Dempster Wicked Good Against the Sawx – Cubs 3, Red Sox 0

Game Sixty-Four – Cubs 3, Red Sox 0
WP – Ryan Dempster (3-3) LP – Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-2) Save – Carlos Marmol (3)

wflag.jpgRyan Dempster posted his third straight victory, first at Wrigley since August 11, 2011, with a dominant performance against Theo Epstein’s old team the Boston Red Sox. Dempster threw seven more shutout innings Friday afternoon and ran his scoreless innings streak to 22.

Ryan Dempster allowed just four singles, walked two and struck out three over his seven innings of work (106 pitches, 69 strikes). Dempster worked out of jams in the first and seventh and worked around a couple of errors by Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney that elevated his pitch count.

Dempster not only led the way on the hill but he also contributed at the plate (2-for-2 with a triple and a run scored). Dempster notched his first triple in over a decade (May 12, 2002) in the second innings and scored the Cubs’ third run on a two-out single off the bat of David DeJesus (1-for-3 with a RBI and a walk).

James Russell was sharp in the eighth and set down the Sox in order on 17 pitches, 11 for strikes.

Carlos Marmol made his return to the closer’s role and picked up his first save since May 2 in Cincinnati. Luis Valbuena made a sensational play to rob Jarrod Saltalamacchia of a hit to start the ninth before committing an error that helped put Marmol behind the eight-ball. Marmol was wild and loaded the bases but after a one-sided conversation with Dale Sveum, Marmol was able to preserve the win, and shutout, for Ryan Dempster.

Ryan Dempster, James Russell and Carlos Marmol combined on a five-hit shutout, just the third time the Red Sox have been blanked this year.

Dale Sveum’s offense showed a lot of patience against Daisuke Matsuzaka and it led to an early lead.

Tony Campana (0-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and two stolen bases) walked to start the game and he set the tone early. Matsuzaka ended up walking the bases loaded in the first inning and Steve Clevenger (1-for-3 with a double and two RBI) drove in a pair with an opposite field, two-out, two-run bloop double.

All three of the Cubs runs Friday scored with two outs. The Cubs offense worked four free passes on the afternoon and Matsuzaka hit a batter to go along with four hits (2-for-6 with RISP, five left on base).

In the end Friday was all about Ryan Dempster. If it was his swan song at Wrigley Field in a Cubs’ uniform, he went out a winner.

With Friday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 22-42 on the season …

The game began on a negative note for Ryan Dempster. Long-time Cubs’ killer Scott Podsednik pushed a 0-1 pitch past the mound toward second for a bunt single. Dempster then walked Dustin Pedroia on four pitches. With runners on first and second with no outs, Dempster struck out Adrian Gonzalez. David Ortiz hit a 1-0 pitch toward first. Bryan LaHair fielded the ball and threw to second to force Pedroia. With runners on first and third with two outs, Kevin Youkilis flied out to right (1-1 pitch) to end the inning. Dempster threw 15 pitches in the opening frame, nine for strikes.

Tony Campana started the bottom of the first with a free pass. Matsuzaka then struck out Starlin Castro swinging for the first out. Campana took off for second on the first pitch to DeJesus. Saltalamacchia’s throw nearly hit Matsuzaka as Campana slid in safe with his 22nd stolen base of the season. DeJesus flied out to left (3-1 pitch) for the second out. With Soriano at the plate, Campana swiped third and held when Alfonso Soriano looked at ball four. Bryan LaHair followed with a free pass of his own to load the bases with two outs.

Steve Clevenger gave the Cubs the lead with a blooper down the left field line. Campana scored easily and Soriano limped home as well. LaHair stopped at third on Clevenger’s double. Darwin Barney grounded out to second to end the inning.

After one complete, the Cubs led 2-0.

