Dempster Doesn’t Skip a Beat – Cubs 7, Mets 0

Game Eighty-Five – Cubs 7, Mets 0
WP – Ryan Dempster (4-3) LP – Jon Niese (7-4) Save – None

wflag.jpgIn the Cubs’ quickest game of the season (2:08), Ryan Dempster picked up where he left off on June 15. With all eyes on him and several scouts in attendance, Ryan Dempster tossed five innings of shutout ball and ran his scoreless innings streak to 27 … the longest streak for a Cubs’ starter since Ken Holtzman tossed 27 scoreless frames in 1971.

Ryan Dempster allowed just four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four on 63 pitches, 45 for strikes. Granted Dempster spent three weeks on the shelf but the last time he allowed a run was in the fifth inning against the Padres on May 30 (a two-run homer by Carlos Quentin). Dempster pitched out of a runner on third with one out without allowing the Mets to score in the second … and a two on, no out jam in the third by retiring the next three batters he faced. Ryan Dempster set down the last nine in a row to close out his day.

Paul Maholm made the first relief appearance of his big league career in the sixth and kept the Mets off the board after allowing the first two hitters to reach. Manny Corpas faced the minimum in the seventh and James Russell pitched a perfect eighth. Shawn Camp closed out the shutout with a three up, three down ninth.

The offense jumped on Jon Niese in the first inning and gave Ryan Dempster all of the run support he would need. Five of the first six Cubs attacked Niese early in the at bats and their aggressiveness paid off.

Reed Johnson (2-for-4 with two runs scored) had another good day and scored the Cubs’ first run on a single by Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored). Jeff Baker (2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) doubled in Starlin Castro and Geovany Soto (1-for-4 with two RBI) drove in a pair with his second run producing single of the season.

Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored) had a huge day at the plate and has hit the ball much better since getting a breather in the opener on Friday night. Castro singled in the first and scored the Cubs’ second run then put the game away in the seventh with his first longball since June 18. Castro launched the first pitch he saw from Jon Niese in the seventh and his three-run shot put the Cubs up 7-0.

Anthony Rizzo was 0-for-4 on Sunday … both his hitting (8) and reached base safely (11) streaks came to an end.

The Cubs posted their first winning road trip of the season (4-3) and won the season series against the Metropolitans four games to two. The Cubs completed the first half by winning nine of 13 and finished 3-0-1 in their last four series.

With Sunday’s victory (7-7 on Sundays in 2012), the Cubs improved to 33-52 on the season …

Reed Johnson led off Sunday’s game with a single to left (0-1 pitch). Starlin Castro followed and bounced a 0-1 pitch through the hole and into left. Anthony Rizzo stepped in with runners on first and second and flied out to deep right center (1-2 pitch). Rizzo’s productive out moved Johnson to third with one out.

Alfonso Soriano pulled a 0-1 curveball into left. Johnson scored easily and Castro held at second after Scott Hairston took at excellent route to the ball and kept it from rolling to the wall. With runners on first and second with one out, Jeff Baker got just enough of a 0-1 pitch. Baker hit one off the end of his bat and down the first baseline … Davis was playing him in the hole. Castro scored and Soriano held at third on Baker’s sliding double.

With the infield back and runners on second and third with one down, Geovany Soto pounded a 1-1 pitch into right center. Soriano and Baker scored. The Cubs took a 4-0 lead on five hits by the first six batters. Darwin Barney hit a slow chopper to second, Soto was forced at second then David Wright took away a hit from Luis Valbuena with a leaping catch to end the inning.

The Cubs jumped out to an early lead and forced Jon Niese to throw 22 pitches, 19 for strikes.

Ryan Dempster took the hill for this first time since June 15 and retired Ruben Tejada on foul out to Rizzo (1-1 pitch). Daniel Murphy ripped a 1-1 pitch into right for the Mets’ first hit of the game. Dempster retired David Wright on a flyout to right center. Murphy took off for second on the first pitch to Ike Davis and ended up in scoring position with two down. Davis tapped back to Dempster on the third base side of the mound to end the inning. Dempster threw 14 pitches in his first inning back, nine for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the second … 29 pitches for Niese after two, 23 for strikes.

Lucas Duda struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) to start the second. Scott Hairston crushed a 0-1 offering to deep center. Reed Johnson appeared to lose the ball in the sun. The ball hit off the padding, rolled away from Johnson and Hairston ended up at third with a one-out triple. Jordany Valdespin lined out to Barney for the second out … and Josh Thole grounded out to Castro to end the inning. Dempster threw 30 pitches over two innings, 20 for strikes.

