All About Dempster – Cubs 2, Pirates 3

Game Ninety-Seven – Cubs 2, Pirates 3
WP – Kevin Correia (8-6) LP – Ryan Dempster (5-5) Save – Joel Hanrahan (29)

When news leaked Monday that the Cubs and Braves had agreed on the framework of a deal that would send Ryan Dempster to Atlanta, it appeared Dempster would be making this start in a different uniform. But two days later Dempster suited up for the Cubs and despite putting together a quality start Dempster took his fifth loss of the season.

Ryan Dempster received little run support but was given a lead two different times that he could not hold. Neil Walker and Michael McKenry took Dempster deep for the first two hits and runs while another one of his Pirates nemesis, Garrett Jones, doubled in the game winner with two outs in the sixth.

Dale Sveum pulled Dempster after six innings and Dempster was not too happy about it. Dempster threw a temper tantrum in the dugout before making his way to the clubhouse. Ryan Dempster allowed three runs on five hits, two home runs, without a walk and six strikeouts on 93 pitches, 64 for strikes.

Scott Maine, Manny Corpas and Shawn Camp retired all six batters they faced over the final two innings but the Cubs offense could not mount a comeback against the Pirates’ pen.

Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and a walk) drove in both Cubs’ runs on Wednesday afternoon. Rizzo hit a bomb (fifth of the season) off Kevin Correia in the first then singled in David DeJesus with two outs in the third.

David DeJesus (2-for-4 with a double and a run scored) had a home run taken away from him by a fan in the third. DeJesus ended up scoring on Rizzo’s single after being awarded a ground rule double. The umps reviewed the call but did not reverse their decision.

Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a double) recorded the Cubs’ other hit and Dale Sveum’ team finished the day 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left four on base in a one-run loss.

The Cubs still won the series (2-1) and finished the six-game road trip with a 2-4 mark.

With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 40-57 on the season …

David DeJesus was robbed of a hit by Garrett Jones to start the ballgame. Jones made a nice catch in right for the first out. Starlin Castro grounded out to short (first pitch) for the second out. Anthony Rizzo stepped in and hit a laser to the back row of the seats in right (0-2 pitch). The Cubs took a 1-0 lead on Rizzo’s fifth longball since his call-up. Bryan LaHair grounded out to third to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster made his way to the hill in the first and retired Alex Presley on a grounder to Rizzo. Neil Walker then launched a 1-0 pitch into the stands in right and tied the game at one. Dempster caught Andrew McCutchen looking at a 3-2 pitch then got Garrett Jones to pop a 0-2 pitch in front of the plate. Dempster hauled it in to end the inning. Dempster threw 21 pitches in the first, 15 for strikes.

Steve Clevenger walked to start the second but broke for second too soon. Clevenger got picked off and it cost his team. Luis Valbuena ended up striking out. Darwin Barney pulled a 1-0 pitch into left for a double but was stranded when Tony Campana struck out swinging on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster struck out the side in order in the second … 34 pitches for Dempster after two, 24 for strikes.

After Dempster grounded out to third to begin the third, David DeJesus pulled a 1-0 pitch to deep right center. A fan reached into the field of play and tried to catch the ball. The fan missed and Joe West called fan interference. Dale Sveum argued and the umps agreed to review the call. Replays showed that the flight of the ball was interrupted and it would have left the park … but the umps did not see it that way and DeJesus was given a double. Starlin Castro struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) for the second out.

Anthony Rizzo came through again. Rizzo drove a 2-2 pitch past a diving Neil Walker and into right center. DeJesus scored and the Cubs took a 2-1 lead. Bryan LaHair struck out swinging to end the inning.

Dempster retired the side in order in the bottom of the third … and after three, the Cubs led 2-1.

The Cubs quietly went down in order in the fourth.

Ryan Dempster set down the Pirates in order in the fourth … 60 pitches for Dempster after four, 41 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth.

Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez made to quick outs to start the fifth. McCutchen hit a liner off Dempster that he picked up and tossed to Rizzo for the out. Alvarez hit a tapper out in front of the plate for the second out. Dempster fell behind Michael McKenry and the Pirates’ backup catcher made him pay for it. McKenry pulled a 3-2 pitch down the line in left and over the wall … just like that the game was tied at two. Clint Barmes hit Dempster’s first pitch to Barney for the third out. Dempster needed 72 pitches, 49 for strikes, to get through five innings.

The Cubs did nothing against Kevin Correia in the sixth.

Josh Harrison hit for Correia to begin the bottom of the inning. Harrison popped out to Campana in shallow left center. Alex Presley pulled a 1-2 pitch over Rizzo and into right for a single … just the third hit off Dempster. Dempster paid a lot of attention to Presley at first but was still able to strikeout Walker for out number two.

Andrew McCutchen reached base for the 37th straight game against Cubs pitching with a single to center. Presley advanced to third and trotted home when Garrett Jones drove a 1-1 pitch down the right field line. McCutchen held at third on Jones’ double and both runners were stranded with Casey McGehee flied out to right center.

After six, the Cubs trailed 3-2.

The Cubs and Pirates pen took over at that point and the two squads allowed one hit over the last three innings of the game.

The Cubs did nothing against Jared Hughes in the seventh.

Scott Maine started the seventh by retiring Pedro Alvarez on a grounder to second. Dale Sveum made the slow walk and went to his pen for Manny Corpas. Corpas struck out McKenry and Barmes grounded out to second for the third out.

Other than a one-out single by David DeJesus, the Cubs did nothing against Jason Grilli in the eighth. Castro flied out to center (3-1 pitch) and Rizzo was caught looking (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Shawn Camp made quick work of the Pirates in the eighth … and the game went to the ninth with the Cubs down 3-2.

Gorkys Hernandez took a hit away from Bryan LaHair to start the ninth … then Joel Hanrahan took over. Steve Clevenger grounded out to third (3-1 pitch) and Valbuena struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) to end the game.

Two out of three is never a bad thing … and if not for the drama leading up to it, Wednesday’s game was just one of many a team loses during a long season.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs have Thursday off and open a six-game homestand Friday with the first of three against the Cardinals. Travis Wood is scheduled to face Lance Lynn in the opener.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

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  • Ripsnorter1

    I have been away all day, so I’ll post this and see what people say about it….

    Randy Wells had season ending elbow surgery today. It was not Tommy John surgery, but arthroscopic surgery, which is less invasive with a shorter time to recover.

    • paulcatanese

      Rip, I wonder if thats a result of the injury he had last year?
      Plus his mechanics are not the best.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I know nothing at all about it, except that he wasn’t throwing like he could all year long. He wasn’t throwing strikes–in fact, he was walking the world. He must have been hurt all year and was mum about it until now…..

        • GaryLeeT

          Or, he’s not a good pitcher that got injured.

    • Zonk

      Does it matter? With a $2.7 mil salary he’s pretty much a guaranteed non-tender for us, injury or no injury.
      Good luck Randy, see ya

  • cubtex

    Luis Valbuena plays everyday. Lefties and righties and he is hitting……. .211? Lets see…..do we have anyone at AAA who is hitting and plays 3rd?

    • Tony_Hall

      Isn’t nice to see a FO, that is willing to do what they believe is best for the player’s development, versus looking for short term results in a season that has no playoff thoughts?

      • paulcatanese

        I wouldnt know about that Tony, the last three weeks, has been pretty good, an addition here or there and I’ll have to eat the words I printed at the begining of the season.

        • Tony_Hall

          Playoffs? You talking about playoffs?

          Seriously Paul, short term success that they have seen since Rizzo has come up, shouldn’t make them change the long term plans of the team. This team isn’t going to win anything this year.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

            Jp Arencibia just went down for 6 weeks with a broken hand, so ill start it up now. Soto and Garza to Toronto. Get off the phone with LAD and Call up Anthopalous!

      • cubtex

        How is bringing up a player who has been in the minors for 5 years and is among the league leaders in RBI’s and HR’s hurting his development? This is the same FO that had rule 5 Lendy Castillo, Rafael Dolis, Wellington Castillo….any others? On the team.

        • Tony_Hall

          Different players have different uses. Vitters is obviously still working on things that they want him to accomplish before calling him up, just like Rizzo had certain things he had to do before being called up.

