Its more hard luck for Cubs, Dempster

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Its more hard luck for Cubs, Dempster

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.

Dwyane Wade's near-miss of a triple-double caused by friendly Felicio fire

Dwyane Wade's near-miss of a triple-double caused by friendly Felicio fire

In a season where the triple-double has become commonplace to the point of stat chasing in the effort to chase history, Dwyane Wade didn't mind snatching his own piece of turf.

In a game where teammate Jimmy Butler reached the feat for the first time this season, it would've been doubly satisfactory for Wade to achieve the fifth triple-double of his career.

One rebound away in the final seconds of the Bulls' 117-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the memo didn't reach Cristiano Felicio, who reached over Wade to grab a rebound, causing it to harmlessly fall out of bounds and ending Wade's chance at history.

After Wade finished with 20 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in 34 minutes, he was asked if he "hated" Felicio for interrupting his moment.

"No hate. Just a strong dislike, though," said Wade with a wry smile. "You know how long it's been since I had a triple double? It's been a long time."

It's been six years, as his last triple-double came in the 2010-11 season with the Miami Heat, achieving the feat with a 22-point, 12-rebound and 10-assist performance against the then-Charlotte Bobcats on Feb. 4, 2011.

Even more than the statistical feat was Wade's variety, as he grabbed seven rebounds in the decisive third-quarter run that broke the game open, hitting Butler and Bobby Portis for long touchdown passes that would've had Jay Cutler or whichever quarterback the Cleveland Browns are banking on next fall, blushing.

Perhaps even more impressive was the fact it was on the second night of a back-to-back with the Bulls winning in overtime against the Phoenix Suns—a game where Wade turned it up late then threw it down over Alex Len in overtime.

"I think we just found our groove," Wade said. "We've had some injuries that have gone on but we're playing good basketball."

More pointedly, so is Wade, aided by him often finding Felicio for easy dunks on the pick and roll as they play second and fourth quarters together. 

Felicio was clearly bothered by his gaffe, which was made worse by the take-no-prisoners approach from Wade and Butler. When a member of foreign media approached him about an interview, Felicio said "you're not asking me about that last rebound, are you?"

Later in the evening, Felicio went to Twitter, posting "I did not know!!" in reference to Wade's night.

"I told him I didn't not even gonna act like I ain't mad at him. I'm very mad at him," said Wade with a laugh. "But he's all good. He said he didn't see me down there. So he took a shot at my height. It's cool. Jimmy had one. It would've been nice to have two triple doubles."

"I'm sure a stat would've came out that would've said, ‘Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler are the first duo to get a triple-double on a back-to-back since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen', since they got every record around here."

He was close, although Jordan and Pippen didn't achieve their feat on a back-to-back but a random night in the 1988-89 season. Jordan scored 41 with 11 assists and 10 rebounds and Pippen had 15 with 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 126-121 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

"We laugh about that often, but it's all good," Wade said. "I gotta work harder till I get another one one day."

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