Other than a two-out bloop single to center off the bat of Jeff Baker, the Cubs did nothing against Niese in the third (35 pitches for Niese after three, 28 for strikes).

Jon Niese led off the third with a single to center (2-2 pitch). Ruben Tejada blooped a 0-1 pitch into right and the Mets had runners on first and second with no outs. Daniel Murphy popped Dempster’s first pitch to Castro in shallow left. Dempster then struck out David Wright swinging on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. With runners on first and second, Ike Davis popped out to Castro in shallow left. Dempster threw 46 pitches over three innings, 31 for strikes.

The bottom of the Cubs’ lineup did nothing against Niese in the fourth (47 pitches, 37 for strikes).

Ryan Dempster retired the Mets in order for the first time in the fourth. Dempster threw 55 pitches in the first four, 38 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth … 1-2-3 for Niese and his pitch count stood at 58, 44 for strikes.

Ryan Dempster set the Mets down in order in the fifth in his last inning of work.

The Cubs did nothing in the sixth.

Paul Maholm made the first relief appearance of his big league career in the sixth. Daniel Murphy and David Wright greeted Maholm with back-to-back singles to center. Maholm fell behind Ike Davis 2-0 before Davis popped a 2-1 pitch to Castro for the first out. With runners on first and second with one out, Lucas Duda ripped a 3-1 pitch toward Barney … 4-6-3 inning ending double play.

After six, the Cubs led 4-0.

Jon Niese retired Darwin Barney on a routine fly to center to begin the seventh. Luis Valbuena recorded his first hit of the game, a single to center. Joe Mather hit for Paul Maholm and popped out to Daniel Murphy for the second out.

Reed Johnson pulled a 1-1 pitch down the third baseline. David Wright made an excellent stop and an off balance throw to first as his momentum carried him into foul ground. Wright’s throw was off the mark and Johnson reached with an infield single.

Starlin Castro pulled an inside fastball, first pitch, over the wall in left center. Castro’s first home run since June 18, and seventh of the season, put the Cubs up 7-0. Anthony Rizzo flied out to left center (2-0 pitch) to end the inning.

Manny Corpas started the seventh by retiring Scott Hairston on a grounder to third. Jordany Valdespin followed and lined a 1-0 pitch into right … but Josh Thole rapped into a 3-6-1 double play to end the inning. Rizzo made a nice pick and throw to Castro to start the twin killing.

After seven, the Cubs led 7-0.

The Cubs did nothing against Pedro Beato in the eighth.

Manny Corpas took the hill to start the eighth. Once Omar Quintanilla was announced as the pinch-hitter for Beato, Dale Sveum went to his pen for James Russell. Terry Collins countered with Justin Turner to face Russell. Turner popped out to left for the first out. After Ruben Tejada blooped out to Barney, Daniel Murphy blooped a single into left. David Wright lined Russell’s first pitch to Soriano to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Tim Byrdak in the ninth … and took a 7-0 lead into the last frame.

Shawn Camp made quick work of the Mets in the ninth … 1-2-3 on 11 pitches, seven for strikes.

Sunday’s win was a good way to finish a rough first half.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs are off until Friday, July 13. Paul Maholm, not Ryan Dempster, is scheduled to face Ian Kennedy in game one of the three game series against the Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field.

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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  • cubtex

    Ha with an opposite field shot off Gerritt Cole!

    • Tony_Hall

      Pretty impressive. I was expecting it to be off the wall or warning track at best. That’s pretty good power, for someone who doesn’t look that big.

      • Neil

        Surprising power … only three longballs for Ha last year and three so far this year.

        • Tom U

          Neil, I don’t have the game, so how does Ha look to you? From my perspective, it looks like he has lost some weight from the beginning of the year.

          • Neil

            Ha does look more fit … that was a nice single off Bundy

      • cubtex

        Yep. That ball carried.

  • cubtex

    Castellanos needs to hit the weight room.

    • Neil

      He has time to grow into his frame.

      • cubtex

        He definately does. I was just surprised to see his frame.

        • Tony_Hall

          He is listed as 6′ 4″ 210 lbs. It takes a lot to fill that in.

          • cubtex

            Don’t pay too much attention to that. I gave myself an inch and 10 pounds when I played :) Now I will still take the inch but not the 10 pounds. Lol.

          • Tony_Hall

            I think I will pay attention to that blast!

          • cubtex

            That was nice. He pulled his hands in and still drove it out.

