Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ryan Dempster pitches a gem, but Cubs still lose home opener 2-1 to the Nationals

The Cubs lost their home opener at Wrigley Field to the Washington Nationals, 2-1.  Ryan Dempster was the starting pitcher and pitched a gem by throwing 10 strikeouts and only allowing two hits in 7-2/3 innings.  Dale Sveum, the Cubs manager, pulled Dempster from the game after he threw 108 pitches in the eighth with one batter on and two outs.  Kerry Wood came in to pitch in relief and walked the next two batters to load the bases and then walked Jayson Werth to drive in the game-tying run.  

In the ninth inning, Chad Tracy doubled with two outs and pinch-runner Brett Carroll scored on Ian Desmond's third hit of the game to give the Nationals a 2-1 victory over the Cubs.  In the bottom of the ninth, Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart was robbed of a home run and had to settle for a triple.  Joe Mather came in to pinch-run for Stewart and Jeff Baker came up to bat.  On the first pitch, Baker made contat and Mather was given the go-ahead to run home and was thrown out at the plate.  Oh well.  It didn't seem like a good idea to have Mather run, especially with only one out and the Cubs were down by a run. 

I also personally think that Sveum should have left Dempster in the game to finish off the 8th inning, since there were already two outs and just one runner on base. And Dempster was still pitching well.  I realize his pitch count was high, but it would've been a lot less painful.

Bill Murray threw out the ceremonial first pitch and also sang the 7th inning stretch.
Actor and native Chicagoan Bill Murray throws out the first pitch (photo from Sun-Times)
Anyway, the 2012 season is now underway.  Go Cubs Go!

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