After surrendering back-to-back doubles to Cubs' outfielder Marlon Byrd and third baseman Aramis Ramirez in the home-half of the second last night in Wrigley Field, (with the wind aiding the flight of Ramirez's hit which soared over Nyjer Morgan's head in center) Nats' left-hander John Lannan issued three-straight one-out walks (the last to the Cubs' starter) to load the bases and then force in the second run of inning, with only a 9-2 DP on a sac fly attempt by Ryan Theriot holding Cubs to a 2-0 lead after two. A leadoff triple by Jeff Baker in the third and a one-out RBI (infield) single again by Byrd (a former Nat) put Lannan and the Washington Nationals down 3-0 after three, but Chicago's right-handed starter Carlos Silva faltered in the fourth after retiring the Nats in order in the first three frames.
A bunt single by Nyjer Morgan and a hard-hit grounder to left by Ian Desmond were followed one out later by Adam Dunn's line drive to right, loading the bases for Josh Willingham, who took a five-pitch walk from Silva that forced in a run and Adam Kennedy, who lined the second sinker he saw for a sac fly to center that scored Desmond from third to make it a one-run game after four. It was still 3-2 Cubs after five, when Silva surrendered a one-out single to Willingham and threw a wild pitch with Adam Kennedy up moving the Hammer to second so that Kennedy's groundout put the runner on third with two down and set the Nats' backup backstop Wil Nieves up with an RBI opportunity he cashed in with a single to center to tie the game at 3-3 after the six innings of play.
Nats' lefty Sean Burnett and right-hander Tyler Walker combined for 2.0 scoreless after Lannan's 6.0 IP, and Brian Bruney kept the Cubs off the board in spite of a leadoff walk to Alfonso Soriano in the bottom of the ninth, but in the Cubs' tenth, Bruney started Chicago shortstop Ryan Theriot with a first-pitch fastball that was lined to right for a single, then struck out second baseman Jeff Baker on three straight fastballs before a walk to Derrek Lee, a single (again) by Marlon Byrd and a bases loaded walk to Aramis Ramirez forced in the winning run. 4-3 Cubs....on a walked-in run...walked in....
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• Final Score: Cubs 4, Nationals 3.
• Nationals now 10-10.
• For The Completists, Game Notes and Full Game Report After The JUMP...
-- John Lannan's Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 5 BB, 3 ER, 1 K, 93 pitches, 53 strikes, 12/2 GO/FO, 3 DP's.
-- Lannan allows two runs in the second, the first on a wind-aided line drive that catches Nyjer Morgan off-guard and soars over his head, but the second run, a bases loaded walk to the pitcher is the one that hurts, the Nats' left-hander says as much to MLB.com's Bill Ladson in a postgame article entitled, "Nats fight back, but get dropped in extras":
"'I fell apart in the second [inning] and that can't happen. The goal is to finish the game strong. I'm sick of having those mediocre innings when things get away from me. I never walked three in a row and I walked the pitcher with the bases loaded. That's disappointing.'"
-- Cristian Guzman goes 0 for 4, strands 4.
FULL GAME REPORT:
1 - Nyjer Morgan down swinging at a two-strike change, Ian Desmond down and looking at a 2-2 fastball outside and Cristian Guzman grounds out to third as Cubs' right-hander Carlos Silva throws a quick scoreless first...John Lannan gets back-to-back groundouts from Ryan Theriot and Jeff Baker to and then Derrek Lee grounds out to short to end the first inning in Wrigley.
2 - Adam Dunn K's tipping strike three into Cubs' catcher Geovany Soto's glove. Ryan Theriot backs up to the outfield grass then has to come charging in to catch a pop fly to the infield by Josh Willingham, two down. Adam Kennedy flies to center, Nats down in order again...Marlon Byrd lines a 1-2 fastball to left and over Josh Willingham's head for a leadoff double. Aramis Ramirez lines to center and Nyjer Morgan completely misjudges it, as an out becomes an RBI double and a 1-0 Cubs' lead. Ramirez takes third on a fly ball to center by Alfonso Soriano and then Lannan walks Soto and Chicago right fielder Tyler Colvin to load the bases for pitcher Carlos SIlva, who walks to force in the second run. 2-0 Cubs. Ryan Theriot flies to right, Willy Taveras makes the grab and the throw, and he nails Soto trying for home, 9-2 DP to end the second.
