Game Seventy-Nine: Cubs 0, Nationals 3
WP – Gio Gonzalez (5-4) LP – Dallas Beeler (0-1) Save – Rafael Soriano (19)
Dallas Beeler was rather impressive in his Major League debut. Beeler held the Nationals to one unearned run over six innings. But the Cubs managed only three hits and were shutout for the tenth time this season as the Cubs dropped the first of two on Saturday to the Nationals.
The Cubs have to feel good about what they saw from Dallas Beeler on Saturday afternoon. Beeler looked very comfortable and confident on the mound. Beeler hit his spots and faced the minimum the first time through the lineup while giving up only one hit. Beeler struck out Ryan Zimmerman swinging to end the first inning, his first big league strikeout. Beeler struck out three batters in a row between the first and second innings and finished with six on the afternoon.
The only run that scored while Dallas Beeler was on the mound came on a wild pitch after a passed ball that allowed Anthony Rendon to move up to third base.
Dallas Beeler took the loss after allowing one unearned run on four hits with three walks, one intentional, and six strikeouts. Beeler threw 91 pitches, 54 for strikes, in six innings and picked off Denard Span from first base in the sixth inning.
The Nationals put the game out of reach in the eighth inning against Justin Grimm. Denard Span reached on a one out single and scored on an Anthony Rendon triple. Rendon scored on a sac fly by Adam LaRoche off Wesley Wright.
Carlos Villanueva threw 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball and gave the offense a chance.
The Cubs offense managed only three hits in the first game of the twin bill, and one was by Dallas Beeler on the first pitch he saw in the big leagues. Beeler singled to center off Gio Gonzalez in the third inning. Chris Coghlan (1-for-3) and Ryan Sweeney (1-for-1) managed the other two hits.
With the loss in game one, the Cubs dropped to 34-45 on the season.
Neither team could put a run on the board over the first five innings Saturday afternoon. Dallas Beeler took the hill for the sixth inning and struck out Gio Gonzalez swinging for the first out. Denard Span reached on a bunt single to third. But Beeler picked him off of first base with Rendon at the plate. Anthony Rendon doubled to left on a 2-2 pitch. A passed ball from John Baker on a 2-0 offering to Ryan Zimmerman allowed Rendon to move up to third base. Beeler walked Zimmerman and put runners on the corners with two outs for Adam LaRoche. Beeler over threw a 0-1 pitch to LaRoche. The ball bounced well in front of the plate and hopped over Baker’s right shoulder. Rendon scored, 1-0 Nationals. Beeler intentionally walked LaRoche. Dallas Beeler ended his afternoon by catching Ian Desmond looking at a 2-2 pitch for the third out.
The Cubs managed a Justin Ruggiano walk in the sixth after replay took an infield hit away from Anthony Rizzo to end the inning.
After six innings, the Cubs trailed 1-0.
The Nationals put the game away in the eighth. Justin Grimm replaced Brian Schlitter for the eighth and retired pinch-hitter Scott Hairston with a grounder to third for the first out. Denard Span singled to right and scored on a triple to right center off the bat of Anthony Rendon (a single, double and triple in three straight at bats for Rendon). With the Nationals up 2-0, Grimm walked Zimmerman and put runners on the corners with one out. Rick Renteria went to his pen for lefty Wesley Wright. Adam LaRoche hit a deep fly to left. Rendon tagged and scored, 3-0 Nationals. Renteria went back to his pen for Carlos Villanueva and Ian Desmond grounded out to short to end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing against Tyler Clippard in the eighth.
And after eight innings, the Cubs were down 3-0.
The Cubs went down in order on 10 pitches against Rafael Soriano in the ninth … and dropped the first of two games on Saturday at the old ballyard.
Jeff Samardzija takes on Blake Treinen in the series finale with the Nationals on Saturday night (6:15pm CDT).