          W Castillo was called up due to injury.

          L Castillo had to be on the roster so long before they could DL him and get him to late August before having to re-activate him, to keep from sending him back.

          Dolis did earn a spot in the bullpen, and did well until Marmol blew up and forced Dolis to have to go into a role he is not suited to pitch.

          • BosephHeyden

            At this point in time, the only reason I see Vitters not coming up is one of two reasons: he’s not a fit or Hoyer is petrified Vitters will do what Rizzo did last season, only in front of a much larger audience. Because, let’s face it: if Vitters was working on something, we’d all know what it was. The internet has pretty much eliminated most secrets in the game of baseball as far as what guys are working on.

          • Zonk

            It could have something to do with a) he has 20 errors at 3B, b) he has 3 months of success and the Cubs want to see more to be sure, c) he’s doing fine, but isn’t killing AAA, and d) there is no rush; we aren’t going to the playoffs.
            Those are among likely reasons.

          • cubtex

            That is funny. He is not killing AAA pitching but his stats are better than Mike Moustakas at AAA in the same amount of games played in AAA and he is playing where? They were in the same draft. Ridiculous they are keeping him down!

          • Tony_Hall

            Please list for all of us, all of things that the Top 20 prospects are working on, since it is so readily available. All players are working on something if they are in the minors, especially with the new front office.

          • cubtex

            Do you really think team Theo is putting Vitters in the same category as Rizzo? No way. They aren’t saying he is the future. They don’t care about saving controllable years with him. He is not their guy that is what this is about.

          • Zonk

            Sure, they secretly want to see Vitters fail, that’s why they are holding him back, even though brining him up is clearly in the interest of the baseball team somehow?
            Nonsense, pure drivel

          • RynoTiger

            and secretly they want the team to do bad enough so that they can move the club to FL. that’s why they hired Lou Brown as manager and selected Corbin Bersen for 3B.

          • cubtex

            no……everything you said is accurate but they selected Valbuena for 3B. lol.

          • cubtex

            Are you aware that in the 2007 draft that only 2 players drafted in the top 10 have not seen any mlb time.
            #3 Josh Vitters
            #8 Casey Weathers
            Weathers is warranted but Vitters deserves to be in the show now!

          • Aaron

            I have to agree with you Cubtex….it’s ALL about “their guys”, except for any decent holdovers from the pitching staff, which they said was already thin. As for everyone else, they’ve pretty much been put on notice….and I’m okay with that, except for guys like Vitters that actually produce and deserve a shot.

            Valbuena is a joke in the lineup. I’ll grant that he’s hit the ball hard, and usually right at people, but he has no plate discipline, and is basically a lefty version of Soriano, but with less power potential.

            In fact, he’s a lot like Stewart, except while Stewart takes pitches, Valbuena is allergic to doing so, though both have power and are great defensively at 3B. Both also crushed AAA pitching, and have had their moments at the MLB level, but both are bound to flame out soon from ever stepping foot on a MLB field again…like in about a year.

            Fact is, you cannot be a corner infielder barely hitting over .200, with an OBP under .300….you can maybe get away with that in a bench role, but that’s it.

            The thing Vitters has going for him, is he is a lot like Vlad Guerrero in that he has the necessary bat speed to get a hold of just about any pitch. Does he walk at lot? No…but even his plate discipline has improved this year.

          • cubtex

            Agreed. Take a look at Moustakas in AAA before the Royals promoted him. Same age…Same draft….Same position

          • Zonk

            Huge difference: In 2010, Moustakas demolished AA pitching, the same year that Vitters was muddling along in A+. Moose also never committed 20 errors in a full season, let alone by end of July. And despite being ahead of Vitters, he struggled when they brought him up last year, and he had to go back to Omaha.
            Not the same situation, not the same player

          • Dorasaga

            Well researched. I would have claimed the same thing for Moustakas as his fantasy owner. :-)

            Vitters was really “raw” compared to Moustakas down in minor, who was also the best third base prospect in high school across nation. He was voted THE HIGH SCHOOLER of the year. People still talk about his monstrous home runs when he was 18.

