Arizona Diamondbacks Demolish Chicago Cubs at Chase Field in Series Opener; "Racing Gracie" Still Looking for a "W"
|Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster got wrecked last night.|
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster's had a bad outing last night -- far, far beyond miserable.
Dempster pitched 1/3 of an inning in the Arizona Diamondbacks' 11-2 home win over the Cubs Thursday -- yes, one third of one inning from the veteran starter.
He gave up seven earned runs in the bottom half of the first inning, yielding four walks and no strikeouts before being pulled by Cubs manager Mike Quade after only one out -- inflating Dempster's season ERA to 9.58 (189.00 for the game).
Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young led off the bottom of the first inning with a long double, followed by a walk by second baseman Kelly Johnson, and right fielder Justin Upton being hit by a pitch.
The decision to bat shortstop Steven Drew in the cleanup spot of the order paid off, as Drew nailed a grand slam just right of center field.
Catcher Miguel Montero grounded out to first after Drew's homer, but the out-of-control Dempster got himself right back in a hole.
Dempster walked third baseman Melvin Mora, first baseman Russell Branyan, and left fielder Gerardo Parra in succession.
Pitcher Barry Enright managed to poke a ball into right field, scoring one, and in Chris Young's second at-bat of the inning, a single brought in two more runs before Dempster was pulled from the game.
Justin Berg came in as Dempster's reliever, collecting two quick outs from the next pair of Diamondback batters.
Enright -- who collected his first win of the season -- was far from spectacular.
He was, however, effective.
Enright gave up two runs over 6 2/3 innings, one on a solo home run by Cubs catcher Koyie Hill.
Reliever Josh Collmenter and his windmill delivery came in for Enright, holding the Cubs with two runs for the rest of the game while striking out three.
The only part of the game that nearly matched the excitement of Drew's first-inning grand slam was the D'Backs Legends Race, which has been a Chase Field staple since its inception in July 2010.
If you're unfamiliar with the race, it's four guys in goofy looking mascot suits that depict four former Diamondbacks All-Stars -- Luis Gonzalez, Matt Williams, Randy Johnson, and Mark Grace.
If you are familiar with the race, then you know that Mark Grace -- the current color commentator for the D'Backs -- has never won. Ever.
He's come close a couple of times -- on July 4, "Racing Gracie" had an immense lead over the pack, until he got distracted an decided to spray Silly String all over serial steroid abuser and former Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez. On September 26, he actually finished first in the race, but was disqualified for driving a motorized vehicle to win the race.
For hardcore fans of the Legends Race, it's hard to forget the "taco incident," the "Kung Fu Panda incident," and of course, the "bathroom incident," among many others ruining potential Mark Grace victories.
Grace was 0-45 in 2010, and had yet to win since the beginning of the 2011 season.
But Thursday was "Racing Gracie" bobblehead night at the ballpark -- which seemed to be the night for the 10-foot version of Grace to grab a victory in front of both of his former teams.
Grace shot out of the gates with a commanding lead toward the finish line at the on-deck circle.
Just past home plate, though, the distracted Grace saw some youngsters who wanted autographs, leading to another blown lead and last place finish.
The real Grace expressed his dismay from the broadcast booth, and his chances of ever winning a race seem more distant than ever.
Keep your chin up Gracie, New Times is pulling for you.