The game was close early as the Nationals broke out to a 2-0 lead with runs in the top of the first and second innings. At that point it looked like maybe we were seeing the Nationals team that has the second best record in baseball strike back after losing last night. The Cubs made sure that wasn’t the case as they piled on the offense in this one to win 8-6 (Box Score).
John Lackey was, at times, overpowering today as he stuck out eleven Nationals’ batters. He threw 111 pitches through seven innings and gave up two runs on six hits and a walk. After giving up two runs in the first two innings, Lackey only allowed one Nationals’ hitter to get in scoring position for the remainder of his day. A solid outing for John that he needed since he entered the game today trailing all Cubs’ starting pitchers with a 4.32 ERA.
Zobrist shows power
Ben Zobrist has been crushing the ball lately and today was no exception. He hit two home runs today. The first came right after Anthony Rizzo hit a home run in the bottom of the third inning. Ben stepped up to the plate and delivered.
Of course, Ben wasn’t done there. He stepped up in the bottom of the fifth inning, with Jason Heyward and Anthony Rizzo on base, and hammered his second home run of the day. He’s now hit four home runs in the last three games.
The Nationals didn’t hesitate to take advantage of Lackey’s absence after he left the game. In the top of the eighth inning Clayton Richard came on in relief and put two men on base. Justin Grimm entered the game and gave up a 2-run double to Jayson Werth and a 2-run home run to Wilson Ramos. Suddenly the Cubs lead was only two runs.
Hector Rondon came on to pitch in top of the ninth and shut the Nationals’ come back hopes down. He threw ten pitches and the suspense was over. Cubs win and move to 22-6 on the year.
The Cubs and Nationals line up to face each other again tomorrow in the third game of the four-game series. Game time is 3:05 PM CDT as Jason Hammel takes the hill for the Cubs.