7/8 Dempster’s streak now 27 innings

Ryan Dempster picked up where he left off on Sunday. He threw five scoreless innings in the Cubs’ 7-0 win over the Mets. He extended his scoreless innings streak to 27. Dempster had a career-high 30 1/3 scoreless inning stretch from Aug. 16, 2005, to April 19, 2006.

“That was more efficient than I thought I was going to be,” Dempster said of Sunday’s outing. “I just really focused on keeping the ball down as much as I could and hoped that I could get quick outs and was able to do that.”

Of course, now that he’s back, Dempster will be watched closely by teams looking to add pitching before the July 31 Trade Deadline. His next start will be Saturday against the Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field. Expect more than a handful of scouts in the crowd.

“You don’t replace a 2.00 earned run average over how many innings he’s got,” Dale Sveum said. “That’s why people want to trade for those guys.”

Dempster just shrugs off the rumors. He was looking forward to taking his kids on vacation this week.

“I don’t read the paper a whole lot or watch much TV, and when I do it’s usually ‘Swamp People’ or things like that,” he said. “I don’t notice the rumors. I just handle what I can handle and that’s going out there and pitching and doing my job and wherever the cards fall, that’s where they fall.”

A free agent at the end of this season, Dempster would be a valuable addition for a team.

“I’m just trying to do the best job I can here for this team and that’s my priority,” Dempster said. “You’re aware there are needs for every team out there and right now the need for our team is to have me in the rotation and I want to continue to do my job every time my name is called and stay as healthy as I can.”

— Carrie Muskat 

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