Skip to content

Instant analysis: Nats 5, Cubs 4 (13)

Aug 22, 2013, 8:25 PM EDT

Associated Press

Game in a nutshell: After waiting out a 2-hour rain delay before they took the field, and with a flight to Kansas City still to make tonight, the Nationals had to be antsy to jump out to a quick lead and then hand things over to Stephen Strasburg. They did just that, getting a first-inning home run from Ryan Zimmerman and then plating two more runs in the top of the second. Strasburg took over from there, holding the Cubs scoreless until Brian Bogusevic's homer in the eighth. Efficient throughout, the right-hander was given the chance to go the distance for the second time in 11 days. But he couldn't quite finish it off. Anthony Rendon, playing shortstop in place of Ian Desmond, couldn't make a really tough play on a grounder to the hole, allowing the bottom of the ninth to continue. Donnie Murphy then launched a game-tying, two-run homer, stunning Strasburg and turning the entire game upside-down. Rafael Soriano managed to get the game into extra innings and Tyler Clippard retired the side in the 10th, but the Nationals couldn't push across the winning run. They couldn't do it in the 11th or the 12th, either, despite opportunities. But they finally did it in the top of the 13th when pinch-hitter Chad Tracy's swinging bunt groundout scored Denard Span from third base to give the Nationals the lead. Drew Storen then finished it off to record the save and send the exhausted Nationals off to Kansas City with three wins in four days here in Chicago and a 63-64 record.

Hitting highlight: The Nationals scored only one run over a 10-inning stretch from the third through the 12th, but theyRead more »

  1. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Really, really proud of Drew Storen.

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Really, really proud of Drew Storen.

  3. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Happy for Drew S…. I know that did wonders to his mental…

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Way to go Drew! 4.70 holds up again!

  5. David Proctor - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    So proud you had to say it twice, NatsJack? :)I'm exhausted. It probably means nothing, but I'm proud of the team for fighting back. Earlier in the year, they collapse and they're down for the count. Today, they just kept grinding and found a way to win. Same for against the Braves. Obviously, I wish we could've done it in 9 innings. But I'll take this over a loss any day.

  6. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    So Dennard Span's speed on the bases finally leads to a win.

  7. Nats 128 - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    "NatsJack in Florida said… So Dennard Span's speed on the bases finally leads to a win."Look, Im thrilled what Span did but lets not exagerate. Werth, Harper, Lombo, Rendon all make that.

  8. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    So Dennard Span's speed on the bases finally leads to a win.

  9. RickH - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    Nice to see Drew come all the way back.

  10. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Had them all the way. Mighty blast by Tracy.

  11. mick - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    I am very happy…but will this team learn a lesson by a win?

  12. Nats 128 - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    mick, you hope Strasburg learns to STFU and Davey needs to get a set. It was the classic setup for a 9th inning meltdown to mirror one of Sorianos.

  13. mick - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Nats128…that is what i hope…I have my doubts

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Nice to see BABIP work in the Nats favor. A 40 foot dribbler is the game winner.

  15. David Proctor - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Since Werth talked about the math last night, I think it's okay for me to do it too. To get to 88 wins, we have to go 25-10. That's about 2 losses per week for the rest of the year. Luckily for us, our schedule is extremely friendly. It's basically all: Marlins, Phillies, Marlins, Phillies, etc. after this trip to Kansas City.

  16. Nats 128 - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Complete Games are over rated IMO in the here and now because many times the pitcher stinks in his next start or even blows his CG.If a pitcher gets thru 7 giving up 1 or 2 runs hes done his job.

  17. David Proctor - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    There's not a single pitcher in baseball who wouldn't have wanted to go out there for the 9th. And it really wasn't Strasburg's fault what happened. Errors everywhere. He does pick his guys up, but eventually it's going to catch up to you.

  18. David Proctor - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    You really wanted to take Strasburg out, with how dominant he was, at his low pitch count, for our bullpen? Really? This just wreaks of hindsight to me.

  19. Nats 128 - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    David, really? Braves, Cardinals and D'Backs to finish the season.

  20. Teddy Rochlis - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    we also have one more series with the cards and braves

  21. Nats 128 - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Davey throws Rendon under the bus. Calls that play by Rendon in the hole in the 9th "easy". Always trying to make his decisions look good as in this case leaving Strasburg in for the 9th.

  22. baseballswami - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    One lesson from this game– we can play, score , and win with the B team playing. They did not hit or field worse than the A team does. Nice to see Craig Stammen so solid and great to see Drew get the big S.

  23. Nats 128 - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    David, I would have left Strasburg in and 1st sign of trouble you pull him.

