Night of the Rookie Pitchers – Cubs 5, Nationals 11

Game One Hundred Thirty-Five – Cubs 5, Nationals 11
WP – Edwin Jackson (9-9) LP – Chris Rusin (0-2) Save – None

Tuesday was a bad night for the Chicago Cubs. Dale Sveum used seven rookie pitchers after the Nationals knocked Chris Rusin out of the game in the second inning. The Nationals teed off on the Cubs’ rookie pitching corps to the tune of 11 runs on 19 hits. Five different Nationals’ players hit six home runs and 11 of the Nationals’ 19 hits went for extra bases.

After a decent debut against the Brewers, Chris Rusin had nothing on Tuesday night. Rusin allowed five runs on eight hits with a walk and a strikeout in one-plus innings of work. Nine of the 11 batters Rusin faced reached base and he threw 43 pitches in his second career big league start.

Dale Sveum used a pitcher per inning for the first five innings and Miguel Socolovich was the only pitcher to work more than one inning. Jaye Chapman made his big league debut in the second inning and kept the Nationals from adding on and was only one of two pitchers that did not give up a run. Blake Parker surrendered a pair of hits in the third but did not allow the Nationals to tack on to their lead.

Rafael Dolis gave up three runs on three hits (two home runs) in the fourth. Miguel Socolovich made his Cubs debut and notched the only 1-2-3 inning of the night in the fifth. Socolovich served up a solo home run to Ryan Zimmerman in the sixth and gave up a run on two hits with a strikeout in his two innings of work. Alberto Cabrera allowed a run in the eighth on a Bryce Harper double and Jayson Werth single and Jeff Beliveau served up Adam LaRoche’s second longball of the night in the eighth.

Tuesday night marked the first time the Nationals hit six home runs in a game since they moved from Montreal to Washington DC.

Dale Sveum nearly emptied his bench and bullpen Tuesday. Sveum used 15 position players and seven pitchers. Three different players made their Cubs’ debut (Jaye Chapman, Miguel Socolovich and Anthony Recker) and in the process the team set a new franchise mark for the most players used in a single-season. The Cubs have used 52 different players this year (11 have made big league debut) one more than the 51 players used during the 2000 season … and Miguel Socolovich became the 29th pitcher used by the Cubs this season, four more than franchise record set in 1999.

The Cubs offense tried to make a game of it but the pitching staff could not keep the ball in the yard. The Cubs scored five runs on eight hits with four walks but only two of their hits went for extra bases.

Alfonso Soriano (2-for-4 with a home run, a triple, three RBI and two runs scored) had another good game at the plate. Soriano tripled in two runs in the sixth innings and hit his 26th longball of the year in the eighth. Soriano equaled his home run (26) and RBI (88) totals from a year ago with a month left to play.

Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with two RBI) drove in the Cubs’ other two runs and set a new career-high with 67 RBI. Castro made a baserunning blunder in the fourth that ended the inning. Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) and Luis Valbuena (2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored) recorded multi-hit games.

Darwin Barney (0-for-2) was taken out of the game as part of a double-switch in the fifth. Barney did not commit an error and ran his consecutive errorless streak to 120 games … three short of Ryne Sandberg’s franchise mark (123).

With their fourth loss in a row, the Cubs are a season-low 33 games under .500 for the year at 51-84 …

Edwin Jackson made quick work of the Cubs in the first inning. Jackson recorded three outs on 11 pitches, nine for strikes. David DeJesus grounded out to second (0-1 pitch) for the first out. Luis Valbuena just missed a home run to right center. Jayson Werth hauled in the ball just short of the wall for the second out. Anthony Rizzo reached on a single to center but Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging (0-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Chris Rusin barely made it through the first inning and retired only two of the seven batters he faced. Rusin was missing up and could not throw a breaking ball for a quality strike. Jayson Werth led off the first with a single to right center (3-1 pitch). Rusin fell behind Ian Desmond 2-1 … and the Nationals shortstop ended the game on Rusin’s next pitch. Desmond cranked his 20th longball of the season, a two-run shot over the wall in right center. Ryan Zimmerman struck out swinging for the first out.

