Ryan Dempster goes deep in Cubs’ 2-1 loss to Reds
By GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org September 13, 2011 10:52PM
Ryan Dempster allowed two runs and six hits, striking out eight in seven innings. | Al Behrman~AP
Updated: November 10, 2011 9:44AM
CINCINNATI — Ryan Dempster’s made-for-TV moment of the year came two months ago in Pittsburgh when the right-hander yelled at Cubs manager Mike Quade on the dugout steps for taking him out of a game after five innings.
No chance of that Tuesday night.
If anything, Dempster may not have had the energy left to yell after getting an ‘‘extra’’ inning to try to outlast the Cincinnati Reds’ Mike Leake in a pitcher’s duel the Cubs eventually lost 2-1 — with Dempster finishing with his highest pitch total in 10 years.
‘‘That’s strictly out of respect for him,’’ Quade said after sending Dempster back to the mound in the seventh for a tough inning he survived with a fist-pump flourish by striking out Jay Bruce with runners at the corners. ‘‘Normally we would have pinch-hit for him [in the top of the seventh]. . . . And if he had a quick inning, I would have sent him out in the eighth.’’
Dempster (10-12), who said he appreciated the gesture, tied a Cubs season high with 128 pitches (Carlos Zambrano also hit that number on June 10 at Philadelphia), two short of his career-high in 2000 and the most since his 129-pitch outing May 26, 2001, at New York.
He said he didn’t know it was his most in a decade.
‘‘No, and it was awesome,’’ he said. ‘‘It just sucks to end up on the losing end of it.’’
Quade, who plans to use next week’s day off to get Dempster a third remaining start to let him try for his fourth straight 200-inning season, said he may have to limit Dempster in his next outing because of Tuesday’s load. He needs 161/3 innings to reach 200.
Theo to Wrigley either way
Depending how the next two weeks play out, the Cubs could host half of the 2011 American League playoff field next season.
In addition to the annual crosstown series against the White Sox, the Cubs will play the current AL Central leaders, the Detroit Tigers, and the current AL wild-card leaders, the Boston Red Sox, in their other home interleague series, according to major-league sources.
The Cubs, who open at home April 5, 2012, against the Washington Nationals, also make their first trip to Target Field next season to play the Minnesota Twins in interleague play.
The Boston series was an unexpected late addition to the schedule and unusual because the Cubs just faced the Red Sox in Boston four months ago.
The full schedule is due to be released Thursday.