With trade rumors swirling, Ryan Dempster gave up three runs in the first and four overall Friday in the Cubs’ 4-1 loss to the Cardinals.
The early outburst ended his scoreless streak at 33 innings.
The Cubs were close enough to a deal that they had Justin Germano and Casey Coleman ready to be added to the roster tonight in case Dempster was traded before the game. Since nothing could be completed, negotiations could linger into next week. Still, it seems likely that Dempster has now made his final start for the Cubs.
The Dodgers and Red Sox are among those to have made bids for Dempster. There’s even been some thought the Cardinals could acquire him, though that seems unlikely.
Despite giving up four runs in six innings tonight, Dempster’s ERA stands at a National League-best 2.11. However, due to poor run and bullpen support, is win-loss record is 5-4.
Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.
Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.
Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.
As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.