The Nationals we’re up 8-0 in the third inning last night and proceeded to drop the contest 10-9 to the Chicago Cubs, making the game the largest blown lead in Washington’s history. Before last night, the Nationals ballclub hadn’t blown a lead of more than six runs since 2005.
Cubs’ right-handed starter imploded in the second shortest outing of his career. He allowed all but one member of the Nationals lineup to reach base and gave up eight hits and seven earned runs in two innings of work.
Nationals’ starter Livan Hernandez started that third inning rally in which struggling right fielder Jayson Werth even got a hit.
Then, things got interesting in the sixth.
Due to an overworked bullpen during this particular series, skipper Davey Johnson kept Hernandez in the game a little longer than he wanted to. Johnson took full responsibility for this move after the game. The inning was highlighted for the Cubs by a three-run pinch hit homerun from Blake DeWitt off Hernandez, bringing Chicago within two runs of the Nationals.
The Cubs were within two runs of the Nationals with a score of 8-6 during the seventh inning when things took a turn for the worst, compliments of left-handed reliever Sean Burnett. Burnett gave up a two-run first-pitch homer to Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena. Chicago proceeded to take the lead in the eighth thanks to an RBI-single from Aramis Ramirez.
Washington scored one run in the eighth but couldn’t spark another rally. Cubs rookie Darwin Barney pulled through for Chicago in the ninth with a clutch RBI-double off Henry Rodriguez to capture their 10-9 victory.