With Ryan Dempster leading the charge, the Cubs tied an MLB record by winning their first two games after the All Star Break. That record is also held by other teams who won their first two games after the ASB. And with six shutout innings yesterday, Dempster has the longest streak of consecutive innings for a Cubs pitcher since 1969 (Ken Holtzman). So was this his last start in a Cubs uniform?
‘‘There’s that possibility, but you’re in the moment of pitching a game,’’ Dempster said.
‘‘He’s just one of those guys [with] a presence about him and how he goes about his business and how he can talk to the younger guys and even the older guys,’’ manager Dale Sveum said.
‘‘He’s the ultimate professional and the kind of guy who always tries to make himself better no matter what he’s accomplished. He’ll do whatever he can to compete and help the team.’’
That doesn’t answer my question! How does Dempster feel about the scoreless streak?
‘‘It’s pretty crazy,’’ Dempster said. ‘‘When you do something like that as a reliever, it’s more realistic because you’re going out there an inning at a time.
‘‘It’s pretty humbling because you’re not thinking about that. You’re just trying to win a game.’’
That’s a better answer. Bruce Levine is reporting that there are no fewer than 10 teams interested in Dempster.
“You see a guy like that struggle with command and pace, at the same time get all the important outs,” said an American League scout. “Dempster makes it easy for me to call my GM and say ‘get this guy now because he has such a great sense of how to get the job done (and) he will help you win each time he goes out there.’”
That should improve the return Jed/Theo will get back from whatever trade they make.
On to today’s game, which will feature Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill (7-7, 3.64) and Cubs starter Matt Garza (4-7, 4.32). Lineup:
Game time is 1:20 Central, and you can watch on WGN today.