&Dempster left the game with a 5-0 lead, but the Cubs bullpen could not preserve the win for the Cubs. Chad Gaudin gave up 2 earned runs in an inning of work, Luis Vizcaino gave back another run on a solo home run in an inning of work, and Jose Ascansio lost the game for the Cubs by giving up 5 runs in the top of the 9th inning.
As for Dempster, he threw about 70 pitches and is pleased with his progress this spring. “The ball was coming out nice and I seemed to get ahead quite a bit today and even the hits they were getting were ahead-in-the-count type of hits. I had a good slider and good life in my ball.” Dempster will use the rest of the spring to strengthen the arm and build up stamina for the long MLB season.
Good news for Cubs fans. Zambrano and Dempster have looked very sharp this spring. Rich Harden has looked good so far and has not experienced any setbacks as far as his recovery is concerned. It looks like Sean Marshall has won the 5th spot in the starting rotation, and he has looked very impressive this spring. Ted Lilly has not pitched all that great in the World Baseball Classic for Team USA, but hopefully he can get his act together once he gets back to Cactus League action after the WBC. Having 3 righties and 2 lefties in the rotation is a nice balance too. We’ll keep you posted with any further developments.