The Chicago Cubs start tonight determined to at least win this road series at the Washington Nationals' new home, after losing the first of a three game series last night in Nationals Park, at the Navy Yard, just south of the Capitol, on the Anacostia River. In spite of last night's late-game heroics, Wil Nieves is not behind the plate as play gets underway, instead it's Johnny Estrada receiving Matt Chico's pitches, or at least he would be if the Cubs didn't keep hitting them for singles. Three straight from Reed Johnson, Ryan Theriot and Derrek Lee, and the Cubs take an early 1-0 lead. Kosuke Fukudome works the count full and walks to load the bases with one out in the first. Mark DeRosa rips a grounder under Ryan Zimmerman's glove and it goes rolling into left as two more score. 3-0 Cubbies after a half. The DC Faithful are trying to drown out, with boos, the abundant Cubs' contingent's choreographed cheers.
Cristian Guzman kickstarts the Nationals' offense with a one-out double and a free pass to third when Cubs' starter Carlos Zambrano sends a pick-off throw to second bouncing into center. Ryan Zimmerman goes down watching a fastball all the way into Geovany Soto's mitt. Zambrano hits Nick Johnson dead on the thigh of his surgically repaired right leg. Lastings Milledge swings through a high heater from Zambrano to end the first.
Chico gives up back to back one-out singles to Reed Johnson and Ryan Theriot in the top of the second. First and third for D. Lee...double down the line in left and into the corner, Reed Johnson and Theriot score. 5-0 Cubs. Carlos Zambrano gives up a two-out walk, but nothing else to the Nationals in the bottom of the frame.
Matt Chico gets a groundball out from Mark DeRosa, and then drops a full count curve on Geovany Soto for the second out, but Ronny Cedeno doubles down the third base line and off the section of seats which extends out to left, bringing up the pitcher, Carlos Zambrano, who grounds weakly to short. Felipe Lopez slices a leadoff single to left to start the Nationals' half. Guzman flies out to center. Zimmerman grounds to short, Theriot tosses to Cedeno at second, but Zimmerman beats out the back end of the DP. Nick Johnson walks. Lastings Milledge stares at strike three on a low inside slider.
Chico retires the Cubs in order in the fourth. Carlos Zambrano issues a two-out walk to Wily Mo Pena, so Rob Mackowiak replaces Matt Chico at the plate after only four innings on the mound for young left-hander... Mackowiak grounds to first, D. Lee dives for it and tosses to Zambrano covering. 5-0 Cubs after four innings.
"Wild" Joe Hanrahan gives up a leadoff double down the left field line to Aramis Ramirez. Hanrahan fools Fukudome with a nasty curve for strike three. Mark DeRosa grounds out to short. Hanrahan blows a high 0-2 fastball by Geovany Soto to end the top of the fifth. Felipe Lopez singles, but Guzman grounds into a DP. Ryan Zimmerman sends a ground ball up the middle for a two-out single. Nick Johnson flies out to left. Five scoreless for Zambrano.
Leadoff double for Ronny Cedeno into the...(You guessed it)...left field corner to start the sixth. Carlos Zambrano's groundout advances Cedeno to third. Felix Pie down looking. Ryan Theriot walks in front of D. Lee...Theriot steals second...D. Lee walks to load the bases. Aramis Ramirez grounds into a force at second. 5-0 middle of six. Lastings Milledge singles to right to start the home half of the sixth. Austin Kearns pops out unproductively. Johnny Estrada up...Milledge steals second, and when the throw from home rolls into short center, Milledge tries to take third, and gets nailed by Felix Pie, who was all over the play. Estrada flies out to center. 5-0 after Cubs after six.
The Flat-Brimmed Middle Reliever, Chad Cordero's on in the seventh. Cordero's working out of the stretch, and gets a fly ball out to left from Kosuke Fukudome...(82-83 mph fastballs)...Mark DeRosa singles to center on an 81 mph fastball. 74 mph curve starts off Geovany Sota, 72 in the dirt on another deuce, 74 mph strike, 75 mph curve for a ball, fastball outside corner, strike three on an 82 mph heater. 1-0 fastball registers at 79...80 mph ball...72 mph curve outside, 3-1 count to Ronny Cedeno, who swings over a low curve...full-count fastball, 83 mph strike three. Stand up and stretch...Wily Mo Pena reaches on an error by Ryan Theriot. Willie Harris pops out to the infield. Zambrano walks Felipe Lopez, but gets a ground out from Guzman, and Zimmerman's up with two on, two out...Zambrano gets Zimmerman to foul a curve into the catcher's mitt...5-0 Chicago after seven...
Jesus "Everyday" Colome gets a fly out to right from Mike Fontenot to start the eigth. Colome then hits Felix Pie on the top of the foot. Ryan Theriot hits one right to Lastings Milledge in right center. Colome walks D. Lee. Aramis Ramirez doubles...(Yes, all together now)..."Down the left field line..." two runs score. 7-0 Chicago. Michael Wuertz on to end the eigth. Nick Johnson takes a leadoff walk. Lastings Milledge grounds to short, and lets Ryan Theriot do it himself, fielding it, stepping on second and firing to first for a double play. Austin Kearns swings through a curve, 5-0 Cubs after eight.
Jesus Colome gives up a two-out single to Ronny Cedeno, which means, D. Ward, big Daryl Ward will get a chance to hit in the new Nationals Park...but D. Ward just flies out to left. 3 outs to get 7 runs for the Nationals. Johnny Estrada hits a leadoff single off Jon Lieber. Wily Mo Pena down swinging. Pinch hitter Aaron Boone...pops out to second. Felipe Lopez down swinging, Cubs win 7-0.
Nationals now 8-17.