courtesy of MudflapDC
Despite giving up five doubles in six and two-thirds innings pitched, the Washington Nationals’ left-handed starter Ross Detwiler secured his second win of the season with a 7-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.
Detwiler threw 90 pitches, 57 for strikes, and gave up eight hits, two runs, and struck out two batters.
For as poorly as the Cubs are playing this season — they’ve only won 13 games and are in fifth place in the NL Central — they didn’t waste any time scoring in game one of this three game series. They snagged an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when shortstop Starlin Castro scored on a ground out off the bat of first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Castro led off the inning with a double down the right field line.
Shortstop Ian Desmond ended up having quite a big night at the plate going 3-for-4 with three hits off the Cubs’ starter Jeff Samardzija. It all start in the second inning when Desmond hit a one-out single and advanced to second on a fielding error by Samardzija during second baseman Danny Espinosa’s at-bat. Catcher Kurt Suzuki went on to drive in those two runs with two men out on a hard hit double that reached the center field warning track, giving Washington an 2-1 lead.
The Cubs answered right back with Samardzija leading off the third inning. Detwiler gave up back-to-back doubles, allowing the tying run to score and making it a 2-2 ballgame. Then, just when Castro was about to score his second run of the game thanks to a single hit by Rizzo, outfielder Roger Bernadina made the play from right field with a sharp toss to the plate, catching Castro and holding the Cubs to the 2-2 tie. It was Bernadina’s twenty-second career outfield assist and second of 2013.
Washington’s attempt at victory continued with a two-run rally in the fourth and a three-run rally in the fifth. First baseman Adam LaRoche led off the fourth inning with a single. Desmond then followed that hit with a huge two-run homer to left field on a 0-1 pitch, his fifth bomb of the year. It also just so happened to be a career milestone 500th hit.
Desmond was at it again in the fifth inning as part of the Nats’ three-run rally.Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was issued a two-out walk that initiated the rally and he proceeded to score on a two-out double hit by Desmond. With LaRoche still on third at that point, Espinosa hit a two RBI-double that brought both LaRoche and Desmond around, giving Washington a 7-2 lead. Outfielder Tyler Moore’s fly out ended the rally, but it also ended the Cubs’ starter’s night. Samardzija was pulled after that inning and replaced by right-handed reliever Hector Rondon.
The Nats’ bats stayed quiet against the Cubs’ three relievers faced in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings but it was of no consequence thanks to the work of right-handed reliever Craig Stammen.
Stammen entered the game with two out in the seventh and went on to record the seven outs needed to secure the Nats’ victory, but he did give up a run in the ninth. Stammen issued a one out walk to Chicago third baseman Ryan Sweeney who scored on a pinch hit ground out from David DeJesus. Stammen then retired the side securing Washington’s 7-3 win.
The Nats played without Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper on Friday night. Werth continues to have tightness in his right hamstring and has not played in a game since May 2 against the Braves. He’s expected to return on May 18 thanks to the Nats being able to backdate his disabled list stint to May 3. Harper is currently recovering from a procedure he had to remove an ingrown toenail on his right foot and was looking a bit “gimpy” after the procedure, according to Manager Davey Johnson. The Nats expect him to only be out of the action for the one game.