3/10 Dempster cruises in Cubs win

Milwaukee’s Aramis Ramirez joked before Saturday’s game that he was going to try and bunt on the first pitch he saw from former teammate Ryan Dempster. The Cubs pitcher didn’t give Ramirez a chance as his first pitch sailed over the third baseman’s head. Did Dempster know about Ramirez’s plan?

“Oh really?” Dempster said. “It would’ve been a tough pitch to bunt.”

Was he trying to send a message?

“It just got away,” Dempster said of the pitch. “I’ve seen him too many times to leave it out over the plate. I was trying to go inside. In the back of your mind, you don’t want to hit him so you end up letting it go a little early.”

Milwaukee had two on and one out, and Dempster got Ramirez to ground into a double play.

“Hopefully, some of what I’ve watched over the years, I can apply,” Dempster said of future matchups. “He’s a pretty darn good hitter.”

The rest of Dempster’s outing was without a glitch. He gave up two hits and walked two over three innings, then went down to the bullpen to throw some more.

“I’ll face these guys a lot this year so there’s no point going out there and throwing a whole bunch more to them,” said Dempster, who will start in the Cubs’ first series vs. the Brewers, April 9-12. “It was a good day, good work. I keep trying to build up innings.”

The results have been good, he said.

“That’s what I’m trying to do is just execute pitches,” he said. “As spring goes on, you hope to execute more and more of them. I still have a little ways to go and I’m just trying to get as ready as possible.”

— Carrie Muskat

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