Dempster and the Cubs Dump Fifth in a Row – Cubs 4, White Sox 7

Game Forty – Cubs 4, White Sox 7
WP – John Danks (3-4) LP – Ryan Dempster (0-2) Save – None

Dale Sveum’s Cubs dropped their fifth game in a row and looked to be well on their way to being shutout for the first time this season. The White Sox took a 7-0 lead into the ninth and the Cubs had managed only five hits over eight innings.

Alfonso Soriano (3-for-4 with a home run, a double and two RBI) put the Cubs on the board with a two-run shot, his third home run of the week. After a two-out single by Jeff Baker, Joe Mather (1-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and a walk) hit the Cubs’ second two-out, two-run homer in the ninth. Koyie Hill was 1-for-4 in his return to the Cubs and grounded out to second to end the game.

While the Cubs offense was non-existent for the first eight innings, Ryan Dempster put his team in an early hole and by the third inning the Cubs were looking up at a four-run deficit.

Ryan Dempster did not have it Saturday night. Dempster could not find a rhythm and struggled with his command throughout his six-inning outing. Dempster served up back-to-back home runs to Dayan Viciedo and A.J. Pierzynski in the third and left after giving up four runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts in six innings. Dempster threw 90 pitches, 50 for strikes, in route to his second loss of the season.

The Sox tacked on three more runs in the eighth against the Cubs pen … with a little help from the Cubs defense. James Russell served up a leadoff homer to Adam Dunn then was lifted with just one out after Alfonso Soriano misplayed a ball into a double and Joe Mather booted a routine grounder that loaded the bases. Blake Parker struck out the only batter he faced before leaving with tightness in his right hamstring. Michael Bowden inherited a 3-0 count on Alejandro De Aza and issued ball four that forced in the seventh run of the game.

Dale Sveum used six pitchers to get through nine innings Saturday night.

The Cubs offense made it very easy on John Danks and allowed him to take a perfect game into the fifth. Alfonso Soriano broke up Danks’ bid for perfection with a one-out double in the fifth. The overly aggressive offense simply did not make Danks work. There were too many early swings and they allowed him to leave with one out in the seventh after throwing only 83 pitches, 54 for strikes.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to a season low 10 games under .500 with a 15-25 record …

Ryan Dempster struggled finding a rhythm in the first inning. And labored through a long 24-pitch first inning that took 16 minutes to play.

Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a single to center (3-1 pitch). Gordon Beckham flied out to right on the first pitch. De Aza took off for second on the first pitch to Adam Dunn. Koyie Hill’s throw was late and low and the Sox were in business. Dempster walked Dunn on four pitches.

Dayan Viciedo lined a 2-2 pitch into center. The ball fell just in front of Reed Johnson. De Aza scored, 1-0 Sox. Dempster struck out Pierzynski swinging (2-2 pitch) the retired Rios on a grounder to second to end the inning. Dempster threw 24 pitches in the first, 12 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the first. John Danks threw only 10 pitches, 7 for strikes. Zero patience for an offense facing a pitcher that has struggled with issuing free passes all season.

Dempster seemed to find a little rhythm in the second and retired the Sox in order on 10 pitches (34 for the game, 20 for strikes).

The Cubs did nothing in the second … six up and six down for Danks on 22 pitches, 15 for strikes.

Ryan Dempster made quick work of De Aza and Beckham to start the third. Dempster fell behind Adam Dunn before walking him on a 3-2 pitch. Dayan Viciedo drove a 1-0 pitch into left center that ended up in the basket and just like that the Sox had a 3-0 lead. A.J. Pierzynski hit the knockout blow. Pierzynski followed Viciedo’s longball with a homer to left center on a 0-1 pitch that gave the Sox a commanding 4-0 lead. Rios grounded out to third on Dempster’s 52nd pitch of the game (30 for strikes) to end the inning.

The bottom of the Cubs’ order went quickly in the third. Danks threw only 31 pitches, 22 for strikes, in the first three innings.

Ryan Dempster sat down the bottom of the White Sox lineup in order in the fourth. Dempster threw 63 pitches, 38 for strikes, in four innings.

The Cubs continued making John Danks look good in the bottom of the fourth. The Cubs went down in order, 12 in a row, on just 46 pitches (32 for strikes).

Alejandro De Aza led off the top of the fifth with a bunt single up the third base line. On a 2-1 pitch De Aza took off for second. Koyie Hill threw him out at second. Gordon Beckham lined Dempster’s next pitch back up the middle for a single. Dempster jumped ahead of Adam Dunn 1-2 before losing him and walking him for the third time on the night.

Dayan Viciedo stepped in with runners on first and second with one out. Dempster fell behind 2-1 before receiving a visit from Koyie Hill. Viciedo hit Dempster’s next pitch back up the middle to Barney in the shift … 4-3 inning ending double play on Dempster’s 80th pitch of the day, 47 for strikes.