3 - Ryan Theriot fires to first to beat Wil Nieves, then Willy Taveras there, then John Lannan. Three straight groundouts to short for the quick third by Silva..Lannan gives up a leadoff triple to Jeff Baker who drops a fly ball into the right field corner then scores on a grounder by Marlon Byrd when Cristian Guzman double clutches thinking of throwing home and then bounces the throw to first too late to get the runner. 3-0 Cubs. Aramis Ramirez grounds to short, Desmond to Guzman to Dunn, double play.
4 - Nyjer Morgan reaches on a bunt single, dropping one down the third base line for Ramirez to pocket. Ian Desmond rips a sharp grounder under Theriot at short. Guzman pops out to Soriano in left. One down. Adam Dunn lines a single over second to load the bases for Josh Willingham, who walks to force Morgan in. 3-1 Chicago. Ian Desmond scores on Adam Kennedy's sac line drive to center, and Wil Nieves strands two with a groundout, 3-2 Cubs....Lannan walks Alfonso Soriano to start the fourth, but a Geovany Soto DP grounder erases the free pass. Tyler Colvin triples to right but is stranded at third when Lannan strikes out the pitcher.
5 - Tyler Colvin tracks Willy Taveras' fly to right and make the grab for the first out of the fifth. Nyjer Morgan singles up the middle and Ian Desmond grounds to second for an infield single that Jeff Baker can't get to. Cristian Guzman pops out behind short. 3-2 Cubs in the fifth...Ryan Theriot K's swinging to start the Cubs' fifth (Or did he groundout? It's ruled a groundout, Nieves with the tag.) Jeff Baker grounds more convincingly to Guzman at second and Derrek Lee grounds out to short.
6 - Top of the sixth, Adam Dunn flies out to center. Josh Willingham singles to center, takes second on a wild pitch and takes third on Adam Kennedy's groundout, scoring when Wil Nieves grounds up the middle for an RBI single that ties it at 3-3. Taveras grounds out...Lannan vs Byrd. Grounder back to the mound, Lannan has it, one down. Aramis Ramirez grounds out to Adam Kennedy at third. Alfonso Soriano walks with two down, but Ian Desmond catches an inning-ending line drive off Soto's bat.
7 - Alberto Gonzalez grounds out to start the seventh, and Aramis Ramirez is ready for Morgan's bunt attempt this time. Ian Desmond flies to center, and it's 3-3 after six and a half...Sean Burnett's on for the Nats in the seventh and gets Tyler Colvin looking at a full-count fastball. Xavier Nady grounds out. Ryan Theriot singles to right with two down, but Jeff Baker flies out to center to end the seventh.
8 - Aramis Ramirez throws out Guzman on a grounder to third. Adam Dunn lines a sharp single through the shift, and Sean Marshall is out, replaced by Carlos Zambrano. Josh Willingham battles Zambrano to a full count and singles to left. Adam Kennedy pops up to the infield. Wil Nieves with two on and two out. Zambrano gets the swinging K...Willy Taveras is back near the ivy when he tracks down Derrek Lee's fly ball to right. Marlon Byrd takes a fastball for a called strike three. Aramis Ramirez flies to deep center and it's 3-3 after eight.
9 - Willie Harris starts the ninth with a fly ball to center for Byrd. Ryan Zimmerman flies out to the track in right center. Nyjer Morgan grounds out to short to end the Nats' chances of winning without extras...A 4-pitch walk to Alfonso Soriano from Brian Bruney. Bruney fields and throws to second to cut down Soriano on a bunt attempt by Koyie Hill. One down. Tyler Colvin K's looking. Kosuke Fukudome lines to center to end the ninth.
10 - Carlos Marmol gets a fly ball to right from Ian Desmond. Cristian Guzman flies to right. Adam Dunn lines to the right field corner for a two-out double, but Josh Willingham grounds to short to end the Nats' tenth...Ryan Theriot takes a fastball the other way for a leadoff single. Brian Bruney strikes Jeff Baker out, Theriot still at first. Derrek Lee walks with one out. Marlon Byrd flies out to..short center...Guzman's ther...it drops. Bases loaded. Aramis Ramirez takes a fastball inside, ball one, a fastball up high, that's two, another down low, three and then up high again, ball four, run scores, forced in to end it...A walkoff walk.
Nationals now 10-10.