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Chicago Cubs Sweep Washington Nationals With 4-0 Shutout In Nationals Park.

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5. E: 99: Nats' right-hander Jason Marquis' not having a good year. (#slightunderstatement) (0-6) after signing a 2-year/$15M dollar free agent deal to pitch for the Nationals, and still on the road back from surgery to remove "loose bodies" from his elbow, the 31-year-old right-hander walks the leadoff batter, Kosuke Fukudome, then balks the runner to second. Marquis gets Starlin Castro swinging with a fastball up and inside and gets a grounder from Marlon Byrd that would be out no.2 if Ryan Zimmerman didn't bobble the ball and then throw high to first pulling Adam Dunn off the bag. E: 99 on the season for the Nats, Zim's 13th. Aramis Ramirez flies to left. Cubs' first baseman Micah Hoffpauir flies to Nyjer Morgan in center. Scoreless first for Marquis?

4. Desi's Growing: Everyone noticed. More than a few people on Twitter and even some in the GameThread last night. Ryan Dempster hits a ground ball back up the middle to start the third, and Ian Desmond shows the range that's led to more than a few of his 29 errors this year by even getting to the ball, and if Desi wasn't improving he probably would've tried to make the impossible throw and sailed it over or in some way by first, but instead the maturing 24-year-old infielder pockets it. And instead of a runner on second, Dempster's on first. Marquis gets a ground ball to first by Fukudome, Adam Dunn throws to second for the force. One down, Starlin Castro grounds into an inning-ending DP, and Desmond's decision to not throw the ball makes a big difference. Oh, and the fact the fact Desmond's hit .378 with a .418 OBP, .521 SLG, 5 doubles, 2 HR's and 5 stolen bases over 20 games and 75 at bats in August makes any errors easier to accept...

3. Nats In A Hurry: Through 5.0 innings on the mound, Cubs' right-hander Ryan Dempster allows just one hit, a one-out infield single in the third by Wil Nieves that would've been an out if Dempster hadn't bounced the throw to first and off Micah Hoffpauir's shoulder. Dempster doesn't give up another hit until the seventh when Marquis lines a one out single into left. Dempster throws a wild pitch with Ian Desmond up after Nyjer Morgan's sac bunt moves Marquis to second, but strands the opposing pitcher at third when Desmond grounds out to end the sixth scoreless inning for the Nats and Chicago's starter who ends up throwing 7.0 scoreless, giving up just the 2 hits and 1 walk, with 8 K's and only 79 pitches thrown... 

2. 7.1 IP And A Standing O: Jason Marquis walks Ryan Dempster's pinch hitter Tyler Colvin to start the Cubs' eighth, but gets a fly ball to left from Kosuke Fukudome for the first out of the frame before he's lifted for a reliever, with Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman's walk out to the mound to take the ball from the starter bringing the DC Faithful (and a few thousand Cubs fans?) to their feet as they stand and applaud the pitcher it's taken a long time (til now?) to warm up to. Marquis gives them a reason tonight: 7.1 IP, 4 hits, 3 BB, 2 K's, 98 pitches, 57 strikes...with one runner left on second that could affect the ER total...If you want to end on a good note just stop here. Know that the Nats got swept by the Cubs, who shut Washington out 4-0 to win three-straight in Nationals Park, but enjoy the idea of Marquis finally being embraced by the Faithful...

• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Can't Stop Watching...

• Final Score: Cubs 4, Nats 0.

Nationals now 53-74.

1. Clippard Collapse: Tyler Colvin steals second without so much as a look from Tyler Clippard, who's on with one out in place of Marquis in the eighth. The Cubs' rookie shortstop Starlin Castro rips into a letter-high 2-2 change outside from the Nats' right-handed reliever, lining into the left field corner to score Colvin from second and give the Cubs a 1-0 lead over the Nats. One out later, Clippard tries to throw a high 92 mph fastball by Aramis Ramirez, who hits a two-run HR out to left over Roger Bernadina's head to make it 3-0 and then 4-0 on Alfonso soriANO!'s 21st HR of the year off Nats' lefty Sean Burnett in the ninth.