Michael Morse followed Zimmerman with a single to right center (1-1 pitch). Adam LaRoche blooped a 2-1 pitch into left center. Morse tried to advance to third with the play in front of him and Soriano threw him out at third. Rusin walked Danny Espinosa before Tyler Moore popped out to Castro to end the inning. Chris Rusin threw 31 pitches in the first inning, 18 for strikes, and barely made it through the inning. Jaye Chapman was warming in the pen.

The Cubs did nothing in the second … 27 pitches for Jackson after two, 21 for strikes.

The Nationals live batting practice continued in the second. Jesus Flores made it 3-0 with a solo homer over the wall in center. Edwin Jackson ripped Rusin’s first pitch into left center … six hits by the Nationals the first time through the lineup. Jayson Werth followed with a double into the left field corner. Jackson held at third and the Nationals had runners on second and third with no outs.

Ian Desmond launched Rusin’s first pitch over Brett Jackson’s head in left center. Jackson and Werth scored, 5-0 Nationals, and that was all for Chris Rusin. Dale Sveum brought in Jaye Chapman with a runner on second, no outs and the Nationals up by five.

Jaye Chapman did his job and got out of the second inning without allowing any more runs. Ryan Zimmerman lined out to left for the first out. Michael Morse flied out to right. Desmond tagged and advanced to third. Chapman wanted nothing to do with LaRoche and walked him on five pitches. Chapman notched his first big league strikeout to end the inning. Chapman struck out Danny Espinosa swinging (1-2 pitch) for the third out.

After two, the Cubs were down 5-0.

The Cubs did nothing in the third. Edwin Jackson needed 41 pitches, 30 for strikes, to complete three innings of work.

Blake Parker took over in the third and retired Tyler Moore and Jesus Flores on grounders to Luis Valbuena. Edwin Jackson notched his second hit of the game, a bloop single to right. Jayson Werth followed with his third hit in three innings. Werth ripped a 2-2 pitch into center for a single. Parker struck out Ian Desmond swinging to end the inning.

After three, the Cubs were down 5-0 and were being outhit 10-1.

Luis Valbuena led off the fourth with a single to right center (0-1 pitch). Anthony Rizzo singled to center and the Cubs had runners on first and second with no outs. Alfonso Soriano tapped the first pitch back to Jackson … 1-6-3 double play. Valbuena advanced to third on the play.

Starlin Castro put the Cubs on the board with a single to right (2-2 pitch). Valbuena scored and the Cubs were down 5-1. For some reason, Castro left too early before a 0-1 pitch to Welington Castillo. Jackson stepped off and Castro was thrown out (1-3-6) to end the inning … down by four and running? Edwin Jackson needed 51 pitches to complete four innings.

Rafael Dolis took over in the fourth … and the Nationals poured it on. Ryan Zimmerman flied out to deep right center to start the inning (3-1 pitch). Brett Jackson caught the ball with his back against the wall. Michael Morse grounded out to second. Adam LaRoche cranked Dolis’ pitch over the wall in left center and the Nationals took a 6-1 lead. Danny Espinosa followed with a double to right and trotted home on Tyler Moore’s towering homer to left. Dolis struck out Jesus Flores swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

After four, the Cubs were down 8-1 and were being outhit 13-4 (four home runs, seven total extra basehits for the Nationals after four innings).

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth … Edwin Jackson struck out the side swinging (Castillo, Jackson and Barney) and needed only 68 pitches, 48 for strikes, to complete five innings of work.

Miguel Socolovich made his Cubs’ debut in the fifth … and retired the Nationals in order on 12 pitches, eight for strikes. The first time the Cubs set the side down in order Tuesday night.

