Well, the so-so hitting caught up with the Nationals today, as they got shut down by Jeff Samardzija in a 4-3 loss to the Cubs. Displaying dominant stuff, Samardzija wisely took advantage of an impatient Nationals lineup that failed to do much of anything, getting a first pitch strike on 25 of 31 of the hitters he faced. The consequences were inevitable.
The Nationals did make it interesting in the bottom of the 9th after a two-out Starlin Castro error gave Washington a glimmer of hope. And Adam LaRoche promptly turned that into a burst of hope with a two-run bomb to right, bringing the Nats within one. However, it was too little, too late, as Carlos Marmol actually found a way to get an out, finishing off Xavier Nady and the Nationals.
As Washington heads off to New York for a 3-game series, hopefully, they can find their hitting stroke. Otherwise, I may have to start a “When Is Jayson Werth Going to Get a Hit?” watch.
Game ball(s): Samardzija. I guess since Touchdown Jesus hasn’t been performing many miracles on the football field lately, he decided to throw one to Samardzija on Easter. Isn’t that apropos?
Goat(s): Nationals hitters. They hit the switch too late in the game, managing only four hits.
Bryce Harper is not as far off: Zimmermann. He was largely on his game today, but my prayers for the bats to get going a little earlier seem to have gone unheard. I hate Notre Dame. And I hate spelling Samardzija.
Current Record: 2-1
Productive and clutch. On back to back days. One of which was a Saturday. I hardly know who the Tracy’s are anymore.
But after today’s exciting 7-4 comeback victory over the Cubs, I will take a rebel with the Tracy name. And Chad Tracy, with his two-run single in the top of the eight to give the Nationals the lead, wasn’t the only Nats player to come out of the blue with a monster performance. Who saw LaRoche’s 4-5 day, with a 2-run home run coming? Evidently, Miss Cleo was too busy mocking to notice this big day in the crystal ball.
So granted it has been the Cubs, but two games, two comeback victories have felt wonderful so far. Hopefully, Washington’s bats get going a little earlier in the game tomorrow, helping support Zimmermann as he pitches for the series sweep.
Game ball(s): Tracy and the Nationals bullpen, especially Stammen and Mattheus, who combined to deliver 3 1/3 scoreless innings after a rough start from Gio Gonzalez.
Goat(s): Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol. It seems that they once again snuck off to the CubbyBear during the middle innings.
Bryce Harper is not as far off: Danny Espinosa, whose solo home run after a masterful 10-pitch at bat with two outs in the top of the eight, started the Nationals five-run rally.
Current Record: 2-0