Blame It on the Rain - Nationals 6, Cubs 5

Rookie Jefry Rodriguez started on the mound for the Nationals in game two. Anthony Rizo was the only man to reach base for the Cubs after a hit by pitch but no runs were recorded. Albert Almora Jr and Kris Bryant recorded the first two outs with flyouts prior to the hit by pitch, and Javier Báez ended the inning with a strikeout.

Báez redeemed himself in the home half of the first with a great catch in foul territory to get Trea Turner out. Cubs starter Cole Hamels then got a swinging strikeout from Anthony Rendon. Bryce Harper recorded his third walk of the doubleheader, followed by a flyout to center field from Ryan Zimmerman to end the inning.

Rodriguez was sharp in the second, with a quick 1-2-3 inning of all swinging strikeouts from Kyle Schwarber, David Bote, and Victor Caratini.

Ian Happ hit a hard liner to first but was robbed of a hit on a fantastic leaping catch from Ryan Zimmerman in the third. Happ later made a decent, although less dramatic, catch in right field along the foul line for an out to Turner.

The Cubs had the leadoff man on base for the first time in the game in the fourth after Bryant walked on seven pitches. Báez reached on what was originally scored a fielding error by Zimmerman but was later changed to a double. Schwarber was intentionally walked to load the bases for Bote. No heroics from Bote during this at-bat, as he went down on a swinging strike. Cubs fans would have to wait till the next at-bat for the magic: Caratini flipped his bat on a beautiful grand slam to put the Cubs up 4-0.

The Nationals responded in their half of the fourth with a run-scoring on a triple from Adrián Sanchez, scoring Harper, who had led off the inning with a walk. Almora made a valiant attempt at a catch against the wall in center but slightly misjudged it. The inning ended with the score at 4-1.

Austen Williams replaced Rodriguez in the fifth and faced Almora leading off, who reached on a blooper to shortstop Turner. Bryant and Rizzo followed with contact outs and Báez ended the inning with a strikeout.

Hamels struck out the side in the fifth, displaying a nasty cutter for a few swings and misses from Spencer Kieboom, pinch-hitter Andrew Stevenson, and Turner.

Sammy Solis entered the game to pitch for the Nationals in the sixth and faced Schwarber. He got a single and tripped around first, but no injury resulted. Addison Russell then came in to pinch run for Schwarber. The rain started to come down again, and the Cubs left the inning without bringing in any further runs.

Defensively, the Cubs switched things up with Bryant moving from third to left field, Báez moving from shortstop to second, Russell remaining in at shortstop, and Bote moving to third base.

Rendon led off the sixth with his 19th home run of the season to bring the score to 4-2, followed by consecutive walks to Harper and Zimmerman. Robles grounded into a double play, with Bote scooping the ball at third and making a perfect throw to Rizzo at first. Hamels was knocked out of the game after a run-scoring double from Sanchez, making it a one-run game at 4-3.

Carl Edwards Jr pitched in relief of Hamels, after the starter went 5.2 innings with three hits, three earned runs, five walks, and five strikeouts.

Edwards faced Michael A. Taylor and walked him on five pitches, but he was able to record the final out of the inning on a strikeout from Kieboom.

Pinch hitter Tommy La Stella led off the seventh with a single to center. Wander Suero came in to pitch for the Nationals, and Terrance Gore pinch ran for La Stella. Gore was able to steal second and third, and Bryant added an insurance run with a double with two outs. The inning ended with the Cubs up 5-3.

Steve Cishek took the mound for the Cubs and got a swinging strikeout from Adam Eaton. Turner followed with a single that stayed just fair along the third base line and would score on a double from Rendon. Justin Wilson then came in to replace Cishek and gave up a two-run homer to Harper, putting the Nationals ahead 6-5.

A new reliever, Koda Glover, came in for the Nationals and faced only Russell, who flew out to left. With Daniel Murphy up to bat in place of Bote, the Nationals replaced Glover with closer Sean Doolittle. It started to really pour again as Murphy struck out on a very awkward swing. Doolittle got the third out on a flyout to left from Caratini.

