Diamondbacks 11, Cubs 2

By Chris Rewers on Friday, April 29, 2011

Hero: Koyie Hill ... Yes! Koyie Hill led off the third with a long solo home run to right, making it an 8-1 game. It was the seventh homer of Hill's eight-year big league career.

Goat: It was painful to watch the pathetic performance of Ryan Dempster.

Dempster (1-3) had absolutely no command in the most horrific start by a Cubs starter that I can recall. Dempster walked four, hit a batter, allowed four hits, and seven runs - all earned - before being removed after just one-third of an inning. Nine of the 10 hitters he faced reached base. Dempster, whose first pitch was lined into the left-field corner for a double by Chris Young, managed to throw just 18 strikes among his 40 pitches. It was the shortest start of Dempster's 14-year career.

Dempster, the Cubs' Opening Day starter,has been pummeled for 19 earned runs over 11 innings in his last three starts.

Key Play: Dempster served up a grand slam to Arizona cleanup hitter Stephen Drew on an 0-and-2 pitch.

Comment: Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald, during Dempster's previous start on April 23, stated on his blog that the inhabitants of the Wrigley Field press box were wondering out loud if Dempster is through.

I tend to consider such talk as overreaction - but now I'm freaking out. Dempster, through six starts, has a 9.58 ERA (worst among all major league starters). If an injury is affecting his performance, he needs to tell somebody now!

Next: The Cubs (10-14) will try to halt a four-game losing streak Friday (CSN+, 8:40 p.m.) when they send Carlos Zambrano (2-1, 5.28 ERA) against Arizona right-hander Armando Galarraga (3-1, 6.00). Galarraga scattered five hits over seven innings en route to defeating the Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 6.

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