for this game

Chico dazzles Cubs to finally pick up win

Jul 4, 2007 - 8:50 PM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Matt Chico finally picked up an elusive win.

Chico threw seven dominant innings and All-Star Dmitri Young hit a grand slam as the Washington Nationals posted a 6-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the third game of the four-game series on Wednesday.

Winless in his previous eight starts, Chico (4-5) yielded four hits - two doubles - and struck out four batters without issuing a walk to capture his victory since May 17.

"He's had some tough luck before where he's given a good effort and come out of there without a decision, but today was his day," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "He was in complete control, he had good command of his pitches. No walks, that tells you the story right there."

The 24-year-old lefthander did pitch well during that drought, allowing two earned runs or less in five outings over than span. He has not allowed a run over his last 13 innings, successfully following up his six scoreless frames in a 3-2 loss at the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.

"I went out there just trying to get my ground balls, popups and trying to hit my spots," Chico said. "It was a lot of fun. I got a little excited early on. I just tried to hit the glove. To have no walks, I was most happy about that."

Chico experienced his only real problem in the second inning when Aramis Ramirez reached leading off on a throwing error by shortstop Felipe Lopez and Mark DeRosa singled. However, the southpaw retired the next three batters to extend his scoreless streak.

"He mixed his pitches and he had very good location," said Cubs All-Star outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who was 1-for-4 with a double. "I think that was the key, he pitched a very good game."

Young, who was named as the Nationals' lone All-Star representative on Sunday, celebrated his second trip to the Midseason Classic by knocking out three hits, including his sixth career grand slam in the fifth inning.

Already trailing 2-0, Cubs starter Rich Hill (5-6) decided to intentionally walk Ryan Zimmerman to load the bases for Young, who drilled a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence for his eighth homer of the season.

"I was wanting them to do that (walk Zimmerman)," Young said. "That put me in a situation where I actually needed to focus and try to get us some runs ... and I took advantage. I just got good wood and got myself in good position to hit."

"We tried to set up a double play. The shortstop doesn't play in the bullpen," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "(Hill) had two strikes on him and hung him a curveball. Young is swinging the bat well."

Hill also opted to walk Zimmerman largely due to the home run that the young third baseman hit with two outs in the first inning to open the scoring.

It was the 13th homer of the season and second in as many games played on July 4 for Zimmerman, who connected on a game-winning three-run shot against then-Florida Marlins closer Joe Borowski here last year as a rookie.

Hill has had his problems avoiding big innings, following a five-run first in his previous outing against the Milwaukee Brewers with another Wednesday that was started by Ronnie Belliard's RBI double.

"I think he wastes to much energy fighting himself instead of just concentrating on getting hitters," Piniella said. "I'm going to talk to him about that. You don't have to be perfect. He gets mad every time somebody gets a base hit. You don't have to be perfect in this game."

The 27-year-old lefthander, who surrendered a season-high six runs and 10 hits in six innings, agreed with his manager's sentiment.

"It's a little frustrating going out there and getting your (butt) handed to you everyday," said Hill, who has lost five of his last six decisions. "It's not very fun."

The Cubs, who entered Wednesday's game having won 10 of 11 games overall, had their five-game winning streak over the Nationals snapped. They were attempting to record six straight wins over the franchise formerly known as the Montreal Expos since May 24-June 2, 1991.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1
    WASHINGTON 1 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 x 6 11 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - RICH HILL, BILLY PETRICK (7TH), SCOTT EYRE (8TH) AND ROB BOWEN
    WAS - MATT CHICO, SAUL RIVERA (8TH), RAY KING (9TH) AND
    JESUS FLORES

    HOME RUNS: CHN - NONE
    WA

    Jul 4 2:36 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY DMITRI YOUNG (8) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF RICH HILL SCORED NOOK LOGAN, RONNIE BELLIARD AND RYAN
    ZIMMERMAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0, WASHINGTON 6
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.252, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 4 1:38 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RONNIE BELLIARD SCORED JESUS FLORES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R BELLIARD ON SECOND, N LOGAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0
    WASHINGTON 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R ZIMMERMAN (.249, 2-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 4 1:35 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
    WASHINGTON 1 0 0 1 3 1 (BOT 4)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CHN - RICH HILL
    WAS - MATT CHICO

    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R ZIMMERMAN (.247, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)
    D YOUNG (.330, 0-FOR-1)
    A KEARNS (.252, 0-FOR-1)

    Cubs vs. NationalsJul 4 1:03 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Hogie Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. NationalsMay 24 6:53 PM