The tarp came back out before the Nationals’ half of the eighth.

UPDATE:

Sorry for the delay on this one, friends, but it didn't look like the rain was going to let up and I had to turn in for the night.

When play resumed, Jesse Chavez was in to pitch for the Cubs and Willson Contreras was in to catch. Chavez worked a scoreless inning, with a lineout from Taylor, a pop out to Contreras from Kieboom, a single from Reynolds, and a groundout from Turner.

Greg Holland replaced Doolittle for the Nationals in the ninth. The Cubs were not able to answer, though. Contreras led off with a hit by pith, but Happ followed with a flyout to center and pinch hitter Ben Zobrist grounded into a double play to end the game.

WPA CHART


Source: FanGraphs

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    Are you hinting that the game is going to be called and Nats the winner 6-5?

    Womens intuition ?

    I don't ever hope for a beautiful woman to be wrong, but please be wrong please be wrong....... re-start this game and the Cubs get that Doolittle n rest of that pig pen.

  • Well it looks as if Joe has destroyed yet another bullpen.

  • I have nothing to add. The Cubs’ Magic Number remains at 18.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    18 for division, 15 for postseason as Dodgers lost.

  • It looks like Sunday may be a wash out too. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have to reschedule the game for a day they both have off, Wednesday the 13th looks like the most logical. The Nats would only have to travel from Philly but the Cubs would have to fly in from Phoenix and then back to Chicago for the White Sox series. What a mess and they loose another off day. Boy this upcoming Brewers series is huge. What an understatement huh?

  • In reply to PhillyCubFan:

    Sorry, should have written Thursday the 13th.

  • In reply to PhillyCubFan:

    Wow did I get this wrong. I’ll blame the time I posted. Reschedule for Thursday 13th but Cubs would be flying back from Chicago not Phoenix. Goes to show you why I don’t post too often. Being a little more accurate would help.

  • In reply to PhillyCubFan:

    Playing on the 13th would extend the Cubs stretch of days without a game from 23 to 30. I think the CBA sets the limit at 20, unless the team agrees to waive it (which the Cubs must have done for the Atlanta makeup). Maybe Friday's and today's rainouts do not count. But we did use up our best pitcher Friday and sitting around in the visiting clubhouse all day today hardly qualifies as a day off

    I think they postpone the game and add it to the end of the season ONLY IF the game's outcome would affect the postseason rankings.

  • In reply to PhillyCubFan:

    I’m just tired of this WEATHER! Just wish the games would start when they are supposed to and no delays in them. Puts everybody on edge.....
    It’s not the worst thing if we can get out of there with a split but definitely get the game in. Milwaukee gets MadBum today and then Jonny L Monday, a tough order.
    Hats off to Harper, he finally did something. Against a hard throwing lefty too.
    This upcoming series with the Crew is the season for the Brewers. They either leave out with a chance for the division or lose it, it basically hinges on that. The West is getting ugly for the Diamondbacks too.....it’s all starting to wind down and as a fan it’s good to watch.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I'd be very surprised if they get a game in today. From 1:00 PM EDT to 10:00 PM EDT the smallest chance of rain in an hourly period is 80% and that's 2 non consecutive hours. My guess is that they postpone and only make the game up if it affects the standings.

  • fb_avatar

    Go brewers!!! Brewers when you play at Wrigley make sure your b entire team lines up together in front of dugout during the national anthem while 90%of the cubs aren't even on the field. Turn the real cub fans against those jackasses.Go brewers!!!!

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    You really need help. That is some life you are living.