Ryan Dempster retired Saltalamacchia on a fly out to center to start the second and Ryan Sweeney popped out to Barney for the second out. Mike Aviles single to center but that was all in the second. Daisuke Matsuzaka flied out to center to end the inning. Dempster threw 29 pitches in the first two innings, 19 for strikes.

Luis Valbuena struck out swinging to start the bottom of the second … but the swing and miss happened on the 10th pitch of the at bat. Ryan Dempster followed and blooped a 1-0 pitch into right field. Adrian Gonzalez tried to make a diving catch but missed the ball by several feet. The ball rolled past him and Dempster ended up a third with a standing triple. Dempster’s second career triple in 580 at bats. Tony Campana hit the first pitch to short, Dempster had to hold and quickly there were two outs.

David DeJesus came through. Matsuzaka made a mistake on a 0-2 pitch and DeJesus lined it into right. Dempster scored and the Cubs took a 3-0 lead. DeJesus advanced to second on a delayed steal with Soriano at the plate. Soriano grounded out to second (2-2 pitch to end the inning).

Daisuke Matsuzaka threw 52 pitches (30 strikes) in two innings.

Ryan Dempster retired the Sox in order in the third … 44 pitches for Dempster after three, 28 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the third.

David Ortiz reached to start the fourth. Ortiz hit a grounder to Castro in the shift. Castro bobbled the ball after it hit the lip of the outfield grass. Kevin Youkilis showed his usual patience and popped out to center on a 3-2 pitch. Saltalamacchia just missed one and flied out to the track in left. Dempster retired Sweeney on a pop out to Castro to end the inning … 57 pitches for Dempster after four, 37 for strikes.

The Cubs managed only one hit off Matsuzaka in the fourth … a one out single to left off the bat of Ryan Dempster. Campana struck out and Castro grounded out to third to end the inning.

For the second inning in a row an error by a Cubs’ infielder allowed the Red Sox to put the leadoff runner on base. Mike Aviles ripped a ball toward Barney. He knocked the ball down but could not get the out at first. Aviles then swiped second as Matsuzaka tried to get a bunt down. Matsuzaka foul tipped a bunt attempt on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Scott Podsednik then hit a ball back to Dempster. Aviles was caught in a run down and was eventually tagged out (1-6-5-6). Podsednik stole second but was stranded when Dustin Pedroia lined out to right center … 72 pitches for Dempster after five, 47 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth.

Ryan Dempster retired three of the four batters he faced in the sixth. After Gonzalez filed out to right center to start the inning, David Ortiz singled to right. Tony Campana then caught up to a drive into the gap in right center off the bat of Youkilis (2-2 pitch) for the second out. Saltalamacchia flied out to center to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the sixth.

Ryan Sweeney grounded out to second to start the seventh. Aviles flied out to left and Bobby Valentine sent Nick Punto up to hit for Matsuzaka. Dempster walked Punto. With Podsednik at the plate, Punto stole second then advanced to third on an infield single to short by Podsednik. Dustin Pedroia stepped in with two on and two outs. Podsednik took off for second on a 0-1 pitch to Pedroia and advanced into scoring position. Pedroia hit a liner down the right field line that DeJesus ran over and caught to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the seventh against Scott Atchison.

James Russell took over for Dempster in the eighth … and set down the Sox in order.

Former Astros’ closer Mark Melancon started the bottom of the eighth by walking David DeJesus. Soriano popped out to short for the first out. DeJesus tried to steal second but Saltalamacchia threw him out. LaHair struck out swinging … and the Cubs went to the ninth up 3-0.

Carlos Marmol made his way in from the pen and quickly fell behind Jarrod Saltalamacchia 3-1. Saltalamacchia tried to beat the shift and lined a 3-2 pitch toward third. Luis Valbuena was shaded toward short but dove to his right, made an excellent stop and threw a strike to LaHair for the first out. Ryan Sweeney blooped a 0-1 pitch into right for a single. Mike Aviles then hit a 0-2 pitch toward the hole at short. The ball went off of Valbuena’s glove. Valbuena was charged with an error and the Red Sox had two on with one out in the ninth.