  24. baseballswami - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    And Davey is more and more a backstabbing posterior.

  25. David Proctor - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Braves are a good team. But it's good that we face the Cardinals and D'backs since those are the 2 teams ahead of us in the wildcard. We can gain tons of ground in those two series alone. The key is to beat up on the bad teams before we get to those so that we at least have a shot. Then, we at least somewhat control our own fate.

  26. David Proctor - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    My thing is: there wasn't a whole lot of signs of trouble. He got a slowly hit groundball through the hole. Not hard hit. He got 2 groundballs to Rendon that were screwed up. And the guy at the plate he had struck out three times. It makes all the sense in the world to leave him in.

  27. David Proctor - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    If you guys think what Davey said about Rendon was backstabbing, I'm not sure what you'd think of most other managers. He basically excused Rendon and said we had a 3B playing at SS where he hasn't played much and he screwed up. That's the truth. Rendon knows it, we know it, the media knows it. Rendon isn't going to get his feelings hurt by that, especially given how Davey said it.

  28. paul brandt - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    After losing the first game to the CUBS 11-1 and then to come back and win 3 straight including this one which they could have just mailed in after that tough 9th, this team has heart…they are trying to win, its obvious…don't like to hear they have no heart or are spineless and for the most part that is venting & I get it.At this point, its all about pride, one game at a time…liked Lombo alot tonight, think he brings some real energy to this team.

  29. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    no matter how you do it, I like winning.

  30. PChuck - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    >>Gio Gonzalez goes up against Bruce Chen in a showdown of lefties at 8:10 p.m. FridayIt's Wade Davis not Bruce Chen, according to ESPN's schedule. Chen goes on Saturday.

  31. PChuck - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    The "first sign of trouble" for Strasburg was the 8th inning. Davey was wrong to send him back out but that par for the course for Davey when it comes to pitchers.

  32. NatsLady - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Almost every year there is a team that makes a September run from way back and gets to the postseason, especially now with the second wild card. Every year there is a team that folds. If it isn't Cincy, then it's St. Louis or whatever. Just win games. Also, don't assume you need 88 wins. IF the NL Central knocks each other to smithereens, 85 wins could do it.

  33. rogieshan - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    I have to ask: why is Davey even playing Rendon at short, especially if that's where his future lies (barring a shift to 1st by Zimmerman)? Besides, Lombardozzi is supposed to be the club's super utility player and he has more game experience at that position than Rendon does.

  34. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    it says Chen on mlb.tv

  35. David Proctor - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Lombardozzi isn't good at SS (and has a very poor arm). Davey figured if you put Lombardozzi at SS and Rendon at 2B, you have two weak defensive positions. If you put Rendon at SS and Lombo at 2B, you only weaken one spot.I'm very concerned about Desi. If he can't play, we don't stand a chance. I hope he's okay.

  36. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    More on Stras:But this week's award goes to Stephen Strasburg. In his first start after his first career shutout and complete game, Strasburg lasted just one official inning Saturday because he was ejected after throwing three wild pitches with none out in the second, evidently trying to hit Atlanta's Andrelton Simmons. Two of the pitches were thrown behind Simmons' back, and the three wild pitches allowed Jordan Schafer to score from first base. Strasburg's line:1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 3 WPWas he trying to hit Simmons, or was it just a lack of control? Well, consider the three wild pitches matched his season total entering the game. And according to ESPN researcher Doug Kern, no pitcher had thrown three wild pitches in the same plate appearance since Jason Grimsley in 1995.http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9586027/ichiro-suzuki-reach-remarkable-4000-hit-milestone

  37. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    Espinosa is supposed to be decent at SS.

  38. David Proctor - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    If Desi is hurt, that might be the only way we see Espinosa back. I'm still hoping it's something minor.

  39. hiramhover - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    Almost every year there is a team that makes a September run from way back and gets to the postseason, especially now with the second wild card.I like the optimism, but the Nats playoff odds even after today's victory are 2.4%. Only 8 teams in the last 100+ years have come back from those or worse odds this late in the season to make the playoffs–tho the 2d wild card is definitely the, um, wild card here. Not much to be gained from worrying about October baseball for Nats fans at this point–I'm just enjoying the victories, however hard they come.

  40. natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    I can't believe I watched the whole thing. Niiice.

