Monday night was a perfect example of why Chicago is nicknamed the “Windy City.” At game time, the temperature was 49 crisp degrees with the wind blowing in at 19 mph. The Cubs sent Carlos Silva to the mound, who entering the season was a huge question mark for the North-Siders. Here we are a few weeks in the season and Silva is the biggest surprise in the Cubs’ rotation.
Silva (2-0) pitched very well and kept his team in the ballgame. The hefty right-hander allowed 3 runs in 7 innings that led to another quality start by Cub starters. Silva looked unhittable at the start of the game when he K’d 3 of the 1st 4 batters he faced. However those were the only 3 strikeouts he had in his outing.
Silva got his 2nd RBI of the season on a bases loaded walk in the 2nd inning. However, the very next inning Silva returned the favor when he walked Josh Willingham with the bases loaded.
Carlos Zambrano was called upon in the 8th, making his 2nd appearance in relief action since being reassigned to the bullpen. Big Z dismissed rumors of discontent before the game, saying that he will do what’s best for the team until Jim Hendry can find a set-up man.
Carlos entered the 8th with a man on 1st base with 1 out. After allowing a base hit, Zambrano induced a pop-up for out number 2. Zambrano showed a ton of emotion reminiscent of the “old” Big Z when he struck out Wil Nieves to end the inning unscathed.
Since the Cubs didn’t score in the bottom of the 8th, Piniella sent Zambrano back to the mound to start the 9th. Zambrano pitched a 1-2-3 inning to preserve the tie.
The Cubs were unable to score in the bottom of the 9th, so there was free baseball played at the Friendly Confines.
Cubs’ closer Carlos Marmol took the ball and pitched a scoreless 1oth.
Ryan Theriot led off the 10th with a single. After a Jeff Baker strike out, Derrek Lee walked. Marlon Byrd then blooped a single into shallow center to load them up for Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez took 4 straight balls for the walk off walk!
Earlier in the game, the Cubs’ offense scored 2 in the 2nd and 1 in the 3rd off of Nationals’ starter John Lannan. Byrd stayed hot despite his day off on Sunday. Byrd had a multi-hit night including and RBI and a run scored. Baker and Tyler Colvin both hit their 1st triples of the season. Alfonso Soriano took 3 walks on the night. Theriot also recorded another multi-hit hit.
Final Score: Cubs (10-10) 4 – Nationals (10-10) 3
WP: Carlos Marmol (1-0)
LP: Brian Bruney (1-1)
The same 2 teams will be at it again on Tuesday night. Chicago will be looking to secure the series win. Tom Gorzelanny will be on the mound for the Cubs and will face Nationals’ veteran Livan Hernandez.