Game One Hundred Forty-Two – Cubs 1 Brewers 0
WP – Ryan Dempster (13-10) LP – Randy Wolf (11-11) Save – Carlos Marmol (30)
Ryan Dempster picked up where Carlos Zambrano left off Friday night. The third time was the charm for Dempster as he picked up the 100th victory of his big league career Saturday night at Miller Park. Ryan Dempster is 100-100 in 481 career games, 256 starts, with 87 saves.
Ryan Dempster settled down after a shaky second inning and out-dueled Randy Wolf. Dempster surrendered just three hits, all singles, struck out eight and walked four. Dempster bounced back from his two horrible outings and threw 105 pitches (69 for strikes) in seven innings.
The Brewers managed just three hits for the second night in a row … and they did not hit a ball hard all night. Dempster kept the Brewers off balance and only one of the hits Dempster surrendered was a clean base hit … a single to center by Alcides Escobar in the seventh.
Other than a walk and a phantom hit batsman, Andrew Cashner had a very good eighth. Cashner struck out Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun. Then with two on, two out and up by one, Sean Marshall struck out Prince Fielder to end the eighth.
Carlos Marmol picked up his 30th save after a perfect ninth. Marmol became the 10th pitcher in Cubs’ history to notch a 30-save season. Cubs pitching struck out 12 on Saturday night … and walked only three.
The pitching staff has not given up an extra base hit or a run to the Brewers offense in the series (18 innings).
The Cubs offense was just a little better than the Brewers. The Cubs managed only four hits, and two of those belonged to Jeff Baker. Baker (2-for-4 with a double) notched the first extra base hit of the series, a double in the sixth, and appeared to get robbed of a homer in the eighth by Ryan Braun.
The difference in the game … a solo homer by Xavier Nady in the seventh.
Xavier Nady hit his sixth longball of the season, a towering fly down the left field line that hit the foul pole. Nady rounded the bases and it turned out, the only run the Cubs’ staff would need.
The Cubs improved to 9-5 in the season series against Milwaukee … and with the win, the Cubs are 11-6 under Mike Quade, still 18 games under .500 for the year (62-80). Saturday night belonged to Ryan Dempster … but unfortunately, Randy Wolf was just as good for six innings. Dempster beat the Brewers for the fourth time in five starts this season (4-0) and put together a very August-like performance in September.
The Cubs got a very good look at Randy Wolf in the first inning. Jeff Baker led off with a single but Starlin Castro grounded into a 6-4-3 double play … Castro should have beat out the throw and appeared to slow up as he reached the bag.
Marlon Byrd ripped a single to right center, the 156th hit of the year for Byrd … a new career high for a single-season. Geovany Soto struck out but the Cubs hit several balls very hard.
While Ryan Dempster was busy retiring one Brewer after the other, so was Randy Wolf. The Cubs managed only a walk (Alfonso Soriano) in the fifth and a double by Jeff Baker in the sixth until Xavier Nady gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the seventh.
Nady hit his sixth homer of the year (on a 0-1 pitch) that hit the foul pole down the left field line.
Ryan Dempster gave up his third hit of the game with two outs in the seventh … a single to center by Alcides Escobar. But Xavier Nady made a good pick on a chopper hit down the first baseline to end the inning.
The Brewers three hits: an infield single by Casey McGehee in the fourth, a bloop single to right by Randy Wolf and a single to center by Escobar in the seventh.
Andrew Cashner took the hill in the eighth and hit Joe Inglett on a 0-2 pitch to start the inning. Or did he? Replays showed the ball did not hit Inglett but the Brewers had the leadoff man on for the first time all night. Carlos Gomez ran for Inglett and stole second with Rickie Weeks at the plate.
Cashner struck out Weeks swinging before walking Corey Hart. Ryan Braun stepped in and struck out swinging on a 99 MPH fastball. Mike Quade went to his pen for Sean Marshall.
Marshall struck out Prince Fielder swinging to end the inning.
Carlos Marmol was dominating again in the ninth. Marmol sat down the Brewers on just nine pitches … with a little help from Starlin Castro. Castro made a nice over the shoulder catch to take away a bloop single from Casey McGehee.
It is not quite the Cardinals or the Mets, but it is always a good day when the Cubs beat the Brewers.
Casey Coleman will face Yovani Gallardo in the season and series finale against the Brewers on Sunday afternoon.