Daniel Nava hit for Melancon and struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) for the second out. Marmol lost his command again and walked Scott Podsednik on five pitches to loaded the bases with two outs.

Dale Sveum made his way out of the dugout and had a one-sided conversation with Marmol. Dustin Pedroia looked at two out of the zone before pulling a 2-2 pitch toward third. Valbuena was playing close to the line but deep. Valbuena fielded the ball and beat Aviles to the bag to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Jon Lester in game two on Saturday night.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • CubsForever

    No Josh Beckett for Sunday…..

    Watching the Yankees – Nationals game….Nationals need someone like Bryan LaHair…..

    Zambrano threw 78 pitches tonight in two innings…..gave up four runs……Volstad might be with Iowa….but at least we don’t have to suffer with Zambrano….

    Ozzie’s Marlins getting another a** kicking tonight…..

    These future Cubs trades that will happen will shape Theo’s regime

  • Cory

    Love the title Neil!… How u like them apples?

    Bring on some prospects!

  • SirGladiator

    As sad as it will be to see Demp go, his trade value is at an all time high, and getting one or two of the top prospects in all of baseball will definitely ease the pain.  Hopefully Theo will be able to pull it off.

    • Calicub

      three of the Blue Jay’s starting pitchers have dropped to the dl in the past week…

      i think its time to ship some boys to the great white north

      • DWalker

         I doubt the Jays play ball. With three SP’s down and 6.5 games back in the AL E and at .500, its hard to imagine them emptying the prospect buckets just to try and hang in there.  They might even be sellers at the deadline.

        • gary3411

           Yes, I agree no doubt. Even if they were in it at this point I don’t see them being a trade partner for Dempster, their window to win is multiple years right now.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Dice-K stunk up the joint today. Everything was up in the zone. He was lucky he was playing against the hitless wonders~Your Chicago Cubs. Otherwise he would have given up 9 or 10 runs. Cubs had only 4 hits on the day! With a mere 3 K’s, he wasn’t fooling hardly anybody except LaHair and Starlin Castro. 

    Who would have thought that LaHair would have more HRs than Prince Albert at this time? LaHair 12, Prince Albert, 9. And Adrian Gonzalez, a mere 5 taters while hitting .265. How much dough did Theo give this guy? Gonzalez is slugging at the same rate as Darwin Barney (.404). 

    It’s time to admit it, folks: Team Theo is messing with Castro. Have you seen his June stats? He was hitting .213 before today’s 0 for 3 collar. He fanned twice. I tell you Team Theo is demanding that Castro look at more pitches, and they are ruining him. And that’s why Jarmillo was canned. Jarmillo didn’t want to mess with success. So Team Theo is paying Jarmillo his full salary to stay home and watch TV, while they mess with Castro’s swing. It doesn’t get any better than this.

    Just another reason to be in love with Team Theo. They have the Midas touch! The Cubs will set a team record for fewest wins ever under the loving guidance of Team Theo. Castro will be ruined, and anybody who can play MLB will be traded away for “prospects.” Years of losing will follow. I tell you it’s a great time to be alive and be a Cubs’ fan.

    • gary3411

       Just because he was hitting .300 doesn’t mean he was having success. 300/310/430 is an ok line for a SS but Castro’s potential is so much better. His problem isn’t that he’s not taking pitches, it’s that he can’t lay off pitches out of the zone when it’s later in the count. But taking pitches early in the count won’t hurt either (though it should not be a ‘predetermined take’ it should be a ‘if I don’t get my pitch I’m taking’).

      Let’s face it, he did not take a step forward this year as he should have. IMO it’s because he isn’t laying off pitcher’s pitches whether it’s early or late in the count or whatever.