After Bryan LaHair struck out looking to start the fifth, Alfonso Soriano pulled a 1-0 pitch into the left field corner … the Cubs first hit of the game. Jeff Baker flied out to right and Soriano advanced to third. Joe Mather showed patience and walked on four pitches. With runners on first and third with two down, Koyie Hill looked at three straight before flying out to right center on a 3-1 pitch to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster retired Pierzynski (ground out to second) and Rios (fly out to right) to start the sixth. Alexei Ramirez singled to left center but Escobar flied out to left for the third out. Dempster threw 90 pitches, 50 for strikes, in six innings.

Tony Campana hit for Dempster to begin the sixth. Campana lashed a 1-1 pitch back up the middle. Reed Johnson followed with a single to left but Darwin Barney looked at a questionable third strike and Starlin Castro hit into a 5-4-3 double play … inning over.

The Sox went down 1-2-3 in the seventh against Shawn Camp.

John Danks started the seventh and struck out Bryan LaHair swinging. Robin Ventura took out the smirking John Danks after just 83 pitches, 54 for strikes.

Alfonso Soriano greeted Nate Jones with a single to center but Jeff Baker hit the first pitch to Beckham … 4-6-3 double play, inning over.

James Russell started the eighth and with a lot of help from Soriano and Mather struggled for one of the first times this season. Adam Dunn greeted him with a long home run to right center. Russell retired Viciedo on a ground out to second. A.J. Pierzynski lined a 0-2 pitch toward left that Alfonso Soriano misplayed into a double. Russell then intentionally walked Alex Rios. Alexei Ramirez singled to center and drove in Pierzynski … 6-0 White Sox. Eduardo Escobar then hit a grounder toward third. Joe Mather booted the ball. Castro tried to salvage the play by picking up the ball and throwing to Barney but his throw was late and the bases were loaded with one out.

Dale Sveum made the slow walk and brought in Blake Parker.

Parker struck out pinch-hitter Brent Lillibridge swinging for the second out. Parker fell behind De Aza 2-0. Parker missed on his third pitch to De Aza and appeared to land awkwardly on his follow through. After a visit from Mark O’Neal and Dale Sveum, Parker left the game.

Michael Bowden replaced Parker and inherited a bases loaded, two-out jam and a 3-0 count on Alejandro De Aza. Bowden’s first pitch missed and he forced in Rios … 7-0 White Sox. Bowden struck out Beckham swinging to end the inning.

Joe Mather flied out to right off Hector Santiago to start the eighth. Koyie Hill reached on a single to left. With Hill at second, Adrian Cardenas hit for Bowden and grounded out to short. Reed Johnson grounded to short to end the inning.

Casey Coleman faced the minimum in the ninth. Dunn walked for the fourth time on the night but Viciedo hit into a 5-4-3 double play and Pierzynski looked at strike three.

Robin Ventura sent Zach Stewart to the hill for a little mop up duty in the ninth. Stewart could not preserve the shutout after giving up a leadoff single to Darwin Barney. Starlin Castro struck out swinging and Bryan LaHair flied out to left.

Alfonso Soriano put the Cubs on the board with his third longball of the week. Soriano’s two-run shot to left made it a 7-2 ballgame. Jeff Baker followed with a single then trotted home on a two-run homer by Joe Mather. Koyie Hill predictably grounded out to second to end the game.

Game two of round one of the City Series went to the Sox
Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Paul Maholm is scheduled to face Jake Peavy in the finale on Sunday afternoon.

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Quote of the Day

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again." – Bob Feller

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  • jw

    Well on the way to a 1970’s like Cubs season…hopefully they will get stronger as the year moves along and finish well.

  • cubtex

    So how many starts are we at with Dempster since he last won a game?

    • Neil

       16 … Dempster beat the Nationals on August 11

  • Ripsnorter1

    I listened to “White Sox Weekly” on 670 the Score Radio yesterday. Peavy went on for about 5 minutes about how it is necessary to get even when someone hits your batter(s). 

    I personally expect Peavy to hit some Cub batter with a pitch today. 
    And don’t tell me it will be a mistake.

    Wasn’t it on “Talking Baseball” yesterday that Fred Huebner commented that one ML pitcher said that he had hit 43 batters in his career, all of them on purpose.

    I am sure that there are some unintentional HBP. But  I am looking for some beaning to go on today.

    • Tony_Hall

      If Peavy starts it back up, after they finished it on Friday, then would fully expect us to give it back to him.  

      Watch Peavy drill a guy in his last inning, so that he doesn’t have to bat again.  I will have more respect for him if he does it in the 1st inning, when he will still have to go to the plate.  Then again, I doubt he is afraid of Maholm drilling him.

  • CubsTalk

    Lets Go Cubs!

  • cubtex

    We are moving towards the end of May and this team looking more and more dismal by the day. Who are their trade pieces and what can the returns be?

    1. Ryan Dempster- He needs to waive a no-trade due to 5 and 10 right to even be moved. He hasn’t won a start since Aug 11 of 2011(thank you Neil) and he has not looked good his last 2 starts.

