Hero: Finally, the Demp we know and love. Ryan Dempster, who turned 34 on Tuesday, walked the first two batters he faced on eight straight balls, but bounced back to work seven solid innings. Dempster- who lowered his ERA to 8.05 while not figuring in the decision- allowed one (earned) run on six hits while walking two and striking out five.
"To say this was the best outing of Ryan Dempster's season would be probably the understatement of the year," Len Kasper said during the WGN telecast."He was really good."
Hero: Starlin Castro - the best player the Cubs farm system has produced since perhaps Billy Williams - went 4-for-5 with a double and a clutch two-run single during the Cubs' five-run eighth. It was the fifth career four-hit game for Castro, who is now hitting .393, and his second four-hit effort this season. He has a major league leading 10 multi-hit games in 2011 and leads the majors with 35 hits.
I remember fondly throughout my childhood the February day in which my father would bring home a stack of baseball preview magazines.
I would devour those things and have continued the practice into adulthood. All of that reading material has helped me get through those final few weeks without baseball, but I learned long ago that such publications should not be believed as gospel.
I will use a quote from the character of Rudy on Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids to express my opinion of former Cubs infielder Ryan Theriot:
"Man, you're like school during the summer. No class!"
You would think that Theriot would be grateful for his experience with the Cubs. It was the organization that drafted and signed him and brought him to the majors in 2006. It was while with the Cubs, that Theriot was given the opportunity to become an everyday player in 2007 by manager Lou Piniella. Thanks to the Cubs, Theriot became a popular player on one of sports' most famous franchises. Thanks to the Cubs, Theriot became a millionaire.
Saturday's game between the Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals did not have the playoff implications that I had hoped for when I purchased tickets in January, but regardless of the standings, I still very much was looking forward to it. My 2-year-old son, Will, was attending his first game at Wrigley Field since he was an infant.
Hero: Casey Coleman (3-2) allowed three runs - two earned - on five hits over seven innings while striking out four and walking two. Coleman, who did not allow a hit after the third, retired the last nine and 14 of the final 15 batters he faced.
Hero: When Randy Wells (5-7) struck out St. Louis leadoff hitter Felipe Lopez in the first inning, he had already improved upon his previous start against the Cardinals on May 28, when he surrendered six hits without retiring a batter. Wells didn't stop there, working seven shutout innings while allowing five hits, walking three, and striking out seven.