Friday, May 25, 2012

Cubs can't score runs for Ryan Dempster once again and extend losing streak to 10

The Cubs were shut out by the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1-0 tonight.  Ryan Dempster had another excellent start but once again didn't have any offense to back him up.  I really feel for Demps!  He has a 2.14 ERA in 8 starts this season and is winless.  His winless streak is now at 17 games.

Dempster allowed one run on seven hits and walked one batter and struck out six batters over 7.1 innings pitched.  Dempster, along with Joe Mather, Alfonso Soriano, and Darwin Barney were the bright spots of tonight's game.  The Cubs had opportunities to score, but weren't able to take advantage of their chances.

Ryan Dempster had another quality start but ended up getting a loss tonight (photo from
Another tough statistic to absorb:  The Cubs have scored in only four of their last 56 innings. 

"I've been through a 12-game losing streak once in my career," Cubs manager Dale Sveum aid, referring to the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers.  "It grinds on you, it gets frustrating, no question about it.  That's human nature.  Most of the time, it all turns around.  The last time I was part of it, we were 30 games over .500 after (the losing streak).  So a lot of good teams go through this."

The 1987 Brewers began the season 13-0, but lost 12 straight games from May 3-19.  They ended up finishing with a record of 91-71.  Not sure if that helps to hear, but I guess you never know what might happen.

In other news, third baseman Ian Stewart was taken out of today's lineup due to soreness in his left wrist.  Sveum said he will be re-evaluated on Saturday.

Sveum did tweak the batting order a little for tonight's game by moving shortstop Starlin Castro from the number 3 spot to number 2 for the first time this season.  Joe Mather also batted third in the lineup for the first time this season.

"It's time," Sveum said.  "[We haven't been] scoring throughout the whole season, and Mather's been as good as anybody swinging the bat, so I'm going to give him a little opportunity to see what he can do.  Like I told Castro, 'It's not a demotion, it's more shaking the team up.'  He was great about it -- he was like, 'Hey, I just want to win, I don't care where I hit in the lineup.'  He took it well and completely understood."

It looks like the Cubs may need more tweaks in the lineup to spark some offense.  We'll see what happens tomorrow as the Cubs and Pirates will play at 6:15pm CT.   Paul Maholm will start for the Cubs in his old stomping grounds, where he pitched for over six years before coming to the Cubs.  Keep your heads up, Cubs fans!  Tomorrow is a new day!

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