            Vitters never was all that. He’s a good player, but we don’t know what slowed him in A+, and certainly not his defense now, unless we watched a few more games and how he reacted to balls put in play. I’m sure Hoyer got these covered.

          • cubtex

            See above. Zonk is way off base on errors committed. Sure Moustakas has more power but Vitters has higher average and OBP in AAA.

          • Zonk

            You are correct, I Moustakas has committed 21 and 24 errors in a full minor league season; still, Vitters’s 20 errors through July 26 is a higher pace
            But before you ask me to check the stats, take a look at Vitters and Moose’s stats. Because if you did, you would see that Moose’s development is a full year ahead of Vitters accross the board.

          • cubtex

            I understand Moustakas was ahead. That is why he has 687 major league ab’s compared to 0 for Vitters. With this lost year it is mind boggling why they don’t bring him up now. He hit. 324 for the month of june and .315 in July despite having an 0-5 yesterday with a rbi. They aren’t going anywhere. What good does it do playing a .200 hitting journeyman everyday?

          • cubtex

            Zonk. You need to check your stats. Moustakas has committed 20 plus errors several seasons. You need to combine all the stops he has had per year. Example…..2011 11 errors KC and 10 errors Omaha. 2010 21 errors also and 2009 24 errors.

          • Dorasaga

            There are errors that mean “reached out of good range” and errors that mean “just another bad reach.” Moustakas happens to be the earlier. I watched his games, and he’s really good at 3B. In fact, after I said that, I checked stats; his UZR is BEST among all 3B this year.

            Any organization would have concern about handling a tough defensive position, before moving the player up. Like I said, I don’t know enough about Vitters. Need to watch his games, and how he reacts to balls put in play.

          • Tony_Hall

            Vitter’s isn’t in the same category as Rizzo. Rizzo was ready actually beyond ready when they called him up. No, they are not worried about service time with Vitters, but he is not ready on the defensive side of the ball, and has shown that he struggles upon his promotions, and then figures out that level. I would love to see him called up, and get his feet wet, but if they are not bringing him up and are using Valbuena (just a roster filler), then it must be because he is not ready, to the standards they have set.

          • Tony_Hall

            We have also heard the 500 AB’s talk in AAA.

            Vitters is at 370 AB’s, which will take him to around the end of August to get to 500.

            Maybe there is a plan….

    • paulcatanese

      One word, touche:)

    • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

      Maybe, they were waiting till after the deadline to see if a guy like Baker was moved in a deal. This would open up a spot for an infielder, maybe they think thats the perfect time to bring up Vitters and put Valbuena in Bakers role on the bench.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Since we are talking “team players” like Ryan Dempster….let’s talk Kerry Wood.

    I know, I know…that’s sacrilege to those who worship in Blue Kool-Aid…but for any of those not currently drunk, let’s talk about this FO–doing the N.I.V. right thing all the time, mind you–for the team.

    Mr. Wood stunk up the joint in 2011. Was among the league’s leaders in Blown Saves. He wanted to come back in 2012 although he couldn’t even look at a baseball without a lot of pain. He threw his “I’m in this for the team, so I want to be paid a lot of money NOW” fit in the off-season. The FO reward this tantrum, and he got his $3 million dollar contract. “What a team player!” cried the faithful Kool-Aid drinkers. “He could have had $4 million from the White Sox, but he’s soooooooooo loyal he dropped $1 million to stay in Cubbie-bbllluuuuuuueeee.” And all the Kool-Aid drinkers bowed in worship and snorted a long shot of Kool-Aid.

    He knew he had an arm injury and that he couldn’t pitch one inning without missing at least a week. But leaving for the Sox meant that if he quit, he’d lose most of his check. No profit there. But if he stays with the Cubs and really hurts the team because he cannot perform when they need him, he could simply retire and keep the dough as the team would need him for “public relations.”

    Kerry is a “team player.” It’s all so beautiful, isn’t it?

    The FO resigned Kerry because it might affect ticket sales if they didn’t.

    And it was all right and good for the team.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      The ownership had more to do with the Kerry Wood signing than the front office.

      Please stop with the nicknames, thank you.