Game One Hundred Thirty-Four – Cubs 1, Nationals 2
WP – Ross Detwiler (9-6) LP – Jeff Samardzija (8-13) Save – Tyler Clippard (30)
The Cubs offense struggled once again and the Cubs lost for the third day in a row. Jeff Samardzija did an excellent job of limiting the Nationals’ offense to one run over seven strong innings. Samardzija made only one mistake and it cost him a game. Adam LaRoche led off the second with a solo home run and gave Ross Detwiler all of the run support he would need. Samardzija took another hard luck loss after allowing one run on seven hits with a walk and eight strikeouts in seven innings. Samardzija pounded the strike zone and did another good job of mixing his pitches (108, 68 for strikes). Samardzija is not showing any signs of fatigue as rumors continue to fly that the Cubs will shut him down at some point over the next two weeks.
The Nationals scored their second run in the eighth off Jeff Beliveau. Beliveau surrendered a run on two hits (a single by Bryce Harper and a Ryan Zimmerman double) with a strikeout in a third of an inning. Michael Bowden retired both batters he faced to close out the eighth.
The Cubs only run came in the ninth. Anthony Rizzo led off with a single off Tyler Clippard. After Alfonso Soriano just missed a game tying home run, Starlin Castro flied out to right on the first pitch of the at bat. Rizzo took second on defensive indifference then scored on a bloop single off the bat of Welington Castillo. Tony Campana ran for Castillo and advanced to second on a wild pickoff attempt … but Josh Vitters struck out swinging to end the game.
Ross Detwiler held the Cubs offense in check. The Cubs managed only four hits off the southpaw and six on the afternoon. Only one runner reached third base before the ninth inning.
Welington Castillo (2-for-3 with a RBI and a walk) continued his impressive play. Castillo notched two of the Cubs six hits, drove in the only run and reached base three time in four at bats. Castillo’s defense is also improving on a daily basis. Castillo showed off his arm and picked off Ian Desmond from first base in the fourth inning.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a run scored) scored the Cubs’ run after leading off the ninth with a single. Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a double) and Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4) recorded the Cubs’ other three hits. Josh Vitters (0-for-3 with a walk) struggled again and left four runners on base on Monday afternoon. The Cubs were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left six on base in Monday’s one run loss.
Darwin Barney (0-for-4) went hitless Monday but ran his errorless games streak to 119 games. Barney is four games short of Ryne Sandberg’s franchise record of 123 straight games without an error by a second baseman.
With Monday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to a season-low 32 games under .500 with a 51-83 record … The Cubs went down in order quickly in the first inning. Ross Detwiler retired the side on 10 pitches, eight for strikes, to begin the ballgame.
Jeff Samardzija was sharp against the aggressive Nationals’ offense in the first inning. Samardzija retired the side in order on six pitches, four for strikes.
Alfonso Soriano grounded Detwiler’s first pitch of the second inning to Ryan Zimmerman. Starlin Castro drove a 1-1 pitch into right field. Castro hustled out of the box and slid into second with a double. Welington Castillo struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) for the second out. Detwiler then issued a four-pitch walk to the free-swinging Josh Vitters. Dave Sappelt stepped in with runners on first and second with two down.
Dave Sappelt drove a 0-1 pitch to deep right that missed leaving the park by three feet. Sappelt then grounded out to second on the next pitch to end the inning.
Adam LaRoche led off the second with his second home run in as many at bats against Jeff Samardzija (three run homer in the ninth inning of game on April 8). LaRoche crushed a 0-1 pitch to the second deck. Samardzija settled down and struck out both Michael Morse and Ian Desmond swinging. Danny Espinosa lashed a 2-0 pitch into right for a single then advanced to second when Samardzija walked Kurt Suzuki. Samardzija struck out Detwiler swinging to end the inning.
Jeff Samardzija struck out the side in the second but gave up a run during a long, 24-pitch first inning …. 30 pitches for Samardzija after two, 18 for strikes.
The Cubs did nothing in the third. Detwiler needed 37 pitches, 27 for strikes, to complete three innings of work.
Jayson Werth led off the third with a single to center. Bryce Harper pulled a 2-2 pitch toward the hole between first and second. Barney fielded the ball, spun and threw to second to force Werth for the first out. Ryan Zimmerman smoked a 3-1 pitch right to Starlin Castro. Castro caught the liner but Harper beat Castro’s throw to first. Samardzija struck out Adam LaRoche swinging (1-2 pitch) to end the inning. Samardzija threw 47 pitches, 27 for strikes, in the first three innings.
