Game One Hundred Twenty-Eight – Cubs 4 Nationals 0
WP – Ryan Dempster (12-8) LP – Jason Marquis (0-7) Save – None
Ryan Dempster dominated the Nationals on Wednesday night. He allowed only two hits and three baserunners in seven innings. Only one batter reached third against Dempster and that was Jason Marquis in the sixth. Marquis notched the Nationals second and the Nationals only clean hit of the game off Dempster.
Ryan Dempster struck out eight, three of his eight k’s were Adam Dunn looking, and walked only one on 79 pitches … and more than earned his 12th win of the year.
Dempster and Jason Marquis battled to a nothing-nothing tie until the eighth.
Mike Quade took down Dempster in the eighth. Quade sent Tyler Colvin up to hit for Dempster to start the inning and it ended up being the right call. Colvin walked on four pitches, stole second and scored on a one-out double by Starlin Castro.
Castro’s double ended up being his ninth game winning RBI.
Aramis Ramirez gave the Cubs a little breathing room with a two-run homer in the eighth … and Alfonso Soriano added a solo blast in the ninth for the Cubs’ fourth run.
Andrew Cashner and Carlos Marmol both surrendered hits but it was an extremely uneventful eighth and ninth inning.
Blake DeWitt made a game-changing defensive play in the first inning. With Ian Desmond on first, DeWitt made a diving stop on a ball ticketed for center off the bat of Ryan Zimmerman and started a 4-6-3 inning ending double play.
The Cubs have not lost at Nationals Park since 2008 and are 7-0 in their last seven in Washington D.C.
The Cubs improved to 54-74 on the year … 20 games below the .500 mark. Ryan Dempster and Jason Marquis took advantage of their opponents Wednesday night. Dempster put together a great outing and Marquis notched his longest outing of the season. Wednesday looked like one of the games that would be decided by a longball … until the eighth inning.
The Cubs finally broke through in the eighth inning. Mike Quade gambled and sent Tyler Colvin up to hit for Ryan Dempster. Colvin led off the eighth with a four-pitch walk. Kosuke Fukudome then ripped a 1-1 pitch from Marquis into left center. Nyjer Morgan made a nice basket catch, Colvin retreated and Jim Riggleman went to his pen.
Tyler Clippard replaced Marquis and Colvin took off for second on his first pitch. Colvin swiped his fifth bag of the year.
Starlin Castro delivered in the late innings once again. Castro doubled into the left field corner. Colvin scored … 1-0 Cubs.
Marlon Byrd struck out on a high fastball … but Aramis Ramirez did not miss the same pitch. Aramis lined a 1-2 pitch from Clippard over the wall in left. Ramirez’s 20th of the year gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead and tied him with Alfonso Soriano for the team lead in homers. But that tie did not last for long …
Alfonso Soriano led off the ninth with his 21st longball of the season. Soriano ripped a 3-2 pitch from Sean Burnett well over the wall in left center. Soriano’s blast gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
The Cubs won three in a row for the first time since July 5 – July 7. While it was only the Nationals, this is only the Twenty-Ten Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs will spend their first off day in three weeks Thursday in Cincinnati. Q’s crew opens a three-game series in the Queen City on Friday night … Tom Gorzelanny versus Johnny Cueto.