    2. Geo Soto- Out 3 to 4 weeks with knee surgery and has had a terrible start to the year.

    3. Paul Maholm- Would not bring back anything significant in a deal.

    4. Bryan LaHair- Has not gotten a hit off a Left Handed starting pitcher this year. Only 2 hits vs LHP. Below average defensively. 29 years old and doesn’t have a large sample size of success. Average is dropping and will be under .300 soon with a high strikeout rate. Maybe he brings back a mid tier organizations prospect. The longer they wait….the lesser the return.

    5. Ian Stewart- Won’t bring back much of a return

    6. David DeJesus- He could be someone who interests a team who is looking for a verstile OF. He has had a nice year with a very good OBP.

    7. Alfonso Soriano- They would have to eat a large portion of his contract and even after that……they would get a return like the Cubs got for Marlon Byrd.

    8. Carlos Marmol- Pretty much the same as Soriano.

    My point is that this team is in a terrible position. Theo did not add any trade pieces this past offseason with the exception of David DeJesus and to a lesser extent Maholm. Volstad has been a huge bust! Stewart has not bounced back enough to interest anyone. He got nothing for Marlon Byrd. Manny Corpas? Andy Sonnanstine? Oh yea….we got Koyie Hill again :)

    This team is light years away from being competitive. Building through the draft will take years to be competitive. We have Rizzo who is ready. BJax has not hit in AAA this year like we all had hoped. Low average and high strikeout rate.

    My thoughts are that Theo will decide to deal Garza since he, Castro and Anthony Rizzo are the only players they have who could bring back some top players. They need so much help. Let’s be realistic……does anyone think this team could be competive next year? Cole Hamels will not sign here….nor should the Cubs pursue him. They missed out on Yu Darvish. Will signing Brandon McCarthy and Anibal Sanchez get this team to the playoffs next year.
    I do not see how anyone can say that Theo did a great or even good job this offseason. He has put a very poor product on the field this year. They subtracted 3 key bullpen arms(Shark,Cashner and Marshall) and didn’t add anyone of significance. Can any team’s bullpen survive losing 3 arms like that? Huge miscalculation for team Theo.
    We have the draft to look forward to in a couple of weeks and this is the way they are going to build. Maybe 2015 they will be a playoff team….IF Theo makes some good draft choices(which is not guaranteed)

    • wrigleylover

      Dempsters pitching has been pretty good and its way too early to judge Volstad. Marmol makes everyone nervous. I hope Garza stays.

  • cubtex

    Here are the scouting reports of the 2 players who most consider the Cubs will select in the upcoming draft.

    . Albert Almora, of
    Mater Academy, Hialeah Gardens, Fla.Almora is a latter-day A.J. Hinch in that he has become a go-to player for USA Baseball national teams from a young age. Almora was USA Baseball’s 2011 athlete of the year after being MVP of the 18-and-under Pan American Championships in Colombia in November 2011. He tied Hinch’s USA Baseball record by playing on his sixth national team, and scouts love his grinder approach and in-game savvy. What’s more, Almora has outstanding tools. The Miami signee, in one scout’s words, “has no issues. He’s got above-average tools everywhere, and they all play. He has tools and he uses them.” He doesn’t turn in blazing times when he runs in showcases (generally he’s a 6.8-second runner in the 60), but his game instincts help him steal bases and cover plenty of ground in center field. Scouts consider his defense major league-ready right now, with plus grades for his accurate throwing arm. With natural hitting rhythm and plenty of bat speed, Almora is a line-drive machine with a loose swing who stays inside the ball, relishes velocity and handles spin. He should have 20-homer power down the line, sufficient if he slows down and can’t play center, and a definite bonus if (as expected) he stays in the middle garden. He plays the game with both ease and energy and may have some projection left in his athletic 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame. The Miami signee is considered one of the draft’s safer picks and could sneak into the first 10 selections.


      Almora scares me because of his leg kick. It is is timing mechnicism and it can be a trouble sum one. It can cause long slumps and other mechnical issue with a swing. I love his tools but I see some big red flag in his swing.

  • cubtex

    Carlos Correa, ss
    Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Gurabo, P.R.

    With the record now at 17th overall, Correa should become the highest-drafted player ever to come from Puerto Rico. He already has a big league body at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, yet he’s light on his feet and shows fluid actions with a cannon for an arm. For those reasons, the team that drafts him will allow him to stay at shortstop. While he may get a little bigger, his tools would also allow him to be a premium defender at third base. Correa has garnered comparisons to both Troy Tulowitzki and Ryan Zimmerman. At the plate, Correa shows excellent balance and rhythm, as well as patience, to go along with exciting bat speed and natural loft. His swing can get a little long at times, leaving him exposed to quality fastballs inside, but he’s learning how to make adjustments and projects to hit for average and power. Correa is a plus runner now, but he could lose a step or two as he fills out. He is one of the youngest players in the draft class and shows excellent work ethic, dedication and maturity. Correa is committed to Miami, but it would be a shock if he winds up on campus.

  • Marvin Ferguson

    Tony Campana is a good Cub player to keep an eye on in the future. He excites baseball fans every time he comes to the plate, runs the bases, or catches a ball in center field. He even got a pinch hit single in last nights game. Three cheers for Tony Campana.