Edwin Jackson struck out Adrian Cardenas (swinging) and David DeJesus (swinging) to start the sixth … five straight swinging strikeouts for Jackson. Luis Valbuena singled to center and Anthony Rizzo walked (3-2 pitch). Alfonso Soriano stepped in with runners on first and second with two down.

Alfonso Soriano fell behind 1-2 before launching a 3-2 pitch to deep left center. The ball hit off the top of the wall. Valbuena and Rizzo scored on Soriano’s second triple of the season. Starlin Castro chopped Jackson’s first pitch back up the middle. Espinosa fielded the ball behind the bag but could not get off a throw to first. Soriano scored and cut the Nationals lead to 8-4.

Davey Johnson made his way to the mound and went to his pen for rookie Christian Garcia (big league debut). Welington Castillo popped up a 1-1 pitch to LaRoche near the mound to end the inning.

Miguel Socolovich stayed in for the sixth and served up the Nationals’ fifth home run of the night. Ryan Zimmerman drove a 0-1 pitch over the wall in right center … 9-4 Nationals. Michael Morse lined out to short. Adam LaRoche ripped a 1-2 pitch into center for a single. Espinosa tapped back to the mound. Socolovich fielded the ball and threw to Castro at second. LaRoche was forced but Castro dropped the ball in the exchange. Espinosa swiped second on a 1-1 pitch to Tyler Moore. Moore flied out to left to end the inning.

After six, the Cubs trailed 9-4 and were being outhit 15-7.

Tom Gorzelanny took over in the seventh. Bryce Harper entered the game in center. Werth moved to right and Michael Morse moved from right to left. Joe Mather hit for Brett Jackson and popped out to right for the first out. Dave Sappelt hit for Socolovich and walked. Josh Vitters stepped in for Adrian Cardenas and walked. David DeJesus popped out to Desmond in shallow left center for the second out. Luis Valbuena worked a walk to load the bases with two down for Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo swung over the top of a 2-2 slider to end the inning.

The Nationals added on to their lead in the seventh against Alberto Cabrera. Jesus Flores fouled out to Welington Castillo to start the inning. Bryce Harper drove Cabrera’s first pitch into the left field corner. Harper held at second with his 20th double of the season. Harper advanced to third on a 0-1 pitch to Werth that ended up in the dirt. Castillo did a good job of keeping the ball in front of him and made a strong throw to third. Josh Vitters caught the ball out of position and Harper got his hand in before Vitters could lunge back and apply the tag. Sveum brought his infield in and Werth popped Cabrera’s next pitch over Valbuena and into left center. Harper scored, 10-4 Nationals. Cabrera struck out Desmond and Zimmerman swinging to end the inning.

Ryan Mattheus took over for the Nationals in the eighth and Alfonso Soriano greeted him with a long homer over the wall in right center. Soriano’s 26th longball of the season made it a 10-5 ballgame. Mattheus retired Castro (grounder to short), Castillo (swinging strikeout) and Mather (grounder to third) in order to end the inning.

The Cubs’ rookie pitcher parade continued in the eighth. Jeff Beliveau made his way out of the pen and helped the Nationals pat their stats. Michael Morse flied out to a diving David DeJesus to start the inning. Adam LaRoche launched a 1-2 pitch to deep right and he trotted around the bases for the second time on Tuesday night … and the third time in the last two games. Danny Espinosa ripped a double off the wall in left center. Mark DeRosa hit for Mattheus and struck out swinging. Jesus Flores grounded out to Valbuena at second to end the inning.

After eight, the Cubs were being hammered 11-5.

Anthony Recker made his Cubs’ debut pinch hitting for Jeff Beliveau to start the ninth. Recker flied out to right on a 3-2 pitch. After Vitters popped out to Espinosa for the second out, Mike Gonzalez retired DeJesus (flyout to left) to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Chris Volstad is scheduled to face Gio Gonzalez on Wednesday night.

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