  41. hiramhover - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    FYI, from a local Rays beat writer:"UPDATE, 6:11: It doesn't appear there will be any resolution of the DeJesus situation until Friday, but the Rays seem likely to end up with him either via their claim, which has been confirmed, or a trade."http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/rays/rays-reportedly-sign-delmon-young-claim-david-dejesus/2137775

  42. paul brandt - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Ryan Braun admits using PED's per ESPN, shocker.thanks Ryan, too little too late and you owe alot of people a personal apology especially the handler of the urine specimen that you totally threw under the bus and fed ex too, right?and he only gets a 65 game suspension?

  43. rogieshan - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Thanks for the response, David Proctor. I buy the thinking that Rendon has the better arm for short, and I guess we should be thankful he is versatile enough to jump right in and play there adequately, but we saw today is arguably the result of inexperience.

  44. MicheleS - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    Test

  45. MicheleS - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Dang it. New phone hates me. WOOOOO HOOOO! So happy for Drew. Hope this is the start of him reclaiming his job.

  46. paul brandt - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    MicheleSyou are live! it works.if Desi can't go, Espinosa comes up no question since he can play SS…its just his hitting that is on the little league level but who knows, stranger things have occurred…a/k/a we need a miracle!!cue Mike Eruzione's goal and Al Michaels…the greatest sports call of my lifetime: "do you believe in miracles?" YES!!!!

  47. Nats 128 - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    hiramhover, that is good if Rizzo can get something in the trade with the Rays. They are stacked in the Minors. There 20th best guy would be a good pickup.

  48. Nats 128 - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Nats could benefit from trading DeJesus and get a reliever to meet the team in KC.Who do they get back?

  49. NatsLady - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    If by some chance DeJesus is still with us, I would give serious consideration to DH'ing Werth. Then I would like a rainout on Saturday, a double header on Sunday so we can bring up a reliever (Mattheus, since I believe Krol is not eligible–doesn't he have to stay 10 days, or is he allowed to be the 26th player?). Take 2/3 three from KC, have a nice off-day!

  50. NatsLady - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    PB, if you read the full statement (it's is rather long), Braun does apologize to the specimen collector, by name. However, it's still kind of a slimy statement, says he only used when he was injured in 2011, doesn't specify the exact substances, and, obviously, isn't taking questions.

  51. Nats 128 - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Heres the potential position players on the Free Agent market sorted by WAR Potential FA List for Position Players

  52. Less Platu - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Here goes–. Rendon had no business play SS when he can barely play 2b.Davey should have made defensive replacements in 9th: Laroche to 1b, Desi to SS.McCatty should have visited the mound After the error to calm Stras down.Terrible just terrible game management. These guys (Davey, and McCatty) are miserable coaches — or they just don't give a damn- in which case is equally bad.I feel so sorry for Stras — he clearly was tired in the 8th – he should have been replaced then.How can a manager treat his ace this way – by starting a sieve like left side: Zimm and Rendon with Moore tenuously over at first. At least defensive changes should have been made in the 8th or 9th.Shame on Management.

  53. paul brandt - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    NL @ 1026, ok, I feel a little bit better…kind of…heck, he even fooled Aaron Rodgers, his good friend & biz partner, found this after his suspension was first announced in late July: On his reaction to Braun getting suspended for 65 games and essentially admitting he was guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs:Rodgers: "Well, I was shocked, I really was, just like I know many of you were. I was backing up a friend, who looked me in the eye on multiple occasions and repeatedly denied these allegations, said they weren't true. So it is disappointing, not only for myself as a friend but for obviously Wisconsin sports fans, Brewer fans, Major League Baseball fans. It doesn't feel great being lied to like that, and I'm disappointed about the way it all went down."well said Aaron.

  54. NatsLady - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Les Platu, agree with most of what you say, but(1) I'm not sure Desi was available.(2) Stras doesn't like to be visited by McCatty. He knows he has to pitch around errors, he already pitched around them today. Suzuki visiting the mound should be plenty (I assume Suzuki did visit? I was at work and not watching.)There is still plenty to criticize. Storen or Clipp (or Soriano) should have been warming. Davey should have told Stras, I'll put you in for the 9th, but anyone gets on base, walk, error, hit, whatever, you're outta there. (I'm not sure I'd put Soriano in with men on base). Especially maddening to me is Davey/Esinosa. You call a guy up if his skills are needed, never mind the "reward system." If Desi can't go, you need Danny, as today showed. If I were Rizzo I would be boiling mad that Davey is sticking his 2 cents in.

  55. NatsLady - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    Braun's excuse for lying to his family and friends was that he was in denial at the time and didn't think he had done anything wrong. That is just unbelievable. Simply not believable. He thought he would get away with it. And he might well have done so except for the disgruntled employee/whistle-blower at Biogenesis.

