the seventh with a single to center. After Soriano struck out swinging and Soto struck out looking, Blake DeWitt hit for Ortiz and walked. Starlin Castro then walked to load the bases with two down.

Darwin Barney struck out swinging on five pitches (2-2 count) to end the inning.

James Russell started the bottom of the seventh and struck out pinch-hitter Josh Wilson to start the inning. Corey Hart made it 6-1 with his third extra basehit of the game. Hart launched Russell’s first pitch over the wall in left.

Nyjer Morgan singled to left but Russell retired Braun (foul out to Pena) and Fielder (groundout to second) to end the inning.

The Cubs made it a little interesting in the eighth against LaTroy Hawkins.

Aramis Ramirez led off the inning with his second hit of the night, a single to left. Carlos Pena flied out but Tyler Colvin doubled to left. Ramirez held at third with one out. Marlon Byrd reached on an infield single to load the bases.

Alfonso Soriano stepped in and quickly fell behind 0-2. Soriano worked the count back to even before ripping a bases clearing double to left … 6-4 Brewers.

Ron Roenicke went to his pen and brought in Francisco Rodriguez with one out and the tying run stepping to the plate. With Soto at the plate, Soriano stole third but was stranded when Geovany Soto struck out for the third time in the game. Reed Johnson hit for Russell and grounded out to third to end the inning.

The Brewers did nothing against Sean Marshall in the bottom of the eighth.

John Axford retired the top of the Cubs lineup (Castro, Barney and Ramirez) in order on just 11 pitches (seven for strikes) to end the game.

Another poor performance by a Cubs’ starter … and a lot of runners left on base in a close ballgame.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Casey Coleman against Zack Greinke in the finale on Sunday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"The man says 'play ball' not 'work ball,' you know." - Willie Stargell
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  • paulcatanese

    I have a feeling Aram, Pena, and Soriono could hit 90 home runs this year between them and it still would not make any difference for the Cubs in the standings. They will finish behind the Pirates and ahead of The Astros, so why not play others? All of a sudden Colvin is going to left field the last few days. If kept up he is on his way.

    • Gramps

      Agree

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cashner to pitch in the Arizona Fall League in an attempt to build up his arm strength to compete for a spot in the rotation next season.

    http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/6902174/sources-chicago-cubs-pitcher-andrew-cashner-pitch-arizona-fall-league

    • Demitri

      Hope he gets back at full strength for next year

    • Brp921

      Thats great to hear!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      We really need Cashner to be an asset next year. Hopefully he can get his strength back in the shoulder and be ready to go by spring.

      • cubtex

        No doubt! They need him to start.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Who’s the best reliever on the Cubs?

    Depends on how you want to measure it. But if you measure it by WHIP, it’s James Russell. Look at his line….

    2.09 ERA
    1.00 WHIP
    1-0 record
    43 IP
    8 BB
    29 K

    Marshall isn’t quite as good this year….
    2.57 ERA
    1.10 WHIP
    6-5 record
    3 saves
    63 IP
    13 BB
    62 K
    Marshall has a good strikeout ratio out of the pen. 

    Grabow:3-0 record (our best winning percentage of any pitcher on the Cubs)
    4.69 ERA (how did it ever get so low?)
    1.56 WHIP
    55 IP
    62 H
    only 35 K
    27 BB
    and  a whopping 8 HR hit off of him. Hitters should pay money to hit against him.

    • Brp921

      If the Cubs are short of starters next year I think Marshall would do well if they would put him there and keep him there. In the past he’s been used as a swing man and it’s made it hard for him to be consistant. I really think starting is his best fit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      I think that Russell is off to a fine start as a reliever. I hope that means all other talk of stretching him out again next spring is over.

    • cubtex

      That’s why you cannot just look at WHIP.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Colvin hitting only .188 post All-Star break. But he’s only had 69 AB. 

    QQuade isn’t over-using him these days…..
    Johnson has 73 post All-Star AB. What a great year he has had: slugging .533 and hitting .345! WOW!  

    • Demitri

      I thought Colvin was doing good since his last call up.. At least hes doing better than the first half. He had a single to center right which is rare for him so thats encouraging

    • Brp921

      I like Johnson as an extra outfielder. I hope Colvin will play winter ball and find some consistency and come back strong in the spring. Quade has made this year so touph for him, I’m surprised he can hit at all.

    • cubtex

      Lets quit with this excuse making for Colvin. He is what he is. Low average guy with zero plate discipline who is an all or nothing dead pull hitter.

      • Aaron

        I agree with you, and said that when the Cubs drafted him….and even during his time in the minors prior to being called up.

        However, I don’t think anyone on this site is as high on the guy as you might think. I think a lot of the comments regarding Colvin have to do with playing him over a veteran that doesn’t even factor into the future of this team.

        Colvin will never be an above average MLB player, and if the Cubs had enough guys pushing him in the minors, he wouldn’t even be in the conversation….

        But try this one on for size…Colvin has, and can play an above average CF. The Cubs currently have Byrd playing everyday out there.

        Here are their lines:
        Byrd-374 plate appearances, 105 hits, 20 doubles, 2 triples, 7 hr, 24 RBI
        Colvin-182 plate appearances, 25 hits, 7 doubles, 2 triples, 5 hr, 16 RBI

        Suffice it to say, Colvin is FAR more efficient than Byrd. His slash line is dreadful, but what matters is run production, and he’s nearly equaled Byrd in all power numbers in 1/2 the plate appearances.

        That does NOT mean I think Colvin should be an everyday player on a good Cubs team, but he should be playing everyday on a bad one like this team is right now.

        There is NO reason why Pena, Baker, Johnson, Byrd, or Hill should be on this team right now. And I’d make the case for Soriano as well, because rumors are swirling the Ricketts will do whatever it takes to unload him this winter (which means they likely won’t find a trade partner, and will have to outright release him, so why not do it now?).

        Here will be their ages next year:
        Pena-34
        Baker-31
        Johnson-35
        Byrd-34
        Hill-33
        Soriano-36

        Not a single one of them figure to be getting better with age. In fact, ALL but Johnson appear to be on a precipitous decline. So the question is…..why keep guys like Colvin on the bench if they’re producing more runs than the veterans comparatively speaking?!?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    I am actually hoping that Colvin will recoop some of his value the rest of this season. Just as a leverage piece for discussing upgrades with Agents mind you.  If he keeps being what we have seen this year certain agents are going to hold us over the fire if we try and upgrade.