      In other words it seems as though he is predeterming whether he swings or not before the pitch at times. He’ll go up there and take a fastball right down the middle first pitch just to take a pitch, then next pitch swing at a slider out of the zone. I’m not sure who is teaching or stressing what to him, but he needs to find a happy medium which he just hasn’t done yet.

      • paulcatanese

        Someone here is trying to teach someone a lesson, and appears to be a power stuggle.
        Either Castro is taking a strike (ordered) and even one more and then swinging at whatever comes toward home plate to prove to the Cubs(whoever) to let him alone at the plate.
        Or the Cubs are telling him to take pitches to try and teach him to be selective and it he does strike out on bad pitches they can point out how important it is to be selective.
        And agreed, Castro takes way too many pitches right down the pipe, putting himself in the hole. And since he refuses to be walked unless the pitch is so bad he cannot reach it at all, the k’s will continue to be on the rise.

      • EqDoc

        Or….  Castro is just not as good as everyone thinks, or hopes he is…

    • RynoTiger

      call me crazy…maybe..must maybe…it’s actually that the league knows how to get Castro out and he hasn’t adjusted hsi approach at the plate…i know, i’s a crazy idea that is way out there like time travel and warp speed…but…just consider it…it might actually be plausible….

      As for Gonzalez, it’s quite easy now to say oh what a terrible deal….sort of like being a Monday morning QB or’s always easy after the fact 

    • SuzyS

      Rip, So, soooooooooooo, negative. Please, name me ANY player that never went through a slump or adjustment period?
      How about Ted William’s???…Carl Yaztremski???  Carlton Fisk??? Castro will right himself.

      In most changes of management, Jaramillo would have been fired before the season began.

      Seems to me that Perry was considered one of the best hitting coaches available at one time…and now he toils in the minor leagues.

      There’s a lot of animosity towards Theo and Company….give them a chance…It’s a huge, huge job they’ve taken on….6 month’s does NOT define a gm/management team.

      • Gramps

         Thanks Suzy, could have not said it better!

  • Brett

    Rabble rabble rabble..Theo…rabble rabble rabble Theo arrr..rabble. I get frustration but let’s be real…no one, NO ONE could’ve come in to this mess of an organization & fixed it in 6 months. Give them a chance. So many on here focus only on the negative non-stop. How can any of the trades truly be judged yet? Marshall? We’re all really that mad about getting 3 young players for a guy who pitches 1 inning? We don’t even know what the cubs got back in that deal yet…way too early to tell. Best part is the cubs have multiple yrs of control of these guys to find out. Colvin & Dj? Really?…those guys would’ve made a difference? Neither is or will ever be an impact player.

    I feel bad because I can’t even imagine how much time & hard work Neil & company put into this to make it the best cubs site out there & after all of that work 90% of everything posted is ridiculous complaints about team Theo. I’m not sold on the guy & his team but I’m willing to give him a chance. He has 2 rings & made some great draft selections, trades & signings while in Boston that people seem to look past. Can we please find something other to do than piss & moan about how worthless Theo is & respect this great site & cubs forum?

    • matthew8510

      well said go cubbies

      • matthew8510

        i waited 25 years  whats a  couple more

    • paulcatanese

      Brett, it is a great site for Cub fans, and the one thing that stands out is the varied opinions of the posters. And as long as they are not derogatory or di-respectful against others
      I have no problem with Cub fans voiceing displeasure as to the way things are going
      Epstein may well turn the Cubs around, or he may not, that is irrelavent to what is posted as I didnt know that the site is only for cheerleaders of the regime.
      If the Cubs are not doing what someone thinks(in their opinion) they have the right to dis-agree, on the other hand if the Cubs do something that fans think is right, they should have the opportunity to voice that as well.

      • JoeS_SanDiego

        Perfectly said!

      • SuzyS

         Paul, Brett et al…well said….This is an incredible forum and opportunity for all Cubs fans everywhere.

