THE BLOG
11/01/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

DeRosa Puts Cubs Up By 2, Dempster Avoiding Trouble

The popular sentiment among the ink-stained wretches here at Wrigley Field was the Cubs had to win Wednesday in order to win the series.

In other news, you need air to breathe and water gets you wet.

No one really trusts the Cubs, not after a century of indifference and more recently, a three-game sweep by the Arizona Diamondbacks last year.

Mark DeRosa helped put the Cubs up early, hitting a two-run homer to the corner in right in the second. The wind was blowing in from left to right at 6 mph, and DeRosa rode the wind perfectly, scoring Jim Edmonds, who singled off Derek Lowe with one out.

DeRosa suffered a left calf strain in New York last week and missed the last four games. He needed to prove to manager Lou Piniella that he could run the past two days before Piniella made his final roster decisions.

Still, he started DeRosa (.285, 21 home runs and 87 RBIs) at second rather than right. DeRosa, lauded as the Cubs' most valuable player for his versatility and consistency, proved his worth in that instance.

Embattled outfielder Kosuke Fukudome started in right and made a nifty catch of Casey Blake's foul ball in the third, hanging on as he tripped over the visitors' bullpen mound.

Ryan Dempster walked two and gave up an infield single in the third to load the bases, but got out of the jam by striking out Andre Ethier.

Piniella stressed that walks could decide this one. As of this writing, through four innings, Piniella is half-right. Dempster walked four in the first three, but the Dodgers stranded all of them. Dempster is struggling with pitch count, and won't last too long in this game.

In ecclesiastical news, the Cubs had a priest bless their dugout, complete with holy water. Don't tell Bill Maher.

EDIT: Dempster stopped avoiding trouble and just plain embraced it in the fifth. He walked the bases loaded and gave up a grand slam to James Loney to make it 4-2. Loney's blast was to straightaway center. Matt Kemp doubled and Piniella pulled Dempster after 109 pitches for lefty Sean Marshall. I guess Lou was right again. Walks did Dempster in.

It's 4-2 going into the bottom of the fifth.