There was a word that described the 2005 Washington Nationals: scrappy. Somehow, someway, against all odds the 2005 version of the team found ways to win. Fast forward to 2011 and the recent incarnation is doing the same. The Nats held off the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night and for the second night in a row beat the Cubs by one run by the final score of 3-2.
With the Nationals up 3-0 and recently called up pitcher Ross Detwiler cruising into his third look at the Cubs line-up when Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run home in the top of the sixth putting Chicago within one late in the game. That is all Nats manager Davey Johnson needed to see. He pulled Detwiler for reliever Todd Coffey and with him and the help of Sean Burnett and 2011 All-Star Tyler Clippard the Nats bullpen kept the Cubs guessing into the ninth. Closer Drew Storen took over and made it game over. Storen gave up only one single to Marlon Byrd (a former Nationals outfielder), but got the three outs necessary to end the game and earn his 21st save of the season.
Detwiler won his debut going 5.1 innings giving up two runs on four hits. He issued no walks and had one strikeout, relying heavily on ground outs, fly balls and the defense behind him. They did not let him down.
The Nationals are 12-3 in 1-run games since June 1. The Nationals move above .500 with a 44-43 record and will go for the series win against the Cubs on Wednesday night.