        On Most of the negative comments…it’s simply frustration with where we currently stand..;..Some people will always be negative…no matter what…just ignore those posts.

        I do however, enjoy critical analysis and posts if they are justified…But then…that is my own subjective analysis…to what’s justified and what isn’t.

      • Brett

        I agree with that notion Paul & you are one of the few posters I do always read b/c I enjoy your opinion and humor. My point is simple, most of the the rants I’m speaking about are the ones that beat a dead horse over and over or just flat out throw stones at the this new front office when their complaint is about something the management can’t control. I don’t agree with every little thing they’ve done but we all need to realize this will take time. This team is hard enough to watch…do any of us need even more negativity flowing from here. I compare the junk post on this wonderful site to taking a can of spray paint to a Monet or Picasso if that make sense. Its more out of respect for those who keep this site going and make it what it is.

        • paulcatanese

          Thanks Brett, I think you responded well. And agree there is a degree of posts that I just ignore, answered a few and that just keeps opening the door for more of them.
          I liken the spray paint comparison to my wife who was a classical violinist and being called a “fiddler”by some.

    • RMercer69

      Very well said Brett. And…all GM’s hit home runs with some choices and strikeout with others, just like the game of baseball. Theo’s batting avg and track record over the years is pretty good. Let’s see where were at and where were going in two years to assess.

      • J Daniel

        I for one am extremely happy that TR had the stones to go out and make BOLD moves wit the front office. I am not happy with the product on the field but am a realist and know they were not going to win this year with the mess they had and not much MLB ready in prospects.

        My question to all of the great minds on this site would be who else would you have wanted TR to hire? Friedman would have been the other likely high profile guy but maybe he didn’t or wouldn’t have wanted to come? Beane,? No thank you.

        As stated many times, this will take a little time. Two extra picks due to Aram mad Pena is a huge help to start the process. Would you want them back at the $25 or mor million it would cost

        • J Daniel

          They would have some more wins but would they be in contention? Nobody on this site wanted either back. Everyone wanted LaHair and that is what they gave us.

          Neil’s summaries are the best but the unrealistic posts by many are hard to read.

          Keep up the great job Neil!

          • J Daniel

            And please don’t tell me DJ would be that much of a difference either. Tell me who they could have realistically gotten that would put them in contention realizing most posts didn’t want them to spend a ton of money either. Personally I don’t care how much money they spend as long as they win. It is not my or your money anyways! I do not understand why many of you get so hung up on it – it is not your money so does it reaaly matter?

          • SuzyS

            J Daniel….I really don’t know where the money thing comes from.  People don’t seem to remember that the Cubs still have a $32 mil per year interest nut that the Trib never had.

            Tack on the salaries of players
            that aren’t even here…(JH contracts we’re working out of).

            $$$ for all the new facilities and minor league commitments.

            AND THEN the mlb payroll…and the Cubs are in no way being cheap.

            Still,…with the product on the field…ticket prices should be further reduced and old time marketing stepped up…until we are competitive again.

          • J Daniel

            I agree with you in regards to prices being reduced but we know that will not happen.

            I agree with you that they are not being cheap.  On the contrary, I think they are doing it the right way.  I give TR a lot of credit targeting his guy and then getting him!  How many do that?  They definitely have a plan.  It may or may not work.  I for one think it will but it is still 3 years away.

            The money thing is really just a statement in regards to how everyone here gets bent out of shape on a contract – for example – Soler’s.  If it is within their player budget, and he helps them win, I really don’t care if it is $30 million or $32 million.  None of us really know what the market is or what is going on behind closed doors but reading from many comments here there seems to be a lot of experts.  I read this morning that Atlanta was at $30 million and the White Sox were between $25-30.  It is not my money, it is theirs.  It is a business.  They have “x” amount of dollars to spend.  I understand all of that. Maybe he had to go young and cheap in order to operate?  Don’t know, none of us do – not really although many would suggest otherwise.

