Game 51 Recap: Dempster, Cubs Avoid Sweep

Karstens was the tough luck loser.

The game was delayed in excess of two hours by rain. Once it got going, Ryan Dempster survived a rough first inning to hold the Pirates offense down. Chicago scratched out three runs against Jeff Karstens as the Pirates failed to sweep. A win in this game would’ve left the Pirates just one game under .500.

Dempster issued two out walks to Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker in the first inning. Lyle Overbay poked a double to right that scored both runners, giving Pittsburgh an early 2-0 lead. But Pittsburgh would only get one runner to second base the rest of the game as Dempster gave up nothing but two out singles the rest of the time he was on the mound.

Aramis Ramirez led off the bottom of the third with a solo homer, just his second on the year. The Cubs pushed the tying run across in the same inning. Carlos Pena singled. One out later speedy Tony Campana beat out a grounder to Ronny Cedeno, whose throw to first was wild, allowing Pena to move to third. Koyie Hill’s fly ball scored Pena from third. He collided witih Ryan Doumit who left he game with a banged up ankle. Doumit is scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday.

Chicago went up in the next frame. Kosuke Fukudome doubled and went to third on a successful sac bunt from Darwin Barney. Fukudome scored on sac fly from Starlin Castro.

Karstens went five innings and gave up three runs (two earned). He walked none and gave up seven hits he struck out four. He falls to 3-4 on the year. Dempster evened his mark at 4-4 after six innings of four hit baseball. He gave up both Pirate runs, struck out five and walked three. Carlos Marmol got the final three outs for his tenth save.

The Good
Three innings of shutout relief from the pen.

I’ll take that from Karstens. No complaints.

The Bad
Ugh, the offense.

Doumit getting banged up.

The Rest
Dempster is 8-11 against the Pirates in his career. He had lost all three of his starts against Pittsburgh in 2010 and his first one this year. Karstens is 4-3 against the Northsiders.

Ramirez had gone 40 games between homers.

Rememeber the Ramirez trade? July 23, 2003. The Pirates send Aramis and Kenny Lofton to the Cubs for Matt Bruback, Jose Hernandez and a player to be named later, who turned into Bobby Hill. Bruback was given four starts at AAA before being waived and then claimed by San Diego. Hill was a bit player in parts of two seasons and collected less than 100 hits as a Buc. Hernandez – the Whiff Master – was on the downside of a half way decent career that saw him hit 20 or more homers in three different seasons. Hernandez hit .223 down the stretch and was released in the off-season.

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