As most Chicago Cubs fans know, the starting pitcher with the fourth best ERA in the National League is Ryan Dempster. Sadly, that same starting pitcher is winless in 2012. Cubs' starter Ryan Dempster is 0-3 with a 2.14 ERA. I'm not sure if this stat line says more about how well Dempster has pitched or how poorly Chicago has hit.
What Ryan Dempster being winless really implies more than anything is how meaningless a pitcher's win-loss record is in determining his effectiveness. Fortunately, the media is starting to figure this out. In 2010, Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez won the American League Cy Young Award with a 12-11 record and a 2.27 ERA.
The run support that Ryan Dempster has received from the Chicago Cubs has been alarmingly paltry. In Dempster's eight winless starts, Chicago has scored a total of 18 runs, or 2.25 per game. Despite having the fourth lowest ERA in the league, the Cubs have only been victorious once in Ryan Dempster's starts. Of course, he got a no decision.
2012 MLB All-Star Game
The 2012 MLB All-Star game will be held on July 10. Barring injury, Ryan Dempster will probably make seven or eight more starts before the All-Star game. So he is at least halfway towards staying winless. If the MLB All-Star game is truly supposed to honor the best players, then Dempster should make the squad even if he's winless.
MLB rules dictate that each team (even the Chicago Cubs) must have one representative in the all-star game. The other Cubs' all-star candidates are Bryan LaHair and Jeff Samardzija. But with Chicago's terrible start to the season, only one Cub player is likely to be an all-star. The most effective Chicago player so far is Ryan Dempster.
Hopefully, Chicago Cubs fans won't have to endure this embarrassment and Ryan Dempster will not still be winless at the all-star break. Of course, Dempster could become less effective and see his ERA rise. And if the persistent trade rumors come to pass before the MLB All-Star game, Dempster would be wearing a different uniform.
But if the Cubs' batters still don't provide Ryan Dempster with run support, I believe he can be a winless all-star if his ERA stays around 2.00 or better. If this does take place, it would certainly be a black eye for Chicago. However, a winless all-star starting pitcher would also help everyone realize how meaningless a starter's win-loss record is.
Patrick Michael is a resident of New Orleans, but grew up watching the Chicago Cubs on WGN with Harry Caray and Steve Stone as the announcers. A diehard Cubs fan, Patrick's favorite season was 1984 when the Cubs were one win away from reaching the World Series. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
"Ryan Dempster," baseball-reference.com
"Felix Hernandez," baseball-reference.com
"Baseball-Reference All-Star Game Index," baseball-reference.com
More from this contributorTop 5 Chicago Cubs relief pitchers since 1970
- Sports & Recreation
- Ryan Dempster
- Chicago Cubs