Lou Piniella said before the game that as he looks to next year he doesn't see much need to bolster the pitching staff.
And Ryan Dempster, last year's Game 1 playoff starter who's signed for three more years, along with Aaron Heilman and Carlos Marmol showed what he meant in a game they kept low-scoring until Jeff Baker had a chance to win it with a homer in the ninth.
Granted, this came against the offensively challenged Giants in a pitcher-friendly ballpark, but the flip side of that is that the Giants are within actual striking distance of a playoff spot, and the Giants' staff wasn't exactly facing an offensive juggernaut itself.
Dempster didn't get the win, but he continued an impressive stretch of pitching since a rough first outing after returning from the disabled list (toe) July 28. After his seven innings with six strikeouts and only two runs allowed, he's 5-3 with a 2.75 ERA in his past 11 starts - 4-1, 2.01 in his past seven.
And with 186 innings pitched and two starts remaining, he has a shot at reaching 200 for the fifth time in his career.
``Dempster's gotten better and better as the season's progressed,'' Piniella said.
As for the bullpen, Carlos Marmol made it interesting with a walk to Travis Ishikawa after a one-out infield single but struck out Aaron Rowand and Fred Lewis to end it - and record his 11th save in as many chances since being named closer last month (15th overall).
``He's done a good job,'' Piniella said, ``and basically he's solidified his job for next year and going to camp it's his job.''
Now if the Cubs can find a way next year to score more than a run in the first eight innings in some of these games...