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.
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.
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