Ryan Dempster didn’t have it in his first game back from the toe injury. He got pounded for five earned in five innings…which looked survivable given the six runs the Cubs put up in the 4th and 5th innings. Unfortunately, the Cubs’ pen was even less effective than Dempster, allowing 5 runs the last three frames and handing the Astros an 11-6 win.
It was a bittersweet night for Houston, who won the game but lost ace Roy Oswalt to a back strain in the second. If Oswalt misses significant time…well, that would just about sound the death knell for the Astros, who were putting together a plucky little run (like they do almost every year) but will now likely settle to the bottom half of the division while the Cardinals and Cubs (and maybe the Brewers if they’d ever wake up) battle it out for the crown.