  • Neil

    This is a reminder for everyone. All comments using abusive or offensive language will be deleted and the user will be blocked from the site. If you do not like/or agree with what someone says, the best course of action is not to reply. Posters that have abused the commenting system here are being dealt with as quickly as possible.

    • J Daniel

      Neil, once again, AWESOME job!

    • calicub

      it really is a shame the way some people behave through and hide behind the annonimity of the internet.

      Neil, i applaud your prompt professionalism, but fear that blocking usernames from the site is akin to sticking ones finger in the crack of the proverbial damn. Anyway an all out I.P. address ban is a possibility for those repeat offenders who simply are not learning their lesson?

    • CubsROY

      Those are your buddies Neil saying that stuff.

      • calicub

        Get over yourself. All you do is annoy offend and then annoy some more.

        You re detracting from the greatness of the CCO nearly everytime you post. There are days where you post something sane rational and relevant and then there are days where you come out of left feild with your insanity. Take your meds, level out and then maybe we can talk

        • CubsROY

          I laugh about what people say about me. ……i am here to talk about baseball…..but you want to talk about me..
          I will talk about baseball with anyone….lets see if you can do the same.

          • calicub

            if all you did was talk baseball on this site then you wouldn’t garner the hatred you have.

            You’ve dug yourself a pretty big hole on this site and no amount of nausiating name changes will change that. You truly are a sad individual and i pity you. Enjoy your life as i will never respond to another one of your posts.

    • Jim Canavan

      I.e. akin to the NCAA’s Death Penalty

  • J Daniel

    It appears as Demp will be moved and should bring back a decent prospect at worst. What kind of return would Maholm bring?

    I believe that if they can make some good moves with Dempster, Garza, Maholm, and anyone else it will end up being a really good year one for Theo and the boys.

    The additions of Rizzo, Soler, Almora, and others will be an excellent start at stocking a relatively bare system.

    Also, some of the moves so far, IMO, are looking pretty good. Obviously The Rizzo one looks great and again I hope it is good for Pads as well. The Marshall deal is starting to look like a win for the Cubs. I also like the 2 extra picks for Aram and Pena. Maholm and DeJesus signings were good ones – not over top but really good in terms of money and length. To me the only one that was bad was the Stewart move but I still liked the risk/reward with that.

    Sure, they could have kept Aram, Pena, and Marshall – made a couple of other signings and they might have been better – probably would have been better – or they might have been.ike last year – BAD. Everyone would have been screaming just like last year to get rid of these guys! Also could have kept JH around if they were going that way and then let him bring in all the extra help Theo has been able to. If you think I am off base go look back at the posts.

    I love the way they are going and you should to! They are trying to build a team that has a chance every year with depth in the system which will take a little time.

    • Mike Simala


    • J Daniel

      And believe me, I am like everyone else and want them to win NOW! Can’t take much more and I have been around awhile at 48 years old and a die hard. JH was close and the were more god than bad with him so I applaud him. I believe had they left Dallas Green alone there would have been a title already. But they didn’t and this is the route they need to go.

      I believe they will be big players in free agency when the time is right but those are always overpaid contracts. The best way is to bring up a core of guys and then keep supplementing with your own system, some free agents, and trades. But, none of them can just go buy a team. You can try but the pain with it almost always comes.

    • triple

      I agree on your outlook of year 1 under Theo. However, keeping Aram, Pena, and Marshall around would’ve been a huge mistake. We are much closer to the future without them. Aram would provide poor defense, and maybe hit okay, but wouldn’t contribute to wins, even though 3rd base is still a hole w/ Valbuena filling in the cracks decently. The combo of LaHair and now Rizzo is far better than Pena, and the emergence of Travis Wood is much better for our future than Marshall ever could be. Maybe Marshall would’ve helped us win 3 or 4 more games earlier in the season. But that doesn’t help our future. The cost of keeping those 3 around and filling other holes via free agency would’ve been no different than the JH front office of the last 3 years and only make this season more futile.

      • triple

        Oh man, I very poorly comprehended the last half of your post about ARam, Pena, and Marshall. Disregard all but my first sentence above, as the rest only expands further on what you inferred.

        • J Daniel

          No problem. Like I said I liked JH, it was just time. They had a window and he made a couple of bad moves and it got slammed. Team Theo is going about it the right way.

          I failed to mention the Z trade but they did the best they could with that if they wanted him out of the clubhouse. Had to bring Kerry back even though I believe they didn’t want to.

