"It's broke, guys, and I'm done for the year." -- Nyjer Morgan, walking past several reporters in the clubhouse at Wrigley Field following today's 5-4 win over the Cubs (courtesy of Washington Times Chatter).

Here's a picture of Nyjer Morgan NOT breaking his hand sliding into third base, against the Padres last month.
Photo © Cheryl Nichols 2009. All Rights Reserved.

THE RESULT: The Washington Nationals jumped all over Chicago Cubs starter Randy Wells in the first three innings, staking their claim on a 5-0 lead. The Cubs chipped away at the mark, but fell one run short, dropping the rubber match of this three-game set, 5-4, before 35,174 at Wrigley Field.

The Nationals are 46-82 this season, 20-21 under interim manager Jim Riggleman. They are 14-11 in August.

It's the first time the Nats have won a series in Chicago since 2005.

Nats starter J.D. Martin wasn't his sharpest, in the fall-like conditions off Lake Michigan, with game-time temperatures in the low 60s. But Martin stuck around for five innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits and two walks. He allowed two homers, Aramis Ramirez' two-run shot (11), and Derek Lee's solo shot, his 25th of the season.

But he limited the damage and evened his record to 3-3.

The game started like a track meet. Nyjer Morgan drew and opening walk, stole second and then stole third. Cristian Guzman doubled to score Morgan, and Zimmerman followed with a blast into the second row of the left centerfield bleachers.

Morgan, however, did not take the field following the third out. According to MASN.com, Morgan broke his left hand sliding into third and will likely miss the remainder of the season. X-rays revealed he broke the second metacarpal bone in his left hand.

Guzman's fielder's choice in the second plated Martin in the second inning, and Dunn's mammoth shot to center in the third closed the scoring for the Nats.

Lee's homer in the fifth off Martin cut the lead to 5-3. The Cubs got another in the seventh against Tyler Clippard. Second baseman Jeff Baker walked to lead off, and after two outs, Lee singled, moving Baker up sixty feet.

Ramirez (3-for-4, three RBIs) singled to center, and Baker scored to draw the home team within one run.

Sean Burnett relieved Clippard to face Kosuke Fukudome. On a 2-2 count, Clippard uncorked a wild pitch and Lee tried to score. But Josh Bard recovered and made a nice play to nab the less-than-speedy Lee at the plate.

Mike MacDougal went one and two-thirds to notch his 14th save of the season.

THE TAKEAWAY: Adam Dunn is quietly approaching an incredible milestone. He is now six home runs shy of recording six straight 40-home run seasons.

THE GOOD: Willie Harris. Inserted for Morgan after his injury, Harris went 1-for-1 with three walks. A perfect day at the plate.

THE BAD: Ronnie Belliard. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

THE UGLY: Morgan's wrist. The slo-mo replay looked pretty ugly, as he jammed his left wrist and bent it hard forward as he slid hands first into third base. .

He missed a couple games due to illness, returning today. The Nats are a different club when he's in the lineup, but it sounds like they will miss their catalyst the rest of the season.

Morgan was hitting .351 with 35 runs, a homer, 12 RBI and 24 stolen bases in 49 games with the Nationals.

NEXT GAME: The Nats go to St. Louis to face teh Cardinals, Friday at 8:15 pm ET. John Lannan (8-9, 4.03) looks to rebound from a couple of rough starts against newly-acquired John Smoltz (3-5, 7.40).


  1. Wil Nieves // August 27, 2009 at 11:05 PM  

    Re: Dunn's HRs.

    Please don't jinx him!!

  2. Anonymous // August 28, 2009 at 8:00 AM  

    He is now six home runs shy of becoming the first player in Major League history to record six straight 40-home run seasons.

    You read that right. The first.

    Not Babe Ruth. Not Lou Gerhig. Not hank Aaron or Barry Bonds. Not Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa.

    The first.

    You call yourself a "news network". You seek to place yourself not as a blogger but rather as a full-fledged member of the media. So perhaps you might want to do a little fact checking before making half-cocked statements like this one.

    Babe Ruth's home runs by year, from baseball-reference.com:

    1926 47
    1927 60
    1928 54
    1929 46
    1930 49
    1931 46
    1932 41

    That's SEVEN. Count 'em. SEVEN.

  3. Dave Nichols // August 28, 2009 at 3:28 PM  

    "anonymous", thanks for pointing out my mistake.

    i should have been more careful.

    i have corrected my error, and appreciate you pointing it out to me.

  4. Scott // August 30, 2009 at 2:28 PM  

    No problem. I heard the info on MASN first and they had it wrong (not the first time they have had it wrong)!

    The Anon sure sounds like a blogger that is a little defensive (they probably have gotten some things wrong too and are on the hunt for others). Don't worry about it.