Cubs 6, Pirates 3
In this trying season for the Chicago Cubs, even when they win a
game, they’re still making news for the wrong seasons.
Ryan Dempster won for the first time in five starts despite
arguing with manager Mike Quade after he was lifted after five
innings, and the Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 on Saturday
Dempster (6-6) was pitching on nine days’ rest after being
scratched from his scheduled start Monday because of back pain. He
was cleared to start Saturday after making it through a pregame
workout Friday without incident.
He allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks in five
innings and was seen throwing equipment and arguing vehemently with
Quade when he was pinch-hit for to lead off the sixth.
”He wants to keep pitching, but I have to take into account
what I saw and what I’ve got available and where we’re at,” Quade
said. ”Whether it’s his physical condition and everything else.
He’s interested in winning games for the team, and that’s what I
”I’m thinking about a million things, including how he’s going
to recover from this and everything else.”
Quade, Dempster and the rest of the Cubs played coy about the
incident after the game, Chicago’s second win in three days.
”I was just mad that with my sore back, I didn’t get a tee time
at Oakmont (Country Club) while I was here, and it probably just
came out after the fifth inning there,” Dempster quipped.
”We won the game, and that’s all that matters,” Dempster
added. ”So I think anyone who’s competitive, you always want to be
out there. But at the end of the day, getting W’s is all that
Dempster said he was most upset about the fact that the
already-depleted bullpen was to be taxed further because of the
fact he didn’t go deeper into the game.
Blowups from Cubs starting pitchers have become commonplace in
recent years – but most of the time, it’s volatile Carlos Zambrano
throwing the tantrum.
”I see both sides,” catcher Koyie Hill said. ”We’re trying to
win ballgames. (Quade) is trying to protect his pitcher, and the
pitcher’s trying to protect his bullpen.”
Jeff Samardzija, Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol combined to throw
four scoreless innings to close out the Cubs’ victory, their second
in their past eight at PNC Park. A night after blowing his sixth
save, Marmol pitched the ninth for his 19th save of the season.
Starlin Castro went 3 for 5 with a run and an RBI for the
Matt Diaz entered the game in the fourth and had two doubles and
two RBIs for Pittsburgh, which came in with a chance to climb into
Pittsburgh, which had won four of its previous five, needed a
win and a loss by the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday to move into a
tie for the National League Central lead. It’s only early July, but
for a team that has suffered through 18 consecutive losing seasons
and lost 105 games last year, that would have been heady stuff.
The Pirates are starting to make inroads in a sports market that
usually only turns its attention to them when the Steelers and
Penguins are out of season or not making news. The crowd of 39,235
Saturday – buoyed by a popular postgame concert and fireworks and
laser show – was the 10th sellout of the season at PNC Park, the
most since the ballpark’s inaugural season in 2001.
But starter Kevin Correia didn’t give Pittsburgh much of a
chance on a night he could have tied Atlanta’s Jair Jurrjens and
the Yankees’ CC Sabathia for the majors’ lead in victories with
”It was one of those nights when you made a good pitch, they
put the bat on the ball and got a hit, and when you didn’t, they
took advantage of it,” Correia said. ”It was that kind of
”Just one of those nights.”
Correia (11-7) labored through his shortest start of the season.
He allowed five runs on nine hits in 3 2-3 innings.
”Once he got behind in the count, I don’t think he had the
command he needed to have,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle
Chicago scored during each of the four innings Correia pitched.
The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Marlon
Byrd and a wild pitch by Correia that scored Castro. Kosuke
Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano and Castro had RBI singles the following
Fukudome had two hits and two runs, Pena had two hits, a run and
an RBI and Darwin Barney went 2 for 4 with two runs for the
Pirates rookies Alex Presley and Michael McKenry each had two
hits and scored a run.
Presley scored on Neil Walker’s groundout in the bottom of the
third, and Diaz hit a ground-rule double down the right-field line
that scored Garrett Jones and McKenry in the fourth.
Notes: Before the game, Quade said the Cubs will open the second
half of the season’s first three games with a rotation of RHP Matt
Garza, Dempster and Zambrano. … During the fourth inning, the
Pirates announced on the jumbotron that OF Andrew McCutchen was
named to the NL All-star team, drawing an ovation and a curtain
call. McCutchen will replace injured Brewers OF Ryan Braun.