For seven innings, it looked like the Chicago Cubs would be disappointing all of their mothers, but a late rally in the eighth and ninth innings changed all of that. In the rubber match of the three game series with the Washington Nationals, the Cubs were able to get a victory due to great pitching and timely hitting.
After the Cubs bats exploded for eight runs on Saturday, they were much quieter for the majority of the game on Sunday. Nationals starter, Gio Gonzalez was dealing early and flirting with a no-hitter. It wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Cubs would get their first hit on a Dioner Navarro infield single. Despite holding the Cubs to just two hits in seven innings while striking out six, Gonzalez would not walk away with the win.
Scott Feldman continued to pitch well for the Cubs on Sunday. After giving up an early run in the first inning, Feldman settled down and would shut down the Nationals for six innings. Although Feldman would not get the win in this game, he had a solid line of six innings, five hits, one run, and six strikeouts. He has now lowered his ERA to 2.53 as he competes for a spot in the rotation as Matt Garza is inching closer to a return.
Although it took them awhile, the Cubs offense finally got going and would save the great game by the pitching staff. In the eighth inning, Navarro was able to get his second hit of the game. Travis Wood then came in to pitch run and would eventually advance to third. With two outs in the inning, Starlin Castro came up with a clutch single to drive in Wood and tie the game. Cody Ransom followed that up with another single but Anthony Rizzo was unable to drive in the go ahead run.
James Russell pitched an easy eighth inning that would set the Cubs up for a chance to grab the lead in the ninth. Alfonso Soriano and Julio Borbon had back to back singles to start the inning. Then after Ryan Sweeney struck out, Soriano and Borbon attempted a double steal. Nats catcher Kurt Suzuki made a horrible throw to third that went into left field and allowed Soriano to score the go ahead run. But that would be all the Cubs could get in the inning.
Kevin Gregg came in an pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth for sixth save on the season to seal the 2-1 victory for the Cubs.
After getting crushed by the Nats on Friday night, the Cubs responded nicely taking the final two games of the series in Washington. Their record now stands at 15-22 as they return home for series against the Colorado Rockies and New York Mets.