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Afternoon Box Score: Cubs Lose Opener

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 5, 2012 9:20PM

Washington 2, Cubs 1Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer received their true "Welcome to Chicago" moments this afternoon. You Wrigley faithful have a lot of reasons to be hopeful for the future. In the present, the Cubs showed why patience is going to be a virtue. Ryan Dempster was tough through 7-2/3 innings on the mound. Then Dale Sveum looked at the pitch count, pulled Dempster for Kerry Wood, then watched as Wood's reliance on four-seam fastballs and sliders outside the strike zone outdid all of Dempster's work. Wood walked in the tying run (which was charged to Dempster), then Carlos Marmol gave up a single to Ian Desmond that scored pinch runner Brett Carroll to complete a Nationals comeback.

Washington closer Brad Lidge did make things interesting in the bottom of the ninth, but managed to lock up the save. Marlon Byrd drove in a run in the fourth inning for the Cubs in what was shaping up to be a pitchers duel between Dempster and Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg only gave up Byrd's RBI in seven innings of work