Rapid Reaction: Nationals 11, Cubs 5
September, 4, 2012
By Doug Padilla | ESPNChicago.com
WASHINGTON -- The Chicago Cubs were buried under the weight of six home runs Tuesday in an 11-5 defeat to the Washington Nationals.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Cubs used seven pitchers Tuesday and all of them were rookies. Chris Rusin returned to the rotation but gave up five runs on eight hits one inning plus four batters. Jaye Chapman, Blake Parker, Rafael Dolis and Miguel Socolovich, Alberto Cabrera and Jeff Beliveau also pitched. Alfonso Soriano had a two-run triple as part of a three-run sixth inning and added a solo home run in the eighth. Soriano now has 26 home runs and 88 RBIs, exactly matching his total output from last season with 27 games to play.
WHAT IT MEANS: On days like Tuesday the future doesn’t necessarily look bright. By the sixth inning the Nationals had five home runs, the most they had hit in a game since leaving Montreal and moving to Washington D.C. It was also the most home runs hit at home by any D.C. based team throughout history. They added a sixth in the eighth inning when Adam LaRoche let loose on his second long ball of the night.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: It was a by-the-numbers sort of night for the Cubs. When Chapman entered the game it gave the Cubs 11 players who made their big-league debut this season. Chapman and Socolovich gave the Cubs 29 different pitchers to be used this season, easily more than the previous club high of 25 pitchers. When Anthony Recker pinch hit in the ninth inning it meant the Cubs had used 52 players this season, breaking the previous record of 51.
OFF BEAT: The Cubs can’t blame this one on the scoring output. They entered Tuesday’s contest with a record of 15 games over .500 (40-25) when they score four runs or more. Make it 14 games over .500 now. They have played 69 games when they scored three runs or less and they are 47 games under .500 (11-58) in those contests.
UP NEXT: The Cubs will send right-hander Chris Volstad (2-9, 6.06) and his two-game winning streak to the mound Wednesday against the Nationals in the third game of the four-game series. The Nationals will counter with left-hander Geo Gonzalez (17-7, 3.10) in the 6:05 p.m. CST start from Nationals Park.