          Year might have started better but Wood and Marmol kept blowing games.

          • triple

            Yeah, I liked JH too, even my friend who’s a Cardinals fan and always dealt with JH at the hotel the Cubs would stay at in STL always said Jim was a really nice guy. I don’t totally blame him for all the problems. He did great moves in the early 2000’s to help the Cubs get routinely competitive and then Sam Zell opened up the pokcetbooks only to increase the value of the team when he would sell, and JH was basically a kid in a candy store with $100 bill in his hand. That never leads to anything good. If the funding had remained conservative like it always was, it would’ve forced JH’s hand to be more creative and we wouldn’t of had all the Aram, Z, and Soriano deals weighing us down.

      • J Daniel

        Marshall was a very good Lhasa specialist who developed into a good set up man. He might have been a good starter had they let him develop but that didn’t happen. Russell is doing a really good job at replacing Marshall. That is how it needs to be done. Trade a guy for a good return because you have someone in your own system who is ready to replace him and is cheaper. Need to see a lot more of that and the only way it can happen is by obtaining more prospects.

  • J Daniel

    Aaron – you should really like what they are trying to do as you have been advocating the young guys. I know you were upset about DJ and time will tell there. I don’t think it will be a big deal.

    They do have to be careful as you can’t have guys that are not quite ready yet and be over matched. That is why the stop gap guys like ddj but they are heading young.

  • Neil

    Castellanos with a blast to center … drove that 3-2 pitch, quick bat.

  • RMercer69

    I’m impressed, we would do good to get Castellanos in a deal, fingers crossed.

  • CubsROY

    WGN Radio is reporting that they do not believe Dempster will here by next weekend in his next start.

  • Cubsheyhey

    Grading the MLB Teams at the All Star break. & Post Season chances

    Yankees – A…… season bound
    Red Sox – D……
    Orioles – A……….maybe
    Bue Jays – C……not this year
    Tampa – B……….always there at the end

    White Sox – A…..if I said “No”, would that make you happy?
    Indians – B………no
    Tigers – D……….only if they get Garza
    Royals – D………maybe by 2014
    Twins – F………..long road ahead….maybe by 2020

    Angels – B………They should
    Rangers – A……World Series bound
    A’s – C…………
    Mariners – F……no

    Nationals – A……Yes
    Phillies – F……….No
    Marlins – F……….only if they had James, Wade & Bosh
    Mets – C…………No
    Braves – B……..Yes

    Cubs – D……….2015 target date
    Pirates – A……..could happen this year
    Reds – C……….should happen this year
    Cardinals – C….might happen this year
    Brewers – F…….won’t ever happen in any year

    Dodgers – A……if Kemp is healthy, yes
    Giants – A………pitching will do it for them
    Diamondbacks – D…..set back year
    Padres – F…………no
    Rockies – F……….no

  • Mike Simala

    Ok so after Demps game today, Im just going to go ahead and assume he doesnt come back to Chicago after the ASG. Keep in mind this is all just my personal look at a possible deal. No reports from anyone or sources.

    Demp will be traded to the LAD, Brian Lahair, Paul Maholm and either Jeff Baker or Reed Johnson will join him. Cubs will receive John Ely, Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Gould, Tim Federowicz and Jerry Sands in return.

    This may or may not seem like alot but, it appears that Sands and Ely have fallen out of favor with the Dodgers as they have had pretty good seasons in AAA and not been called up. Especially with the injuries in the OF. Sands isnt much of an average hitter, but the kid has some power and a decent OBP and is still only 24. Ely has had an amazing K to walk rate this year in AAA but never really dominated at any level though he has improved this season and is a little older at 26 years of age. Federowicz is a 24 year old 300 hitting catcher with a little pop, mostly doubles but could turn those into HRs. Gould is a high upside 20 year old 6’4 right handed pitcher whos is struggling a little in high A ball this year after being fairly dominant in Low A last year. He has maintained a high K/9 though even with his struggles. Eovaldi is a guy with talent who aside from 2 games this year has pitched damn good and his 1-5 record does not reflect it, He has lacked run support as is evident that in 6 of his 8 starts he has given up 3 or less runs and in 5 of those it has been 2 or less runs. Eovaldi is still just 22 years old.

    Now this is all just my personal idea of something id like to see get done with the team i believe will be the one that makes the biggest push for Dempster. Not to mention the need at 1b, where Lahair could fit perfectly after being spurned by Carlos Lee. The dodgers in the past have never had much of a problem trading off their minor league prospects, so i dont think this is unrealistic. It is however, best case scenario in my eyes. Something similar would be nice though.

