Ryan Dempster has to be one of the hardest luck pitchers in baseball this year. in 20 innings he has a 1.33 ERA and has struck out 23 batters, but he doesn't have a win to show for it. Once again, the bullpen couldn't hold on but Dempster created some of his own hard luck with a throwing error that allowed the tying run to score. The beneficiary of that error, pitcher Josh Johnson, later came around to score the go-ahead run on a single to right by Emilio Bonafacio.
Still the Cubs did manage to tie the game up at 2. Steve Clevenger, who continues to play well when given the opportunity, hit a frozen rope double that sailed over CF'er Bonafacio's head. He then came around to score on Bryan LaHair's single, using great slide to get around catcher John Buck's tag.
With Kerry Wood out, the Cubs turned to the inexperienced Rafael Dolis who pitched a scoreless inning in the 7th but ran into trouble in the 8th. Again, it was the defense that opened the flood gates, this time by the normally reliable Darwin Barney. Dolis walked the next batter, then fell behind 3-1 to Hanley Ramirez. With runners on first and second, Ramirez knew a fastball was coming and he jumped all over it. He deposited well over the 386 ft. mark in left-center field. That made the score 5-2, the final for the game.
It's still early but the bullpen is beginning to look like it's going to be an issue all year. One has to wonder when the Cubs will either recall a pitcher from Iowa or perhaps move some veteran players to acquire some help.
Filed under: Game Recap