7/15 Extra bases
Lost in Friday’s 2-1 Cubs win over the Marlins were two nice outfield plays by Reed Johnson and Marlon Byrd. Pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs lined the ball into the gap in left center in the eighth and Johnson retrieved it and threw to second to hold Dobbs to a single. In the ninth, Byrd threw out Hanley Ramirez as he tried to stretch a single into a double.
“I was trying to get on second,” Ramirez said. “I was trying to get into scoring position. I was thinking second [base] off the bat. He made a perfect throw. He got me. He made a perfect throw.”
The two throws helped Johnson and Byrd pick up their teammates. That’s what they’re supposed to do, Byrd said.
“It’s a team game,” he said. “Win as a team, lose as a team. That’s what we did today. [Carlos] Marmol went out there and he needed us and we stepped up for him.”
Ryan Dempster got the win and no argument from his manager as he threw eight shutout innings.
“That’s the Dempster we know,” Byrd said. “He’s a bulldog out there. We always know we’ll get something good out of him. Seeing that today was a beautiful thing.”
* Dempster is 4-2 with a 1.82 ERA in his last eight home starts. He retired 17 of the 18 batters he faced. And Quade let him pitch as he threw 117 pitches. In his previous start in Pittsburgh, Dempster argued with Quade after being pulled at the end of five innings.
* Byrd notched his 21st multi-hit game, and third in the last six games. … Carlos Pena has hit safely in seven of his last 10 games. … Maybe buying a home in Chicago helped. Kosuke Fukudome is batting .326 at Wrigley Field this year.
* Special assistant Dave Keller was the first base coach, subbing for Bobby Dernier, who is attending his son’s wedding.
* Last word: Marmol hopes to turn things around.
“I hate when fans boo me,” he said.
– Carrie Muskat