Cubs Classics: Dempster’s dominance downs division rival
Marquee Sports Network premieres a new Cubs Classic, presented by Prevagen, tonight at 7 p.m. as Ryan Dempster and Alfonso Soriano lead the charge against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sept. 16, 2008.
Less than a week before the Cubs clinched the National League Central in 2008, Lou Piniella’s squad downed the Brewers for a key victory.
The Cubs were coming off an eventful weekend in mid-September, as Hurricane Ike postponed two games and displaced the series with the Astros from Houston to Milwaukee.
As many Cubs fans know, Carlos Zambrano threw a no-hitter in the first game of that abbreviated series. The following day, Ted Lilly took a no-hit bid into the 7th inning.
Dempster was unable to follow suit but he still put up a dominant performance to lift the Cubs to a win over the second place Brewers.
Dempster allowed only 2 runs in 6 innings, striking out 9 and improving to 16-6 on the season with a 3.02 ERA.
On the other side, the Cubs proved to be Kryptonite for Milwaukee southpaw CC Sabathia. The Brewers acquired the 2007 AL Cy Young winner in a deadline deal and Sabathia was lights out in 17 NL starts, going 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA.
But on this particular day, the Cubs touched up Sabathia for 9 hits and 4 runs in 7 innings.
Derrek Lee had an RBI double, Aramis Ramírez added a 2-run double and Soriano homered. In the bottom of the 8th, Henry Blanco added an important insurance run with an RBI single off Brewers reliever Brian Shouse.
Soriano finished with a double and 2 runs scored while Ramírez went 3-for-4 with his 106th and 107th RBI of the season.
—Dempster picked up his 13th win of the season at Wrigley Field. It was the most home wins by a Cubs pitcher since Fergie Jenkins turned the trick in 1971.
—Dempster was 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA in 5 starts against the Brewers in 2008.
—Bob Howry (15), Neal Cotts (8) and Carlos Marmol (28) all picked up holds in the game out of the Cubs bullpen. Kerry Wood allowed only a run in the 9th to notch his 31st save.
—Wood and Dempster are the only Cubs pitchers ever to have seasons of 30+ saves and 200+ strikeouts as both pitchers worked in closing and starting roles during their careers in Chicago.
—Ramírez hit .333 with a 1.136 OPS and 10 RBI in 15 games against the Brewers in 2008.
—Dale Sveum made his debut as interim Brewers manager as Ned Yost was fired prior to the game. Sveum later went on to become the Cubs manager from 2012-13.
Watch the Cubs’ big win over the Brewers this tonight at 7 p.m. on Marquee Sports Network.