On dollar dog night at PNC Park, former starter-turned closer-turned starter again, Ryan Dempster, covered the Buccos in mustard and relish.
The sparse 9,000 person crowd - Sidney Crosby jerseys outnumbered Jason Bay versions 2:1 - witnessed Dempster toss seven brilliant shutout innings. It was the deepest the Cubs hurler had gone in a game since 2003, or when Mark Prior had fantasy value. In total, he scattered just one hit, walked two and struck out five.
Of course, Jason Bay unloaded on a Kerry Wood fastball in the bottom of the ninth to ruin Dempster's win, but with a 0.69 ERA he shouldn't be overlooked.
Once Dempster records five starts, he will join the ultra-exclusive club of effective starters with dual eligiblity in Y! leagues - Brett Myers, Shaun Marcum, Zack Greinke, Chad Billingsley and, of all people, Todd Wellemeyer.
Sure, the Pirates have the offensive potency of the Bad News Bears, but Dempster stayed ahead in counts and did a fantastic job bewildering batters with his surprisingly effective mix of fastballs, splitters and breaking pitches. On the night, 68 percent of his pitches crossed the plate for strikes.
His ERA will undoutedbly swell, but he's capable of compiling numbers around, 11-14 wins, 3.80-4.00 ERA, 1.28-1.35 WHIP and 150-160 Ks.
Not too shabby for a guy owned in less than a quarter of Y! leagues.