Monday, July 23, 2012

Cubs win 2-0 over Pirates and Ryan Dempster is still a Cub

The Cubs won against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park tonight with a score of 2-0 in game one of the three game series.  Jeff Samardzija pitched an amazing game and allowed no runs and just one hit while striking out five batters and walking one over eight innings pitched. 

Jeff Samardzija allowed just one hit in eight scoreless innings pitched against the Pirates (photo from
Alfonso Soriano had two RBI doubles (one in the 4th inning and one in the 9th), which both brought home Starlin Castro to score.  Tonight's win snapped the Cubs' 3-game losing streak and also the Pirates' 5-game winning streak.  This was also the Cubs' 15th win in their last 23 games, and their first against the Pirates in four games this season.

Carlos Marmol pitched in the ninth inning to earn his 12th save in 14 opportunities.

Before tonight's game, there were all kinds of rumors and trade talk mostly regarding the Cubs' #1 starting pitcher, Ryan Dempster.  It appeared that even MLB and the Cubs had announced that Dempster was going to the Braves, but them Dempster (@RyanDempsterFDN) tweeted: "THERE IS NO TRADE dont know where this info came from" 

@Len Kasper also tweeted, "Demp still a Cub for now. Gotta love Twitter."  

As of tonight, Ryan Dempster is still a Cub (photo from
One of the tweets that started it all a little after 2pm CT was the @mlbtraderumors account, which tweeted, "Braves Acquire Ryan Dempster

There's a possibility of everything," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.  "Something could come up at the 11th hour.  It's that time of year; when you have the commodities that people want, anything can happen at any given time.  The odds of all three of them being gone, no.  That's very impossible odds."

There have also been talks of the Pirates being interested in Paul Maholm, especially since they are contenders and need to bolster their starting pitching and know a lot about their former starter.  “There are rumors and we’ll see how it turns out,” Maholm said.  “It should be an interesting few days or whatever we’ve got [until the July 31 deadline.]”

Could Paul Maholm be headed back to his former team? (AP photo)
In other Cubs news, starting pitcher Matt Garza, who left his last start early due to soreness/cramping in his right triceps, is not expected to make his next scheduled start after all on Friday at Wrigley Field against the St. Louis Cardinals.

“I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Sveum said.  “If he’s not going to throw a [between start] bullpen I don’t think he’s going to throw Friday.”  Travis Wood will start on Friday in place of Garza.  With an off day Thursday, Wood would still be on a five-day schedule after pitching Sunday in St. Louis.

Tomorrow the Cubs and Pirates will play game two of the series at 6:05pm CT.  Maholm will start for the Cubs and face his old team.

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