Anthony Rizzo lined the first pitch of the fourth inning to deep left … that Michael Morse hauled in for the first out. Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging. Starlin Castro chopped the first pitch toward third. Once the high chopper came down, Zimmerman rushed his throw and the ball ended up past LaRoche. Castro was given an infield single and advanced to second on Zimmerman’s throwing error. Welington Castillo walked on four pitches. With runners on first and second with two down, Josh Vitters flied out to left center (0-2 pitch) to end the inning … 52 pitches for Detwiler after four, 36 for strikes.
Roger Bernadina hit for Michael Morse (Morse left game with sore right thumb) and fouled out to Barney for the first out. Ian Desmond singled to left center. With Danny Espinosa at the plate, Desmond wandered too far off the bag after a 0-2 pitch to Espinosa. Welington Castillo threw a strike to Rizzo and picked Desmond off first. Espinosa singled to center but was stranded when Suzuki flied out to center to end the inning. Samardzija threw 57 pitches in the first four innings, 35 for strikes.
Dave Sappelt led off the Cubs’ fifth with a walk. Sappelt was down 0-2 before working a leadoff walk. Samardzija bunted Sappelt into scoring position. Joe Mather flied out to left center. Sappelt tagged and advanced to third … but was left at third when Barney popped out to Werth in shallow right center. Detwiler threw 70 pitches, 46 for strikes, in the first five innings. The Cubs were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left five on base in the first five innings.
Jeff Samardzija retired the side in order in the fifth … 69 pitches for Samardzija after five, 44 for strikes.
The Cubs trailed 1-0 after five complete.
Anthony Rizzo grounded out to second for the first out in the sixth. Alfonso Soriano notched the Cubs’ third hit of the game, a single to left. Starlin Castro quickly fell behind 0-2. Castro worked a full count before hitting a routine grounder toward short … 6-4-3 inning ending double play. Detwiler threw 83 pitches, 54 for strikes, in six innings on Monday afternoon.
Jeff Samardzija struck out Ryan Zimmerman swinging to start the sixth. Adam LaRoche flied out to right (3-2 pitch) for the second out. Roger Bernadina lined a 3-2 pitch into center for a single. Ian Desmond followed with a single to center. Bernadina was running on the 2-1 pitch to Desmond and advanced to third with two down. Jeff Samardzija struck out Danny Espinosa swinging to end the inning … 93 pitches for Samardzija after six, 59 for strikes.
Welington Castillo led off the seventh with the Cubs’ fourth hit of the game, a single to right center. After Vitters popped out to LaRoche in foul ground, Sappelt hit into a 5-4-3 inning ending double play. Detwiler threw 93 pitches in seven innings, 62 for strikes.
Jeff Samardzija set down the side in order in the seventh to end his day.
The Cubs did nothing against Drew Storen in the eighth.
Jeff Beliveau took over in the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Bryce Harper (0-1 pitch, single to right center). Beliveau fell behind Ryan Zimmerman 2-0. Zimmerman pulled the next pitch into the left field corner. Harper scored all the way from first on Zimmerman’s double and the Nationals took a 2-0 lead. Beliveau struck out Adam LaRoche swinging (2-2 pitch). As soon as Tyler Moore was announced as the pinch hitter for Roger Bernadina, Dale Sveum went to his pen for Michael Bowden.
Michael Bowden retired Tyler Moore on a flyout to left center and Ian Desmond on a pop up to Rizzo to end the inning.
The Cubs went to the ninth down 2-0.
Anthony Rizzo led off the ninth with a single to right (1-2 pitch) off Tyler Clippard. Alfonso Soriano hit a high fly to Harper in left center for the first out … Soriano just missed hitting the ball out of the park. Starlin Castro flied out to Werth on the first pitch. Rizzo took off for second on the first pitch to Welington Castillo and advanced into scoring position on defensive indifference. Welington Castillo battled and blooped the seventh pitch of the at bat (1-2 pitch) over Desmond and into left center. Rizzo scored and cut the Nationals lead to one run. Tony Campana ran for Castillo and advanced to second when Clippard’s pickoff attempt got past LaRoche. Josh Vitters looked overmatched again and struck out swinging to end the game.
Chris Rusin is scheduled to face Edwin Jackson in game two on Tuesday night.
Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO