There can be no jokes here about the Cubs operating in a fog since 1908.
Nope, no way. Not after Thursday night's 5-3 victory over the Washington Nationals in the pea soup at Wrigley Field.
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It was an eerie night all the way around at the old ballpark. Fog rolled in off Lake Michigan before the game and kept rolling in all night long.
It got so bad at one point that Nationals center fielder Denard Span lost Luis Valbuena's fly ball, which went for a triple.
"I don't know that I've been here on the other side as a visitor or otherwise and experienced that yet," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria, whose team improved to 33-44. "That was the first time I experienced it to that degree. It was interesting."
The night also was a scary one for the Cubs, who watched their center fielder, Junior Lake, hurt himself by sliding into the metal door in deep right-center as he attempted to run down Ryan Zimmerman's double in the second inning.
Lake lay on the ground for several minutes and was tended to by Cubs doctor Stephen Adams. Lake left the game, and the Cubs said he did not exhibit any symptoms of a concussion, but he did have bruising on his knee and forehead. Renteria said the Cubs would re-evaluate Lake Friday morning ahead of the afternoon game against the Nats.
"He wanted to keep playing," said Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro. "He wanted to stay in the game. Dr. Adams said no. I thought he broke something."
Lake is an aggressive player by nature, so the crashing into the door didn't surprise Castro, even though he'd like his friend to take it a little bit easy.
"Remember last year, when he got called up, too," Castro said. "He had three or four times, one in Colorado and two in Arizona. And I said, 'Hey you're not in the Dominican. You got to be careful. Don't kill yourself.'"
Castro's 2 RBI (for a team-leading 47) in the fourth and another by Welington Castillo gave starting pitcher Travis Wood a 3-0 lead. The Nationals put 1 across in the sixth, and Wood walked the first two batters of the seventh before Span's double tied the game and sent Wood to an exit. Wood also walked a pair of batters in the sixth as his final 2 innings were a bit of a grind.
"It turned into one, at least," said Wood, who got a no-decision. "To walk two there in the seventh can't happen. Once again, walks ended up hurting me tonight."
Rookie reliever Neil Ramirez earned his first major-league victory by getting the final out in the seventh. Justin Ruggiano broke the tie with a two-out, 2-RBI double in the bottom of the seventh.
Pedro Strop pitched the eighth and Hector Rondon bounced back from a rough outing Monday night to earn his ninth save.