Pitcher Perfect Night at Wrigley


On Monday night the Cubs and Brewers locked horns for a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel. Ryan Dempster led the way with seven strong innings of work that included seven strike outs while only allowing four hits and no runs. The only bump in the road came in the 5th inning, when Dempster gave up two of those four hits. Thankfully in between he and the Cubs infield were able to take advantage of a botched suicide squeeze by the Brewers to keep the shut out intact.

Meanwhile Brewers starter Randy Wolf pretty much matched Dempster step for step and kept the Cubs offense at bay despite giving up six hits. The Cubs finally broke the scoreless deadlock in the 8th inning when Darwin Barney reached on an one out single. On this night manager Mike Quade pulled the right strings as he had Carlos Pena come in to pinch hit for Jeff Baker and to create the lefty batter righty pitcher match up. Pena made his manager look like a genius by bouncing a double off the ivy covered left field wall to put runners on second and third with only one out. If the deep fly had landed just a few feet to the right, Pena would have been circling the bases for his tenth homer of the year.

But Aramis Ramirez was able to push a grounder to up the middle of the infield, and Barney busted his tail and made his way home safely with a great sliding effort to give the Cubs the late 1-0 lead. Carlos Marmol walked Prince Fielder with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to cast some doubt on a Cubs win, which have been scare in the month of June, but he earned his thirteenth save of the season by striking out former Cubs farmhand Casey McGehee.

It was great to see Dempster with a starting effort reminiscent of his All Star 2008 season, and it was good to see the team as a whole hang in there with the Central division leading Brewers.