Saturday, June 28, 2014
Rapid Reaction Game 1: Nationals 3, Cubs 0
By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- The Cubs lost to the Nationals, 3-0, in Game 1 of their day/night doubleheader Saturday afternoon. Here’s a quick look at the game.
How it happened: The winning run scored on a wild pitch after Anthony Rendon doubled and got to third on a passed ball with two outs in the sixth inning.
Cubs starter Dallas Beeler kept the Nats at bay, facing the minimum through three innings and worked out of a jam in the fourth before giving up his lone unearned run. Gio Gonzalez was just as good for Washington, going seven innings while giving up just two hits -- one to Beeler -- while striking out seven. The Nationals added on in the eighth when Rendon tripled to bring home Denard Span and then a sacrifice fly by Adam LaRoche brought in another run.
What it means: It’s hard to imagine a rookie making his debut with the wind blowing out at Wrigley doing much better than Beeler on Saturday. He gave up four hits, walked three and struck out six.
Gonzalez was winless and had an ERA over eight in day games this year, but he stymied Cubs hitters all afternoon.
Mike Olt finally hit a ball hard in the sixth inning -- on a 3-1 count -- after he had struck out twice. His struggles scream for a demotion to the minors but the Cubs haven’t indicated a change is coming. At least not yet.
Beeler’s debut: Beeler mixed in all his pitches and showed no sign of any nerves even after getting into his first jam in the fourth inning. He got LaRoche on a lightly hit line drive and struck out Ian Desmond with two men on. He followed that with a 1-2-3 fifth inning. Even the run in the sixth was flukish considering it came after a passed ball and wild pitch. His one mistake was a ball up to Rendon, who doubled with two outs before scoring. Beeler will go right back to the minors but with the knowledge that he performed well in his first start.
What’s next: Game 2 of the doubleheader is at 6:15 p.m. when Jeff Samardzija (2-6, 2.53) takes on Blake Treinen (0-3, 2.08)