    Pitt picked up 3 games last week. 4th place is looking real for ya.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Can't we block this troll. He fosters the kind of dialog that this site tries to avoid.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I recommended this action to Michael and asked the administrators to reconsider and look at his purpose which is to troll Cubs Den. Not sure where it went, but obviously this clown is still here doing his lame trolling.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Greg, that’s what you’re focusing on? I watch almost every Cubs game and most times they are in the dugout and respectful during the anthem. You can root against or for teams for a myriad of reasons but this seems a little lame.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    What happened to you? During the 2016 post season, you made many thoughtful, insightful cubs comments. Now, you just intentionally annoy people.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Norris to Hicks — “Look kid, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told ya 1000 times....now move over, let me show ya how to REALLY throw one in the dirt......PAY attention!”

  • Now that was long and frustrating day of baseball. If the game is on today a series split would be sure help. Yesterday was a tough day for Cub pitchers. Forecast is for rain again in DC. Bullpen could use a day off and Joe could slip Monty in it for the Brewers series. It's never easy.

  • FOOD FOR THOUGHT: We have only 20 games left before the playoffs and we are past the need to rest players for the playoffs. Our players are young and instead should be playing regularly, intact as a team, to get ready for the playoffs.

    We have at least 5 - 6 position players that are better than the rest on the team and should be playing most all of the time at their regular positions while the rest are put in intermittently or for defense (like most other teams). By doing this, we would play more like a well-oiled machine and less sloppy. With our best offense and defense playing, we can score more runs and hold the opposition to less runs which would also help our pitching woes and our bullpen.

    There is no need to experiment or showcase all the different positions our guys can play. I believe moving the players all around on defense and in the batting lineup is only hurting. We already know what positions these players can play now. It is time to put the best lineups on the field now to get ready for the playoffs.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    30 something year old baseball players don’t need rest this time of year. Just Maddon being Maddon. I’m 58, ride my bike 10-15 miles a day. Mow my yardtwice a week, play golf daily, drink beer daily but Murphy and Zoe can’t play baseball everyday for three weeks, bullshit. Keep this inept offense up and we’ll be in the wildcard game playing the cardinals.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    This has been a mix and match team and Joe is good at it. In years past he has
    honed in on a nucleus of 5-6 down the stretch. I think the 23 games on successive days has delayed that a strategy a bit. Wet fields also require more precaution. Maddon might sill be trying to figure out who he can trust, especially in the bullpen.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    There is only 20 games left in the regular season after today (19 if they play today) with 2 regularly scheduled days off and there are plenty of days off in the playoffs.

    The mixing and matching obviously is not working (yesterday's double header proves that) and I am not so sure Joe is as good at it as others seem to think. This team has a lot of talent that has been given to Joe to work with and this talent is the main reason the Cubs are successful .

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Again, I think Maddon is the best Manager for the Cubs but he is human and not perfect. I am not trying to make Joe look bad, I am only trying to be realistic.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Not to be argumentative, but I do expect to see more mixing and matching this year for defensive and batter/pitcher stats. There are a core of players that one likes to see on the field on daily basis as well.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I agree with you but the wholesale lineup changes needs to stop. Maybe a tradeoff of 1 - 2 position players per game. This was basically the formula when we won the WS.

  • The 2nd game was a deflating loss, this whole weekend with the rain been rough

    Don’t know what to say, the cubs don’t look like a legit championship team imo they look like a inevitable nlds exit. Bullpen may be gassed from earlier in the season when the starters habitually couldn’t go more than 5 innings. Hamels was solid until the 6th

  • Not to pile on Joe, but when did we stop walking Bryce Harper with 1B open?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    My thoughts when they pitched to him... I was like oh no... 1st base open, put up 4 fingers. I don’t know what they were thinking. Shut the tv off after the loss & went up stairs shaking my head.

  • Shocker - Today’s game is delayed...

  • These delays are driving me crazy.What is it a tropical storm in the dc area? This weekend been crazy

  • DA BEARS - The pack doesn't know what hit them!

  • I take that back... My Bad. Da Bears don't know what hit them! I want Fox back. First half this game the Bears were UNBEATABLE... the second half The Bears were UNWINNABLE!

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