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Saturday, March 10, 2012
Dempster's brush back unintentional

By Doug Padilla

PHOENIX – Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster downplayed his first-inning pitch that was not only up and in but knocked former teammate Aramis Ramirez out of the batter’s box.

Ramirez, the new Milwaukee Brewers third baseman, had joked before the game that he planned on bunting against Dempster in his first at-bat.

“It would have been a tough pitch to bunt,” said Dempster, who added that he didn’t know anything about Ramirez factitiously saying he was going to lay one down.

The high-and-tight delivery came on the first pitch Dempster made to Ramirez. So was it some type of message?

“No it just got away,” Dempster said. “I’ve seen too many times if you leave it out over the plate what he does. I was just trying to go inside. Probably in the back of your mind you don’t want to hit him so you end up letting it go a little early.”

Ramirez ended up hitting into an inning-ending double play. It was the only time the two faced each other in the game.

Not only did Dempster claim to not have any hard feelings toward Ramirez, he doesn't think Cubs fans should either when the Brewers visit Wrigley Field during the second series of the season.

"He put up some great years and some great numbers and I’m sure he’ll get a warm reception and things like that," Dempster said. "He’s on the other team now so I don’t really [care.] I want to see him make as many outs as possible."

Ramirez went 0-for-3 against three different Cubs pitchers, striking out looking against James Russell and grounding out against Marcos Mateo.