            Fukodome, for another example, was offered the same by the White Sox – according to what was published.  Was it a bad contract?  Absolutely – they all are if we are really serious about it.  They are all overpaid!  But was it the market?  Yes.

            The main point was this thing was that this whole thing was/is a complete mess that wasn’t going anywhere under JH.  Every poster on here wanted him out, as well as ARAM.  Most wanted Pena gone.  But reading many posts people think they should be much better and in contention already.

            My question is HOW? Sign Albert?  Sign Prince?  Why would they come to this mess?  They would come for an overpaid contract.  There is not much in the system that could have been traded for impact guys to help right away.

            Aaron would suggest that DJ would be part of the answer.  Maybe?

            I actually think Theo and the boys are trying to to what Aaron has suggested – GO WITH YOUNG GUYS – that are affordable and controllable.  Maybe their assessment is that the young guys in the system are not the guys to go with because most of them are no good.  I would tend to believe that purely based on track record –  Pie, Patterson, Bobby Hill, Coleman, Mateo, Choi, just to mention a few recent names that everyone hypes but they are NO GOOD and have been mishandled.  

          • SuzyS

            getting to thin here to reply.

  • Michael

    Haha. Yeah its Team Theo’s fault that Castro isnt hitting well as of late. Haha. Hilarious.

  • SuzyS

    Neil, nice to see you have your proper Bostonian down. Going to tonight’s game…so we just have to figure out where to paak the cah.
    Hope to have another wicked good time with the Shaak on the mound
    We might stop for a frappe or tonic on the way…but under no circumstances will I find a chouda like I might in Beantown.

    Thanks for the great write-up.

    • Neil

      Suzy, sorry for the delay. I hope you have/had a great time. I’m glad that book arrived from Amazon on time … have a GREAT night.

  • SuzyS

    To J Daniel,
    The other thread was getting to thin to reply to….so….
    I basically agree with you.  Theo’s trades might have been a little better to date…but I basically agree with what they are trying to do.

    Due to the changes in the cba…and lack of immediate candidates to step up to open spots for next season….I believe I would amend my plan to also include limited free agency…to buy some time for our system to start kicking in….and keep fans interested in coming next season.

    • J Daniel

      They will do that this summer. They knew they would not be good this year and I believe that was part of the plan – a couple of high draft picks to get impact prospects.

  • SuzyS
    • BosephHeyden

      I liked it.  I’m of the mindset that long-term rebuilding is good…for teams that don’t have a huge payroll.  That’s not the Cubs.  A rebuilding process should take two years, three tops.  By 2015, if we’re not fielding a team that’s a perennial playoff contender like the Yankees, Red Sox, or whichever LA team is hot on any given year, meaning we’re not a team that can lose five games and get back in the playoff race by trading for a player that fills whatever need we need, this whole thing will have been a monumental waste.

      Our team doesn’t need to have a starting lineup that looks like some minor league fantasy team:  if we can grow a little over half the roster with prospects that pan out and fill the rest of the team in free agency (not meaning the TOP free agents at every position, but a few well-traveled journeymen, a one or two slightly high profile guys, and, yeah, we’ll definitely need to go out and get a big name guy), we’re good.

  • Zonk

    There is alot of chatter around Dempster right now in the blogosphere.  And why not?  His value probably can’t get much higher, and is enhanced by the fact the Cubs will deal him now rather than waiting until late July.  Grienke is probably trade target #1, but I think the Brewers want to see how the next month plays out before tossing in the towel on the season.

    There is no doubt at all that Theo is fielding calls, and trying to guage the market for Demp.  Let’s see how long this drags out…or not.

    • BosephHeyden

       Grienke should have a little less value than Dempster for the fact that he doesn’t want to play for big market teams because he doesn’t like the idea of being relied on.  Right now, there’s only one team I could see Grienke fitting in with that is contending:  the Orioles.