Monday, August 19, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 11, Nationals 1
By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 11-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Monday at Wrigley Field.
How it happened: Nate Schierholtz and Donnie Murphy hit two home runs apiece as the Cubs hit five long ones on the night. Schierholtz blasted a three-run shot in the first and a two-run shot in the seventh. He also had an RBI double in the third inning before Murphy hit a solo shot in the fourth. Murphy added a solo shot in the eighth as well. Dioner Navarro went deep with a three-run shot in the fifth inning, finally ending Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann's night. Zimmermann gave up eight runs on seven hits while his counterpart on the Cubs, Jeff Samardzija, was mowing the Nationals down. Samardzija gave up very little until a home run in the seventh by Wilson Ramos. Samardzija went the distance, giving up just one run on six hits.
What it means: Guys like Schierholtz, Navarro and Murphy are picking up the slack of slumping stars Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro. Navarro has resurrected his career as his 11 home runs have come in 167 at-bats. Projected over the course of 500 at-bats that translates to over 30 home runs. He also walked twice on Monday, raising his on-base percentage to a team-leading .366. Unless Navarro gets a starting job someplace else, expect a return next year of the catching duo the Cubs currently employ. Schierholtz has been better than advertised, setting career-high numbers across the board and Murphy has also exceeded expectations with six home runs in 44 at-bats since being recalled.
Outside the box: Brian Bogusevic was activated before the game to take the place of traded outfielder David DeJesus. Expect him and the soon-to-be-activated Ryan Sweeney to get the bulk of the playing time with DeJesus gone. ... DeJesus pinch-hit in the eighth inning and received a standing ovation from the Cubs crowd before entering the batter's box. He popped out to shortstop.
What’s next: Game 2 of the series is Tuesday night with the Cubs' Chris Rusin (2-2, 3.06 ERA) opposing the Nats' Dan Haren (7-11, 4.79).