Can it get any uglier? Well, yes. Although Ryan Dempster did not have his best stuff, he still should have come away with nothing worse than a no decision. Instead, because of shoddy defense and the continued inability of the Cubs to manufacture any offense whatsoever, Dempster dropped his 8th game of the year. Dempster gave up 9 hits and 1 walk, and all 3 runs scored off of Dempster were unearned.
In the 2nd inning, Jake Fox failed to catch an easy pick off attempt from Dempster, allowing a runner to reach 2nd base with 2 outs. That runner scored on the next pitch on a single by Alexei Ramirez. One unearned run.
In the 8th inning, the disaster that is Alfonso Soriano strck again. With Gordon Beckham on 1st base, A.J. Pierzynski hit a lazy fly ball down the left field line. Soriano got to the right spot and was about to make the catch, but for some reason, he just slipped. Beckham scored all the way from 1st base and Pierzynski reached 3rd base on the Soriano error. Pierzynski then came around to score on Paul Konerko’s soft single to left field. 2 more unearned runs.
Bad, bad, bad…
Dempster lowered his ERA under 4 with the 7 “scoreless” innings to 3.96 – giving the Cubs starting rotation with 2 pitchers under a 4.00 ERA and 1 pitcher under a 3.00 ERA. Good, good, good.
But more bad please – the Cubs offense. The Cubs squared off against Carlos Torres. In his only 2 previous major league starts (in July & August of this year), Torres was lit up for 7 ER on 9 hits and 9 walks in just 7 1/3 innings of work – good for a 6.75 ERA and a 2.50 WHIP! Any other team would tee off on this guy, or at least work the count to make him throw more pitches and potentially get himself into trouble. But not the Cubs. Torres pitched 7 scoreless innings, giving up just 5 hits and no walks. Jake Fox had 2 of the Cubs hits, but was thrown out at home in the bottom of the 7th inning on a great throw by DeWayne Wise on Jeff Baker’s single to right field. 3rd base coach Quade probably should not have sent the slow-running Fox home on the single to right field, but in any event, the Cubs can never seem to do anything right in 2009.
Not that anyone probably cares anymore, but:
The Cubs trails the Cardinals by 10.5 games in the NL Central race and the Rockies by 6 games in the NL Wild Card race. Technically not out of it, but really not any closer than the Nationals who are “technically” 28 games behind the Rockies in the NL Wild Card race…