Game 23 Thread / Cubs @ Nationals (1 of 3)

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Ryan Dempster SP *Odalis Perez
  3-0, 3.00, 16K, 11 BB
0-3, 3.38, 20 K, 12 BB
CF Reed Johnson 2B #Felipe Lopez
SS Ryan Theriot SS #Cristian Guzman
1B Derrek Lee 3B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Nick Johnson
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF Lastings Milledge
LF Mark DeRosa C #Johnny Estrada
C Geovany Soto LF Wily Mo Peña
2B Ronny Cedeno RF *Rob Mackowiak
P Ryan Dempster P *Odalis Perez












WIth tonight's first-ever visit to Nationals Park, the Cubs will have played in three different cities in three different time zones, necessitating somewhere around 2,700 miles in air travel, all in a little over 72 hours. Gotta love those schedule gremlins.

Even with yesteday's loss to the Rockies, the first-place Cubs have won 8 of 10. After opening the season 3-0, the fifth-place Nationals, who needed 13 hits against the Mets on Thursday to raise their team average to .233, have lost 16 of 20.

The Cubs beat Washington in 6 of 7 games a year ago, winning 3 of 4 at RFK.

As for tonight's pitchers, the Cubs' Dempster labored through five innings and 94 pitches last Sunday against the Pirates, a game the Cubs won 13-6. Perez, the first of three lefty starters the Cubs will see in this series, hasn't hooked up with the Wrigleys since his days as a Dodger in 2004. He has also pitched well enough to win in four of his five starts, but hasn't won any.

Five runs of offensive support in 26 2/3 IP will do that to a guy.

If you liked this article, consider supporting us during TCR's April Pledge Drive.


He wasn't laboring at all until the fifth inning when he suddenly lost his command as only Ryan Dempster can do. Took him 37 pitches to get out of the inning.

For those not watching the game, Johnson just made a highlight reel catch. One of the best I've seen this year.

That catch by Johnson was amazing. You have to see it to believe it.

However, I saw it and I still can't believe it...

well, that sucked. Theriot can't steal bases worth shit anymore. Howry is still struggling. We burned another long inning out of Marmol. And, as hard as it is to say, I would have much rather had Cedeno hit with the bases loaded. Using up Cedeno, Ward, Murton, Blanco, and Fontenot to get one RBI walk and one K seemed like a waste.

I have to admit I was a bit suprised by all that. When the bases got loaded after the IBB and Cedeno up, I thought he'd go to Fontenot since Acta would certainly go to the lefty and burn Fontenot instead of Ward there...and then go Murton. That would have left Ward for the next AB instead of Fontenot. Unless Lou thought there was a chance that Acta would have left Ayala in there...but that seemed unlikely.

Cubs seem to be finding ways to lose the last couple of games. Haven't been getting the big hit or making the big pitch/defensive play at the end of games. Oh well. It's a long season and there was bound to be some bounce back from their nice run of late. Neither loss was necessarily a poorly played game, but just a couple of wasted opportunities.

I will say, though, that it may be time to find a different answer on the bench than Little Lord Fontenot, at least for the time being. He's not really giving them what they need. He's not a good glove guy and he's drawn 1 walk so far in almost 40 PA's. He looks very unsettled at the plate and it really seems to be wearing on him. He strikes me as a good guy and I think he can be a good role player, but this team really can't wait for a bench guy to find himself. When Sori comes back, I'd let Murton hang around and send Fontenot down to find his groove.

not getting the big hits the last couple games. still opportunities, but not the big, break-it-open hit. Guess that's why we have 5 runs in 2 games.

How long will Lou stick with Fontenot on the team? He's been pretty useless -- huge K today with the bases loaded and one out in a tie game. Loved him when he was hitting .400 last year -- since then, not so much.

I agree about Fontenot. Enough. However, the vaunted Mark DeRosa has been terrible and a strike out king with bases loaded, or any key hitting situation - save for one time against the Mets so far. In fact, imo, if I never see him bat w/the bases loaded again it will be too soon.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Just to remember how far we have come: last year's opening day lineup was Bonifacio, Lake, Castro, Rizzo, Olt, Castillo, Schierholz, Barney, and Samardzija. It's been a fun ride this year!

  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.