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

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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.

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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

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  • Hah which reminds me this is a good article about Ross:

  • Gordo tweeted:

    "I'm pretty comfortable moving all over. I like it that way, too. It keeps me on my toes and ready each and every game.”--Bryant last week.

    So it could be he's just saying the right things, but I believe him.

  • Which means if you shut this place down, and the Cubs go back to their old ways, we will all have to hunt you down, kidnap you, and strap you to a chair to listen to Tim McCarver and Joe Buck repeatedly, with dollops of Hawk Harrelson thrown in for good measure.

  • You got a problem with David Ross?

  • La Stella (3B) batting fifth. Could be the La Stella game.

  • [Drafts plans for CTSteve idol.]

  • Pitcher batting 9th. Bryant in left, Schwarber in right.

  • i'm not ready for it to end.

    i'm not ready for "well, they weren't supposed to make it this year..."

    i'm not ready to talk about the off-season yet.

  • I can relate to that, E-Man. I don't think I'll enjoy watching a high-stakes away game like this on TV. I've watched a lot of games this season after they ended or at least after the Cubs got out to a decent lead. Since they usually win, I've gotten to see a lot of baseball.

    But in this case I think we should probably all watch the game live, and not let the pressure exceed the pleasure.

  • Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!

  • Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.

    Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.

  • Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.

  • Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories. 

    And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around! 

  • CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!

    I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.

  • You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.

    BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.

  • oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.