- Friday April 25th – Nationals Park
- Nationals 5 – Cubs 3
- Record (15-8) – 1st place in the NL Central
- Record with A. Soriano on the 15-day DL (7-3)
The skinny: It’s too bad Reed Johnson’s incredible sixth inning catch won’t be remembered as part of a win. And worse, it’s a late inning loss against a sub-par Washington bunch.
Unfortunately, Chicago wasted its own late inning opportunity to win the game by scoring just one run with the bases loaded and none out in the eighth.
But, that’s not all; throw in Theriot’s failed steal of third base, a fielding error and five pitching walks and you’ve just given away an easy “W.”
Not to mention, just yesterday I was clamoring for someone on the Cubs to wake up Bob Howry. It appears my message didn’t get through.
Perhaps, tonight’s 0.1 of an inning and walk-off homerun will get the message across to the right-handed reliever. Wake up!
I know historically Howry gets off to a slow start, but this is looking worse for the big guy each time out. Plus, this isn’t week two anymore, Howry has to start pitching better or a change needs to be made, and soon.
Tonight’s loss gets under my skin because I felt the Cubs played down to the Nationals’ belly-crawling level.
And, just because it’s still April doesn’t mean these games are not important. It’s one thing to lose a well played game like yesterday’s loss in Colorado, but giving games away like tonight is no good either.
The good news is tomorrow the Cubs still get a rebound game against the lowly Nats, luckily we’re not talking about having to face a solid team like Arizona.
So, let’s not kid ourselves; the Cubs need the next two games in this series.
W: Rauch (2-0)
L: Howry (0-2)
- Notes: Johnson’s catch immediately reminded me of a very similar play I saw on television as well, it happened in August of 2006.
- Tonight’s loss is the second time this season Ryan Dempster (3-0) should have received a win. Instead, the right-hander’s (7 IP, 3-R, 2-ER, 4-H, 3-BB and 5-K) effort is a no decision.
- Walks will haunt…Dempster threw a four pitch walk to Ryan Zimmerman in the first innings, Nick Johnson followed with a two-run shot. Nats 2 Cubs 0
- Wil Nieves’ walk-off home run was his first big league dinger.
- I froze in fear during the third inning as Aramis slid into first base while colliding with starting pitcher Odalis Perez. Funny enough, Ramirez was safe. Thank goodness the Cubs’ third baseman wasn’t hurt on the play.
- I’m pretty sure Nationals’ catcher Johnny Estrada was wearing stirrups. Seriously, who’s the last player to pull that off? Besides, I’m more of a pant legs low guy myself.