Posted July 08, 2012 on AP on Fox
Ryan Dempster extended his scoreless innings streak to 27 in his first start in three weeks, Starlin Castro hit a three-run homer and the Chicago Cubs beat the New York Mets 7-0 Sunday. Dempster (4-3) was activated from the disabled list then pitched five innings of four-hit ball in his first outing since June 15, when he experienced tightness in a back muscle. His lengthy string of zeros is the Cubs' best for a starter since Ken Holtzman went 27 innings in 1971. The Cubs made it as comfortable as possible for Dempster, scoring four runs before he even threw a pitch. Alfonso Soriano had an RBI single, Jeff Baker a run-scoring double and Geovany Soto drove in two runs with a single against Jonathon Niese. Niese (7-4) had only given up four or more runs in a game five times - 16 starts - this season entering Sunday. The Cubs finished the first half in the midst of a modest surge, winning nine of 13 to improve to a disappointing 33-52 in Theo Epstein's first year in charge. The Mets had a chance to move a season high-tying eight games above .500 but continued a recent trend of trading wins and losses. They go into the All-Star break 46-40. New York finished a homestand against last place teams, Philadelphia and Chicago, 3-3. Not that the Mets didn't have had their chances Sunday. They put runners in scoring position in each of first three innings and also in the sixth but came up empty. Dempster put his streak in jeopardy by allowing a one-out triple to Scott Hairston in the second but he got Jordany Valdespin to line out to second and Josh Thole to groundout to shortstop. Niese and Ruben Tejada opened the third with singles but the Nos. 2-3-4 hitters couldn't capitalize. After Tejada's hit, Dempster retired nine in a row before being lifted. The right-hander is scheduled to start the Cubs' first game after the All-Star break on Friday. Dempster has won four in a row after an 18-start winless streak dating back to Aug. 11. He struck out four and walked none. Paul Maholm came on in relief for the first time. He made 201 consecutive starts until he entered in the sixth and gave up two hits. But the Mets failed again with runners. Ike Davis popped to shortstop and Lucas Duda grounded into a double play. Manuel Corpas, James Russell and Shawn Camp finished the eight-hitter. Niese had settled in after the first, allowing only one hit until Luis Valbuena singled with one out in the seventh. Reed Johnson singled with two outs and Castro hit the first pitch for a three-run homer, his seventh long ball this year. Niese allowed seven runs and nine hits in seven innings. NOTES: To make room for Dempster on the Cubs roster, Chris Volstad was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Volstad is 0-7 this season. ... Mets prospects RHP Zach Wheeler and 3B Wilmer Flores were scheduled to play in the MLB Futures Game in Kansas City Sunday. ... Valdespin started in center field for first time in his career. ... Game took a crisp 2 hours, 8 minutes.

Chicago Cubs activate Ryan Dempster

The Chicago Cubs today activated right-handed pitcher Ryan Dempster from the 15-day disabled list.  To make room for Dempster on the roster, right-handed pitcher Chris Volstad has been optioned to Triple-A. Placed on the disabled list with right lat tightness on June 18 (retro to June 16), Dempster returns to the Cubs rotation with a 3-3 record and a 2.11 ERA (19 ER/81.0 IP) in...

Chicago Cubs Mid-season update

Well the All Star Break is upon us and two Cubs, Bryan LaHair and Starlin Castro are headed to Kansas City.  It’s time for the up to date report card from a 70+ year old lifelong fan. Their record is currently 33-52 which has them on pace to lose 99 games.  That is an improvement from the 50 game report card where they were on pace to lose 104.  In May they suffered through...

Kerry Wood finds Andre Dawson in Wrigley Field ivy

Here is State Farm's newest "Discount Double Check" commercial, featuring freshly retired Kerry Wood.

Rizzo continues to impress Cubs

Anthony Rizzo is becoming quite the story already. The 22-year-old Rizzo had his first career four-hit game Friday night as the Cubs held on to beat the New York Mets 8-7 at Citi Field. Included was Rizzo's fourth home run, a three-run shot off Mets lefty Johan Santana in the fifth inning. Even though the stat is not official, Rizzo had his fourth game-winning RBI. Like...

Cubs activate Dempster to start against Mets

Right-hander Ryan Dempster was activated from the disabled list Sunday, prior to starting against the New York Mets. To make room for Dempster, right-hander Chris Volstad was optioned to Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa to make room. Dempster was suffering from a strained lat muscle and was placed on the disabled list on June 15. He has a 3-3 record with a 2.11 ERA. Volstad was...

Rebuilding Cubs should be interesting to watch in second half

As bad as the Cubs were in the first half, and they were very bad at times, they still were an interesting team to watch. That should continue in the second half. The new management team, led by president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer, stated as its goal to be competitive in 2012 while building a "foundation for sustained success" through drafting and...

Let the Piling On Starlin Commence in Three… Two… One…

**** is about to come down on Starlin Castro, and it shouldn't be shocking to anyone that the source of the impending storm is located in a Paul Sullivan piece in the Tribune.  Whether he is trying to stir the pot purposefully is a matter of opinion, but whether he is doing it intentionally or not, this pot is getting stirred as we speak. Starlin Castro headed to the All-Star...

Cubs ink first-round pick Almora

The Chicago Cubs have inked first-round draft selection Albert Almora to a contact, Baseball America reports.

Pre-Game: Chicago Cubs (32-52) @ New York Mets (46-39)

Ryan Dempster comes off the DL today to face Jon Niese. This afternoon at Citi Field, the Mets will be looking for the series victory over the Chicago Cubs. Yesterday afternoon the Mets played a solid game in a 3-1 win.  Dillon Gee had probably his best outing of the year.  Gee threw eight innings and allowed one run on seven hits with no walks and four strikeouts.  The most...

Rubber Game: Mets vs. Cubs 1:10 PM EDT

The New York Mets will play the Chicago Cubs today in search of winning their last series before the all-star break. The Mets and Cubs have split the first two games of this series. The Mets lost on Friday, but bounced back to win last night. Today’s first pitch will be at 1:10 PM EDT. Today’s Lineups: #Mets Sun. lineup vs. Cubs: Tejada-SS, Murphy-2B, Wright-3B, Davis-1B, Duda...

Today in Mets History: 1969 Miracle Takes Form As Fate Hits Cubs Outfielder

One of my favorite baseball books was “The Year the Mets Lost Last Place,’’ a diary of a three-series stretch in July of 1969 when the Mets played two series with the Chicago Cubs and one with the Montreal Expos. Dick Schaap was the author and book took the form of timeline, nearly to the minute, of those games. One of those games came on this date in 1969 when the Mets beat...

White Sox and Cubs trivia experts battling on CSN

16 Chicago-area baseball trivia experts (8 Chicago Cubs, 8 Chicago White Sox) are testing their wits as they vie for the ultimate “Game Day Experience of a Lifetime.” Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games has brought a brand new Chicago baseball trivia game show to the network as The Batter’s Box, hosted by Luke Stuckmeyer debuted this past Sunday. Eight...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.