Thursday, May 10, 2012

Paul Maholm gets 4th straight win as Cubs shutout Braves; Dempster Casino Night recap

Paul Maholm earned his fourth straight win yesterday when he pitched seven shutout innings against the Atlanta Braves.  He allowed just three hits and has a 1.07 ERA over his last four starts.

"I'm going to have another rough outing at some point," Maholm said.  "That's part of baseball.  But I'm going to ride this for as long as I possibly can, and hopefully for a good while."  I sure like the sound of that!

Paul Maholm earned his fourth straight win against the Braves on Wednesday (photo from
In the seventh inning, right fielder David DeJesus led off with a single and moved up on two groundouts and then scored on first baseman Bryan LaHair's well-placed single.  "Our best hitter right now, LaHair, came through," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.  "That's what your best hitters do sometimes."

James Russell and Rafael Dolis then combined for two innings of scoreless relief pitching.  

The Cubs have now won 10 of their last 17 after getting off to a slow 3-11 start.  Let's hope the trend continues.

Last night was also the Third Annual Dempster Family Foundation Casino Night at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago.  Pitcher Ryan Dempster and his wife Jenny started the foundation and the fundraiser in honor of their daughter, Riley, who has was born in April 2009 with a 22q11.2 deletion, a disorder caused by a deletion on the 22nd chromosome that impedes her ability to feed and swallow.

Ryan, Jenny, and Riley Dempster on the stage during Casino Night (Chicago Tribune photo)
There were over 600 attendees and more than 50 sports and civic celebrities in attendance last night. Both current and former Cubs players were at the Palmer House, as well as owner Tom Ricketts, President Theo Epstein (who was drawing the biggest attention of the evening as a guest blackjack dealer), and manager Dale Sveum.  Dempster's teammates were all decked out in tuxedos and served as guest dealers at the blackjack and craps tables.

Cubs President Theo Epstein has fun while dealing blackjack at Casino Night
“It really is incredible,” Dempster said.  “You look at the support, the time and the effort that goes into it.  But somehow it is done and people do it out of the kindness of their heart.  It’s truly a humbling thing.   Jenny and I are just so thankful, and more importantly what it has done for the foundation and the families…the 22Q family has just been incredible.  We’ve made huge strides in three short years and it just continues to grow and make a huge impact on the world.”

Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney deals blackjack at Casino Night (Chicago Tribune photo)
Ryan Dempster and Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks at Casino Night (Chicago Tribune photo)
The evening also featured silent and live auctions, where a baseball autographed by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig raised $21,000.  I had the pleasure of volunteering at the event and can say that it was pretty amazing how the Chicago community came together to raise money for a wonderful cause.  All of Dempster's teammates stayed well past the 10:30pm event end time and it looked like everyone was having a blast!

This baseball signed by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig raised $21,000 during the live auction
The Cubs have an off day today and will travel to Milwaukee, where they will play the Brewers in a three-game series, starting tomorrow night at 7:10pm CT.  Matt Garza will start for the Cubs after recovering from the flu.

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