Dempster Among Baseball's Best
This is getting ridiculous.
Ryan Dempster, the Cubs’ Opening Day starter, got half as much run support in one game (four runs) as he had all season (eight) and still managed to come away without a win Monday in St. Louis, leaving him winless in six starts despite a 1.74 ERA.
‘‘That’s all right. Baby steps,’’ said Dempster, who pitched the first six innings of the Cubs’ 6-4 win over the first-place Cardinals in the opener of a two-game mini-series at Busch Stadium. ‘‘We got a win when I started a game. So that’s nice. You feel like you did your part.’’
Dempster entered the game with the distinction of having the lowest ERA (1.02) without a win for any Cub through five starts since the National League began tracking earned runs in 1912, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
When the Cubs staked him to his largest lead of the season, 4-0 with a big fifth inning, his first win looked imminent. Until he gave up four in the bottom of the sixth and then was lifted for a pinch hitter with the bases loaded and two out in the seventh.
When Reed Johnson struck out in Dempster’s place, it left him with another no-decision.
‘‘It’s tough. You get a four-run lead like that … ,’’ Dempster said. ‘‘I made a bunch of good pitches that inning but also left a pitch up over the plate to [Yadier] Molina [for a two-out, two-run double], and he was able to drive some runs in.’’
Dempster has gone 15 starts without a win dating to August.
-GORDON WITTENMYER - Chicago Sun-Times