Dempster Dumpster pitches Cubs to win over Brewers
*Dempster pitches Cubs to win over Brewers* ===========================================
CHICAGO CUBS 6, MILWAUKEE 3 --------------------------- CHICAGO (Ticker) -- For awhile, it appeared Ryan Dempster would struggle to get out of the first inning in his first start in nearly three years.
But Dempster settled down to pitch six solid innings Thursday as the Chicago Cubs avoided a season-opening sweep with a 6-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cubs' closer for the past three seasons, Dempster walked Richie Weeks and gave up a double to Tony Gwynn Jr. before getting an out in his first start since May 4, 2005.
The Brewers grabbed the lead on Prince Fielder's sacrifice fly, and a second run scored on right fielder Kosuke Fukudome's throwing error.
However, Dempster dominated thereafter, only yielding a pair of harmless singles.
"It felt good," said Dempster, who started earlier in his career with the Florida Marlins and Cincinnati Reds. "I felt prepared physically and mentally. It's just one start, but I like the way I'm throwing the ball."
Alfonso Soriano, Chicago's leadoff hitter last season, was back in the No. 1 spot - and it seemed to spark the Cubs' offense. Aramis Ramirez recorded his first hit of the season - a solo home run that gave Chicago a 4-2 lead in the fourth.
"I wasn't satisfied with two out of three," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "We wanted three out of three. But it's not a bad start."
The Cubs also took advantage of the wildness of Brewers starter Dave Bush (0-1), who was tagged for six runs and six hits 5 1/3 innings. Bush also walked five.
After tying the game in the second on Mark DeRosa's RBI single and Geovany Soto's sacrifice fly, the Cubs snapped the tie in the fourth without getting the ball out of the infield.
Bush hit a batter and walked three others in the inning, including Soriano with the bases loaded.
"I saw my pitches and felt comfortable at home plate," said Soriano, who was 0-for-9 in the Cubs' first two games. "I was more selective at home plate and made adjustments."
"I had a hard time throwing strikes, keeping the ball in the zone," Bush added. "I definitely had some control trouble there (in the fourth). I did limit the damage."
The Cubs extended their lead to 6-2 in the sixth on Soriano's RBI single and Ryan Theriot's run-scoring double.
Kerry Wood, Chicago's new closer, tossed a scoreless ninth for his first career save. Wood rebounded from a rough outing in Monday's season opener when he surrendered three runs, though not without a few anxious moments.
After getting the first two outs, Wood gave up a single to Craig Counsell, then fell behind to Weeks 3-0. But he came back to strike out Weeks looking to close out the Cubs' first win of the season.
Once a dominant starter for the Cubs, Wood is trying to revive a career that has hampered by numerous arm ailments.
"It's been a long road," Wood said. "Obviously, it's not going to work out every time, but you want it to work out more times than not. I try to get comfortable in the role I'm in and get a routine down."
Carlos Marmol tossed two innings in relief of Dempster, giving up an RBI single to Fielder in the eighth on a cool 50-degree day.
"It was a good game for all of us," Ramirez said. "Dempster, Marmol, Woody all pitched great. It was really nice to get my first hit. Anytime you hit a line drive in this weather, you know you have a chance of hitting the ball out."
Last edited by Wesley; 04-03-2008 at 11:25 PM.
Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.
Re: Dempster Delivers
I must be getting sleepy. I thought it said dumpster divers. I thought maybe somebody was telling a drunk story.
Re: Dempster Delivers
If he can deliver starts like that most of the season the Cubs will be looking good come Sept.