The Washington Nationals routed the Chicago Cubs for the third consecutive night, pounding the Cubs for 12 hits and 9 runs as tempers flared at Nationals Park.
Apparently, the Cubs are so upset with getting crushed night in and night out int he Nation's capital, that they had to complain about Jayson Werth swinging at a 3-0 pitch with he bases loaded in the fifth inning. That complaint launched Nats third base coach Bo Porter to the top of the Cubs dugout to berate the Cubs, which led to the emptying of the bullpens for the first time. An inning later, the bullpens emptied against when Cubs pitcher Lendy Castillo purposely through at Bryce Harper.
Message to the Cubs ... if you do not like getting your ass kicked, then score runs. It's that simple.
Back to the game, the Nats offense smacked two more home runs, a three run shot by Kurt Suzuki in the second inning to give the Nats a 4-1 lead and Adam LaRoche's 29th of the season in the sixth inning, a two run tripper that scored the Nats 8th and 9th runs. LaRoche's home run tear extended to four straight games and he has gone deep in 5 of his last 6 games. He has driven in 14 runs over his last 8 games and is fourth in the National League in both home runs and RBI.
Suzuki went 3 for 5 with a home run and 3 RBI to power the Nats offensive attack. Joining the likes of LaRoche, Desmond, Espinosa, and others, Suzuki has been on his own offensive tear, collecting 12 hits in 29 at bats over his last 9 games. Ryan Zimmerman went 2 for 5 and drove in three runs with a ground out RBI and a two run single. Zim has drive in 6 runs over his last 4 games. He also extended his current hitting streak to 11 consecutive games.
In the words of Chicago Cubs' manager Dale Svuem, the Nats 'manhandled' the Cubs during this four game series. The Nats outscored the Cubs 31-9 in the four game sweep while out hitting the Cubs 45-22. The Nats pitching held the Cubs to 2 runs of less in three of the four games. It really was a pure ass-whipping and it is understandable in the last game that pent up frustration would begin to leak into the series.
Jordan Zimmermann (10-8) won his 10th of the season, throwing 7 innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 runs, while striking out 9. Tom Gorzelanny and Christian Garcia combined for two shutout innings from the pen.
The Nats improved to 85-52 and maintained a 7.5 game lead over the Braves. The magic number has decreased to 18 games.
CURRENT NATS STREAKS:
* Nats have won FIVE in a row.
* Ryan Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to ELEVEN. He also has scored a run in THREE straight and drive in a run in FOUR straight.
* Danny Espinosa has a EIGHT game hitting streak and a THREE game run scoring streak.
* Ian Desmond extended his hitting streak to FIVE games.
* Adam LaRoche extended his hitting streak to FOUR game, his home run streak to FOUR games, his RBI streak to FOUR games, and his run scoring streak to FOUR games.
* Bryce Harper has a FOUR game hitting streak and a FOUR game run scoring streak.
* Mike Morse has a THREE game hitting streak.