    I state again, i did not hear this on a radio show or read it in an obscure article that was actually someones personal blog and had no actual credibility to it. Just me throwin something up on a wall and seein if it sticks.

  • cubtex

    Article from Danny Knobler from Baseball Insider. For those thinking he might contribute…..think again. Hopefully they won’t waste a 40 man roster spot on this guy for too long.
    The Cubs spent $6 million and a 40-man roster spot on 20-year-old Cuban pitcher Gerardo Concepcion, but scouts who have seen him pitch in the Class A Midwest League have come away totally unimpressed. “They’re trying to tell people it’s just mechanics that he needs to get straightened out,” one scout said. “But I’m telling you, he stinks. If he was in a junior college game you were at, you’d leave.” Concepcion is 2-6 with a 7.39 ERA in 12 starts for Peoria.

  • John_CC

    Nice way to go into the break.

  • Neil

    A quick reminder that the Futures Game begins at 4:00 CDT on ESPN2 … XM has excellent coverage as well (Ch. 89)

  • cubtex

    Some players to watch in the futures game from teams that have been linked to Garza and Dempster.
    Matt Barnes-Red Sox
    Chris Reed-Dodgers
    Bruce Rondon-Tigers
    Christian Bethancourt- Catcher Braves
    Kolten Wong-Cardinals
    Mike Olt-Rangers
    Jurickson Profar-Rangers
    Nick Castellanos-Tigers
    Anthony Gose- Blue Jays
    Tyler Austin-Yankees

  • paulcatanese

    Great game for the Cubs, if only they had some relief pitching at the start of the season, who knows? At the very least would not be as many games under .500.

  • J Daniel

    Do the Cubs have enough to acquire all of them? Just kidding!

  • Theboardrider

    Kolten Wong? Would the Cubs really consider a trade to the Tards?

    I suppose if they gave us the best return then why not. But I’d hate to do anything that would bolster their chances of winning another title.

  • cubtex

    Money? Ricketts should be able to fit that bill :)

  • Neil

    Jae-Hoon Ha hit an opposite field 2-run homer
    off Gerritt Cole (Pirates) in the Futures Game. World Team leads 3-0 in T3. Ha lifted a 2-1 pitch over the wall in right.

  • cubtex

    I agree. I would not like to see Garza in a Cards uniform….but if they offered a package including Shelby Miller and Kolten Wong?

  • J Daniel

    Demo, Fonzi, garza, soto, mahalom LaHair – that should be enough to acquire most. Just kidding but would be nice to somehow come up with a couple more and hope they pan out

  • CubsAllStar

    Chicago Cubs Trade Market Value Update

    Dempster – At least 12 teams after Dempster. No doubt, one near high ready MLB prospect in return. Bidding war will erupt with Yankees, Red Sox, Tampa, White Sox, Dodgers, Braves and others.

    Garza – Three top prospects in return. Add Texas now for looking to add someone like Garza. If Theo does not get his deal, Garza will be the Cubs 2013 Opening Day pitcher. Will not get $16 million per year from the Cubs, but Theo will get a draft pick on Garza in 2014 draft.

    Maholm – might get two mid level AA players in return, but don’t count on a trade. Nationals or Orioles might take the bait.

    Marmol – one AA & A level prospects would do. Relievers are dropping like flies, and Theo could get lucky with this expanded playoff format on getting one top prospect for Marmol.

    Soto – not many catchers on the market, Theo might squeeze a good return on Soto. Tampa might be that team.

    LaHair – don’t have to trade him, but have to be blown away with prospects. Will stay if DeJesus goes.

    Barney – another one who don’t have to be traded, but Theo’s ears are open.

    Soriano – best DH hitter out there….might have to include 85% of the money and a Junior Lake to get some pitching prospects in return.

    Johnson – one low level prospect all you can get.

    Baker – See Johnson note…could be a waiver player in August.

    DeJesus – might help an American team like Tampa or Cleveland. But look for Miami to get a fill in for Stanton’s injury now.

    Cubs Farm System – Junior Lake…..good bat ….but no position on this club.

  • calicub

    ive read your post several times over the past few hours and cannot for the life of me figure out who Demo is… help me out?

  • Tony_Hall

    Dempster…I’m assuming an auto-correct

  • J Daniel

    Yep, auto correct, dempster. Sorry.

  • calicub

    lol. I suppose in hindsignts its kind of obvious

  • matthew8510

    good job neil keep banning his name