Ryan Dempster had a fantastic spring…2-0, 2.13 ERA and a team-leading 25 strikeouts.
But here’s the rub…in 26 career games vs. Atlanta–including 15 starts–he’s just 2-11 all time against the Bravos!
The pressure, of course, is on Dempster after Monday’s embarrassment.
But this pales in comparison to what the right-hander endured last spring with his newborn daughter, Riley, suffering from a rare disease that affects her ability to swallow and digest.
Dempster’s mind, rightfully so, wasn’t right for baseball in 2009. Yet, he still managed a respectable season…won 11 games…tossed 200 innings…and most importantly, started 31 games–the mark of a pro.
What’s more, his accomplishments on the field last season also speaks to his character off it…a family man, a member of the community and lastly, an inspiration for his teammates.
If the spring is an indicator of what’s to come this year for Dempster…we’re looking at another 17-win campaign similar to his brilliant season in 2008.
The Cubs, unquestionably, need that Dempster again for any hope of winning the NL Central.
Learn more about Ryan Dempster’s Foundation for Riley and DiGeorge Syndrome by clicking here.