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Monday, December 4

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Cubs Tue Apr 13 2010

Cubs Bats Come Alive At Home, Win 9-5

The Cubs returned home Monday to the Wrigley faithful after a woeful 2-4 road trip. Ryan Dempster had the honor of pitching the first game in front of the home crowd. While he wasn't as sharp as he was last Wednesday in Atlanta he did have one thing working for him in the home opener. Run support and plenty of it.

Dempster pitched six and a third innings and gave up seven hits, five earned runs and he struck out five. He threw a season high 114 pitches. Unlike his first start in Atlanta Dempster was a victim of lack of run support. That wouldn't be the case in his second outing. The Cubs offense came to life against Brewers starter and Cub-nemesis, Doug Davis.

One of the newly acquired Cubs, Xavier Nady got the Cubs on the board with a three-run homer in the third, his first as a Cub and of the year. Jeff Baker hit his second home run later in the inning, it was of the two-run variety. Aramis Ramirez also hit his first home run of the season in the fourth inning. The Cubs offense definitely brought their hitting shoes today. So-far this season most of the Cubs runs have come via the home run ball.

Marlon Byrd made a good impression on the home crowd going 3-for-5 with an RBI.All around it was a good day for the Cubs offense. They limited the number of runners left on base to seven. Fortunately they got all, but two of their runs off of the home run ball. The bullpen took care of business as well.

James Russell finished what Dempster started in the seventh inning pitch two-thirds of an inning and striking out two. He is really shaping up to be one of the dependable arms and if he keeps it up should be called upon to get the ball to Marmol in the ninth. Jeff Samardzija also pitched an uneventful eighth. He would bring his ERA down to 24.00 after it sky rocketed to 104.00.

The offense played with authority today, something that has been missing during the first week. This was the most runs they have scored in a game since Opening Day in Atlanta a week ago. While a low scoring game is fine every now and then the offense is going to need to score more then two or three runs a game if they expect to win.

They still need to limit how many men they are leaving on base especially when the other teams opposing pitcher is giving them the opportunity to knock him out of the game early rather than later.

Not too much you can complain about with this victory. A W is a W and the Cubs will take them any way they can get them. Tuesday is the standard back-up off day in case inclement weather wipes out the home opener. The series will resume on Wednesday as Randy Wells (1-0) will take the mound against the Brewers Dave Bush (0-0). First pitch is at 1:20 p.m. CT.

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