HOW IT HAPPENED: After declining a trade that would have sent him to the Atlanta Braves this week, Ryan Dempster took the mound, giving up three runs on five hits over six innings while taking the loss. Anthony Rizzo had his first home run in 2½ weeks and also added an RBI single.
WHAT IT MEANS: If anything, we know that Dempster hasn’t lost his intensity. After he was pulled for a reliever in the seventh inning, Dempster slammed a drink cooler lid to the ground, threw the cooler off the bench with his left hand and fired his post-start sports drink against a wall. Dempster then disappeared into the tunnel heading to the clubhouse.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Time will tell if Rizzo will be able to come out of his recent lull at the plate, but he looked locked in Wednesday with a towering first-inning home run and an RBI single in the third. Over his previous six games, Rizzo had just four hits and was batting .182. His last home run was back on July 6 at New York against the Mets.
OFF BEAT: David DeJesus appeared to have a home run taken away in the third inning by a Pirates fan. As his drive to right-center field reached the wall, a fan in a Pirates jersey reached out, with the ball hitting off his hands and going into the stands. The umpires reviewed the play and called it a ground-rule double. Since replay began in baseball, the Cubs have been involved in 10 reviews either on balls they hit or the opponent hit. Not one of those was eventually called a home run with it either going as a foul ball, in play or called a double.
UP NEXT: The Cubs have an off day Thursday but will open a three-game homestand against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday with left-hander Travis Wood (4-5, 4.33 ERA) opposing St. Louis right-hander Lance Lynn (12-4, 3.10).