Ryan Dempster of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
There, I tried real hard not to put anything in the headline to this post about Ryan Dempster being traded (OK, so if you looked at the URL instead, you got me).
Dempster threw six good innings, allowing just five hits and no walks, but a double off him by Garrett Jones broke a 2-2 tie and the Cubs lost what could be his final start in a Cubs uniform, 3-2 to the Pirates, completing a 2-4 road trip, which is actually a little bit better than the team's overall road winning percentage this season (.308, 16-36). The Pirates' crowd of 33,935 was their largest ever for a weekday-afternoon game, proving that winning brings people back to the ballpark better than any marketing gimmick you can dream up.
We've been through all the Dempster angst in multiple threads. I don't hold out much hope that it'll be any different in the comments to this one; I'll just ask again for civility, and at least acknowledge the possibility that we don't know all the facts, and the possibility that Dempster could still agree to a deal that will eventually benefit the Cubs.
Theoretically, Dempster would be in line to start next Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, also against the Pirates. That game, a 7:05 p.m. CT start, begins after the deadline, which is at 3 p.m. CT. All we can do is wait and see.
Anthony Rizzo drove in both of the Cubs' runs, the first with a solo homer, the second with a single after David DeJesus' apparent home run to right field was ruled a double, after the umpires reviewed the play and decided a fan had reached over the yellow line to touch the ball. To me, it looked like it would have landed in the seats anyway. Here's video of the play; decide for yourself.
That led to this:
In 10 umpire reviews involving the Cubs, they have never had one called a home run. Either foul, in play or reversed to a double.— Doug Padilla (@ESPNChiCubs) July 25, 2012
I recall most of those; there was one involving Tyler Colvin last year that appeared to be the wrong call, but I think most of the rest of them were right. In any case, it's unlikely that this call had any bearing on the final score of this game.
Back to Dempster for a moment: after he was taken out of the game he was clearly not happy. Whether that was due to being removed, or due to giving up the lead run, we may never know, but he threw a couple of things in the dugout, a rare public display of displeasure. We might disagree with Dempster's apparent decision to nix the Atlanta deal (and remember, we don't know exactly how that happened or all the facts yet), but up to now he's always been a classy guy. I'd like to remember him that way.
The Cubs come home to face the Cardinals in a three-game series beginning Friday. There's almost 48 hours until the next game. Will we see the same 25-man roster? Stay tuned.