After the farce of a rainout on Friday night, the Cubs and Nationals played a doubleheader on Saturday. On paper, a matchup of Max Scherzer against Jamie Garcia looked like a lopsided Nats victory. In reality…well, it was a lopsided victory for the Nats. Baseball doesn’t always baseball.
Garcia was not good, walking three of the five batters he faced and allowing a two-run single to Juan Soto. Brandon Kintzler took over and allowed one more run to make it 3-0. That was pretty much it for the game as Scherzer plowed through an undermanned Cubs lineup.
A couple errors and generally sloppy baseball allowed Washington to score five against Randy Rosario and James Norwood in the 6th. Tyler Chatwood was his typical self, allowing two more runs in relief. The Cubs tacked on a couple late garbage runs before Mad Max finished the game. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The Cubs had to use a bullpen day after losing Jon Lester in the aborted game on Friday. Scherzer threw a complete-game gem, allowing just three meaningless runs, so it hardly mattered what Chicago pitching did.
The key moment came last night, when Lester was burned it made this game a very difficult prospect.
Stats That Matter
- The Cubs’ best pitcher Saturday was Jorge De La Rosa, who threw three scoreless frames.
- Victor Caratini came in late and got two hits against Scherzer.
- Speaking of unlikely outcomes, speedster Terrance Gore got his first career hit off of the Nats ace in the 9th. Stuff like that really makes you love baseball.
It seemed as if the Cubs were focusing more on winning the nightcap. It might be unfair to say they punted the game, or any other football metaphors you might prefer to use, but weather-related circumstances forced this outcome. Win game two and things will be fine.
The pitching matchup in the second game is much more favorable for the Cubs. Cole Hamels takes on Jefry Rodriguez in a game on MLB Network (out of market) and WGN.