Cubs Neutralize Nationals as they Fly the W at Wrigley!
After losing last time out in a great pitching duel what would the Cubs and Nationals have for an encore? The game would start off by National announcing that Corbin had become sick the night before with what seem to be the flu and would not make the start. In his place manager Dave Martinez elected to go a bullpen game route. Sam Freeman would get the nod to start the game. In the home dugout starter Adbert Alzolay looked to keep his undefeated streak alive as he looked to improve to 8-0 on the young season.
The Cubs would open the bottom of the first with a lead off single by Mallex Smith, but Smith would only be able to advance to second as the next three batter were retired. Over the next 3 innings both pitchers looked great. it wasn't until the fourth inning where Alzolay got the first two outs and then served up a base on balls to hot hitting Juan Soto. The next batter Eric Thames would make Alzolay not only pay for walking a batter but for hanging a curve ball belt high. As he deposited it into the right center field bleachers. The Cubs would lead off the bottom of the fourth with a single by Souza in hopes to answer back to the Nationals two run inning. the next batter worked a walk and then Hoerner was hit with a pitch to load the bases for Alzolay. Alzolay had a full count and then was hit by a pitch to bring in the first run for the Cubs. As the lineup flipped over Smith would pop out to the pitcher and Freeman was lifted from the game. As Martinez went to the bullpen to get a more favorable match up against Rizzo. With the base loaded and only one out Rizzo got a hanging slider that he took deep to right for a GRAND SLAM! Putting the Cubs out front 5-2 and they would never look back the remainder of the game. Alzolay was stellar through 7 innings of work giving up just 4 hits and 3 runs while striking out 5. The bullpen would give up 1 run in the ninth causing the Cubs to bring in dominate rookie closer to record the final out of the game for his 17th save of the season.
We would able to get a word with player of the game Anthony Rizzo on his teams roller coaster ride through the first 40 games. "You really don't hit your stride as a team till about game 60 so we are still trying to work somethings out. None of this though has stopped us from hanging around the top spot in the division and to be honest we are not that far off from top spot in the league." We were also able to get a word with hitting coach Anthony Iapoce "you have to give credit when you face good pitching as we did over the first month of the season. We have made some adjustments and just have to be more patient at the plate as we were tonight."
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