After getting swept in a double header on Tuesday, the Cubs had the tall task of facing back to back Cy Young Award winner (2008-2009) Tim Lincecum on Wednesday. The Cubs marched out their own staff ace in Ryan Dempster to combat Lincecum, but the chances of the Cubs beating the Giants were not looking good right?
But Dempster went toe to toe with the highly touted Lincecum. After allowing a double in each of the first two innings and nothing more, Dempster retired 20 batters in a row. With his ace tossing a true gem, manager Mike Quade sent Dempster out for a shot at a complete game after some campaigning from his right hander, but the Cubs pitcher allowed a lead off double to start the last frame and was replaced by closer Carlos Marmol. But a deep outing provided needed relief to the Cubs pen and Dempster finished the night with a sparking box score line of eight innings pitched with only three hits allowed. He did not issue any walks and struck out six. Unfortunately Marmol blew the save and allowed the game tying run to score, which was charged to Dempster due to the lead off double.
However, Aramis Ramirez got Marmol off the hook with a walk off single in the bottom frame to drive in Tony Campana. The rookie speed demon reached on an infield single and made his way around the diamond to third thanks to a sac bunt and a ground out. That set the stage for the two out game winner off the bat of Ramirez.
In the seventh, Carlos Pena had led off with a double and immediately came in to score on the next pitch when Blake DeWitt singled to right field. With the way Dempster was pitching, it looked like the lone run would be enough to carry the Cubs to victory on a night when the wind was blowing in from right field. The broken record continues as Pena and Ramirez have teamed up to cause the majority of the offensive damage the Cubs have been able to dish out of late.
The good old fashioned pitcher’s duel gave teams a glimpse of the value Dempster could bring to their squads for the playoff push, but it also gave Cubs fans reason to want to hang onto Dempster for next season’s rotation if the front office does plan on continuing to go for it in 2012 with a hybrid roster of youngsters with a few veterans sprinkled in.