Its more hard luck for Cubs, Dempster

Its more hard luck for Cubs, Dempster
April 12, 2012, 1:08 am
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Ryan Dempster sat down inside the Wrigley Field interview roomdungeon and cut through the silence.

Well, that sucks, Dempster said.

Its not quite Baseball is better And Dempster wasnt pointing fingers or pushing the panic button. It was more of an icebreaker after Wednesdays 2-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Reporters arent quite running out of questions, but everyones already seen this before.

Like on Opening Day, when Dempster took a one-run lead into the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals before turning it over to the bullpen and watching the Cubs lose 2-1.

This time Dempster blamed himself for a cutter he left over the middle of the plate in the seventh inning. Brewers catcher George Kottaras drove it into the right-field bleachers for a two-run homer that made all the difference.

Dempster lasted 6.2 innings and gave up two runs on five hits. The rotation has been better than advertised, keeping the Cubs in almost every game, but theyre still 1-5 now.

Were going to build on that and the wins will start coming, second baseman Darwin Barney said. Its Week 1. Were six games in. I dont think any of us are really pulling that chute yet.

The Brewers (4-2) got seven strong innings from Yovani Gallardo, but the Cubs still had their chances.

Ian Stewart and Bryan LaHair led off the seventh with back-to-back singles before Geovany Soto struck out swinging, Marlon Byrd struck out looking and pinch-hitter Blake DeWitt grounded out to end the threat.

Francisco K-Rod Rodriguez issued two walks in the eighth before finishing off Stewart for his third strikeout that inning.

Trying to shake things up, manager Dale Sveum pinch-hit for Byrd (1-for-21 this season) with two outs in the ninth and rookie catcher Steve Clevenger responded with a double to left.

John Axford blew away Reed Johnson with a 96 mph fastball for Milwaukees 12th strikeout and the closers 45th consecutive save.

We just have to keep our heads up, Soto said. Were one hit away or one pitch away.

Were all trying to be aggressive. Were not trying to feel for the ball. Were going as aggressive as we can, trying to do something at the plate, (but) sometimes its going to go like that. You got an ace out there pitching against us. Sometimes you just got to tip your hat.

You can rationalize it either way. What if the Cubs lay down the bunt at the right moment or drive the right pitch? Or what happens if the Cubs dont get lights-out starting pitching?

A lot of close games, Dempster said. Thats a good thing. That means youre right in every ballgame. You just got to figure out a way to put your team on the right side of the win column. Well just keep plugging away, working hard and well find a way to do that.