After the top of the 1st, it was beginning to look like another long day at Wrigley. Ryan Dempster (2-4) walked the 1st 2 Pirates he faced, and coincidentally they both came around to score. Pittsburgh (16-22) finished the inning with 3 runs.
The Cubs’ offense responded in the 3rd against Paul Maholm (3-3) when Aramis Ramirez came through with a clutch double that plated 2 of his teammates.
Both offensive went cold until the 9th. Dempster pitched 7 innings only allowing the 3 1st inning runs. John Grabow pitched his 2nd consecutive scoreless inning which is encouraging to Cub fans.
Carlos Marmol surrendered an opposite field homerun in the 9th to Jeff Clement, extending Pittsburgh’s lead to 4-2.
The Cubs (15-22) didn’t go down quietly however. With 1 out, Starlin Castro (1-3) showed tremendous discipline and took a walk. The Pirates put on an extended shift for Kosuke Fukudome, who made them pay dearly. Fukudome turned on a pitch and hit a liner into right field for a triple, scoring Castro. Unfortunately, that was where the Cubs’ rally ended, as Octavio Dotel recorded his 7th save by striking out Ryan Theriot and Marlon Byrd to end the game.
With the loss, the Cubs fall to 0-5 on the season to the Pirates. With the highest payroll in the National League, Chicago fall 7 games under .500.
Chicago will look to salvage game 3 on Sunday. Ted Lilly (1-3) will be looked upon by the Cubs to end the madness. Ross Ohlendorf (0-1) will pitch for the Pirates. Ohlendorf has been injured for most of the season.