Ryan Dempster is quietly putting together another strong season.
He made his 30th start on Wednesday night against Cincinnati, is on pace for 200-plus innings (176.2) and has fanned 169 batters vs. 64 walks.
If there’s any glaring weakness at all, it’s having issued 20 home runs. Otherwise, Demps is earning every bit of his $13.5M salary.
Despite going winless over his last five starts, Dempster is pitching better than his (10-11) record indicates.
He’s allowed 3 ER or less in seven of his last eight outings, but has fallen victim to the staff’s worst run support–4.32 runs per game. That equals two runs or less of support in nearly half his starts (14), which is tough on any starter.
With four more starts this season Dempster can match his total from last season (34). Although his 15 wins from a year ago is out of reach, give him two wins in his last four starts and he finishes the campaign with 12 victories.
Not bad for a starter whose team is on pace for 90-plus losses.
Just when it appeared the Brewers had wrapped up the Central the Cardinals have stormed back to take five of its last six games against the Beer Makers.
By defeating Milwaukee 2-0 behind Chris Carpenter’s 4-hit complete game on Wednesday, St. Louis has trimmed the division deficit to 8.5 games.
That’s no small gap to close with a month left to play, but Milwaukee isn’t in the clear just yet. The good news for Milwaukee is they won’t face St. Louis for the remainder of the season.
Meanwhile, the Cards have series left to play against red-hot Philadelphia and Wild Card leading Atlanta. And, we’ll even throw the Cubs series, Sept. 23-25, into the mix due to the rivalry.
Any guess who leads the majors in grounding into double plays? Here’s a hint, it’s not Derrek Lee (sorry D-Lee!).
Would you believe it’s Albert Pujols? He’s grounded into a major league leading 27 twin killings, helping the Cardinals reach a whopping 152 double plays on the season. Double ouch, babe!