Ryan Dempster returns for the Cubs after missing three weeks with lat soreness. He’s working on a 22 inning scoreless streak, and there will be many, many teams watching his start intently. Let’s just hope he looks healthy.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (32-52) at New York Mets (46-39), 12:10pm CT on CSN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Ryan Dempster (3-3, 2.11 ERA, 3.00 K/BB)


Jon Niese (7-3, 3.35 ERA, 2.75 K/BB)

New York Mets Lineup

1. Ruben Tejada, SS

2. Daniel Murphy, 2B

3. David Wright, 3B

4. Ike Davis, 1B

5. Lucas Duda, RF

6. Scott Hairston, LF

7. Jordany Valdespin, CF

8. Josh Thole, C

9. Jon Niese, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Reed Johnson, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Jeff Baker, RF

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Luis Valbuena, 3B

9. Ryan Dempster, P

  • Luke D

    Guess who’s back…back again.
    Dempster’s back.
    Tell a friend.
    Guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back…

    • RY34

      Great song and artist!

  • Jim L

    Don’t screw up, Dempster!

  • Heybails

    Is there something wrong with Dejesus? Or are we just playing the hot hand?

    • Spencer

      Yeah, there’s something wrong with him. He’s left-handed.

  • Mysterious4th

    So excited for baker, johnson and soto to play today. Let me just jump off a bridge now!

    • Njriv

      You should, they all contributed to the 4 run inning.

      • Spencer

        That’s a little harsh.

  • RWakild

    Nice to see Baker getting hits and being productive. Now trade him away so Sveum can’t start him again!!!

  • Ogyu

    There. Another scoreless inning for Dempster. Proof that he is fine. Pull him out of the game and trade him this instant. 😉

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Haha. Awesome.

  • Luke D

    glad to see The Untouchable Jeff Baker having a hot streak.

  • Assman22

    With Almora’s deal done, Cubs turn attention to Hickman. Willing to overslot big and sign him as a pitcher. Only 4 (of remaining 12)other draft picks are likely to sign by July 13 (Fisher, Pannone, Botnick, Edwards). Great job guys!

    • Cubs Dude

      Wait… Not to sound like everyone’s buddy Shelby Menge. But Almora signed?? When the heck did that happen?

      • Assman22

        Waiting on physical which won’t be completed prior to the AS break. Team announcements cannot occur during the break, per MLB rules. Announcement coming Thursday.

        Most likely received overslot, but enough remains to go overslot on Hickman and grab the 4 others at market price. Hickman signing would cap off an incredible first draft for the FO…

        • Assman22

          Talked more in detail in yesterday’s game thread, if you want to read more

        • Cubs Dude

          As much as I would like to believe someone named AssMan can I ask how know this? Just kidding, but can you share??

          • Ogyu

            Now, now. If we were dealing with Assman11, I could understand your scepticism. But this is Assman22, after all… 😉

            • Cubs Dude

              Hillarious! OK, I will have faith in the updated version.

    • Jackalope

      Got a link on the Almora signing?

    • Kevin

      How do you know there’s money available?

  • http://bleachernation.com #1lahairfan

    How much did almora sign for?

  • Ogyu

    Bah, humbug. I’m seeing lots of links for “Almora signing is close,” but none for “Amora has signed.” I’m from Missouri, so show me (btw, from KC, not St. Louis) 😉

    • King Jeff

      That’s all I’m seeing too. They are saying that since Underwood passed his physical, that Almora would be signing any day now. Well the deadline is Friday, so if he is going to sign, technically it will be any day now. Sounds like more great reporting that’s as general as possible on the Almora news.

  • Dylan

    Hi Brett,

    Just wanted to say that you’re doing an AMAZING job with this website. I’ll have to admit that I’ve been following this website in silence ever since the start of the season. I come here more than Cubs.com because it’s more updated and also it’s a nice place to see some opinions thrown around here.

    You guys aren’t like most Cubs fans that I know. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

    Starlin Castro struck out 3 times in one game. RELEASE HIM OMG!!! TRADE HIM BLAH BLAH BLAH.

    Anyway, keep up the great work! Hopefully I’ll start posting some more around here!! :-)

    • Josh

      Yeah that’s why I love the site. The people here understand how the game and business aspects work.

      • Dylan

        Yup, agreed. Everybody is being realistic and not fantasizing about everything.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Well, thanks. And glad you enjoy.

  • Assman22

    Soler in Mesa: Here’s a few juicy nuggets for you Soler followers….


    • Tim

      Soler is one big dude..

  • Cubs Dude

    Nice! Thanks Ass man. Good to see some pics before 2014.

  • Kevin

    Dempster pitched 5 scoreless innings then got pulled. Ryan, it’s been a great ride, thank you!

    • theNOOGE

      I think the chances are high that we pick him back up next year, at least I hope so!

      • Shawn

        I think it would be a good move. I don’t think you ask for a better veteran presence for a staff that will be younger next year.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Anyone else thinking this outing helped demps draft stock!?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      It quality of the performance (probably) will not have a huge effect: Dempster is very much a known quantity by now, and most of the FOs of contending teams know all about sample size.

      What does have a positive effect is that Dempster clearly was pitching easily without undo pain. (I won’t write “any”: at his age, there probably always is some pain.) An uninjured Demp is a known quantity and a good one.

  • Ty

    Was Demp pulled b/c of his pitch count?

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Ty: DEMP Had a pitch count of around 70-80 pitches today. thats why he was pulled

    • Njriv

      I believe they were going to have him pitch 5 innings or 80 pitches, whichever came first.

  • Kevin

    27 scoreless innings………… The phone is already ringing

    • Josh

      I wonder if Reed Johnson will get some calls, because he has been on fire lately. He has really jump started the offense lately. Even with RIzzo at 0-4 we have 7 runs

  • Vladimir

    can’t hurt. Must admit I was secretly hoping for a good outing by Demp.

  • Kevin

    Where does it say a trade can’t be reported today? Tomorrow starts the All Star Break. Trades are reported all the time pending a physical.

    • Kevin

      I should include announcing signing a draft pick too.

  • Josh

    Dempster did very well yet again. I am excited to see LaHair play in the All-Star game. He deserves it and it will probably be his one and only trip since he faces a lot more competition playing in the OF as opposed to 1B, now that Pujols and Fielder are gone.

  • Dylan

    Great game from the team all round. They started out hot, by collecting 5 hits from the first six batters.

    Demp’s 5 scoreless innings def. helps his trade value, especially after a return from a long layover.

    Glad to see the Cubs end the 1st half on a “high-note.”

    Have to admit that I was surprised that LaHair made the ASG, but I’m very happy for him.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday

    Wow 7 runs and no hits by Rizzo?!? Demp 27 scoreless innings. Castro 3 run HR. Good bullpen today. One of the best all around performances of the season today. Keep it up in the 2nd half Cubbies!