  56. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    If Desmond can't play in the 1st it's pretty much clear he can't play in the ninth after sitting for eight hours.Rendon's mistake was throwing the ball. He lost his traction on his back foot, almost did the splits, but he thinks, "God, we need an out." But for the bad throwing position, he's got enuf arm to get the runner. I'm not faulting him at all. The issues are (1) not getting Navarro, who's hitting like he's been shopping at Biogenesis (career year?), (2) not having enough gas to get past Murphy. I'm happy Strasburg got past the 8th; that's a good sign. But his inability to close it out is a tribute to all the days Johnson has given him an early pass to the showers in the 5th or the 6th. The pandering to the fragile physique of a 6'4", 220lb'er is responsible for his 9th inning cookie crumble.

  57. paul brandt - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    NL, ok, here's the problem: stud athletes in most sports think they are rock stars, they act like it, dress like it, hold press conferences…the difference:rock stars don't get drug tested!they are lulled into this false sense of security and then think they can beat the system given their team of doctors, masking agents…it needs to be cleaned up in all sports but the problem is the cheaters and their "handlers" are way ahead of the testing system, sad, really sad.p.s. re. Braun, he would absolutely still be doing what he was doing if he wasn't busted!

  58. baseballswami - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    All I have to say tonight is this- every single solitary day there is some new and creative situation that happens in the game that causes me to want to laugh or cry all at once. It's mind boggling.

  59. NatsLady - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Theo, I hear you on Stras' stamina, and with the short outing last time, he should have been good for the complete game. But he wasn't, and it's Davey/McCatty's/Suzuki's job to know that, and take action. Davey has been greedy all season; he said Ohlendorf should only have gone 80 pitches yesterday, but he tried for that extra inning–you would think he would have learned from the last time he let Ross O go too long. It's just like the old saying, there isn't enough time to do it right, but there's always enough time to do it over. So trying for that extra inning from Ohlendorf didn't save the bullpen, it just ended up putting Roark in there with men on base and probably not warmed up enough. Trying for the Stras complete game ended up with it worse than being sensible and bringing Soriano in. IF you don't trust Soriano, or don't want him three days in a row, let Storen close.

  60. Holden Baroque - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Clippard was warming up in the 8th. I can see letting Strasburg start the 9th, but as soon as someone got on, I don't care how, he is done. That's SOP, for a reason. Unpredictability wreaks havoc on the bullpen, and blowing leads generally reeks.

  61. Candide - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Swami -Apropos of your 10:45:At a football game, you almost never leave saying, "I never saw a play like that before." At a baseball game, there's almost always some new wrinkle. — Tom Boswell, January 18, 1987

  62. NatsLady - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    They are into the 11th in KC. Can we hope for 19?

  63. NatsLady - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    hh, on Aug 22, 2011, Tampa Bay and St. Louis each had under 4% chance of making the playoffs. Ok, that's a little more than 2.4%. But not much… How improbable is it that it would happen to TWO teams in the same season?

  64. Steady Eddie - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    NL @ 11:20 — maybe not. Conor Gillaspie just homered for the Sox in the 12th. Likely will be decided one way or another this inning.

  65. Steady Eddie - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Royals just got swept by the Sox at home, last losin12 innings. THAT should put yh in an upbeat mood to play the Nats.

  66. NatsLady - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Announcer said they have lost 8-10. Hopefully they have run out of steam.

  67. David Proctor - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Amanda Comak ‏@acomak 2sThe #nats have traded Kurt Suzuki back to the Oakland A's, according to multiple sources. Believe Nats getting pitching prospect in return.What in the world?

  68. Sholom90 - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  69. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Makes sense. A's down a catcher and know Kurt Suzuki, the Nats have clearly made the transition to Wilson Ramos playing almost full-time, and Jhontan (sp?) Solano is more than competent as a back-up. Mr. Suzuki provided some real service to the Nats last year and did yeoman's work behind the plate earlier this season. Wish him well. But can Mr. Solano get to KC in time for Friday's game? Assume so.

  70. peric - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  71. peric - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    @acomak: The #nats have traded Kurt Suzuki back to the Oakland A's, according to multiple sources. Believe Nats getting pitching prospect in return.

  72. peric - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    And so it begins … Have to figure Rizzo will pursue McCann in the offseason.

  73. David Proctor - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    Rizzo isn't going to pursue McCann. He views Ramos as the full-time catcher. I realize Ramos has issues staying healthy, but neither McCann nor Ramos are going to be backup catchers. Plus, McCann is going to command some money.

  74. rogieshan - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Would take Tommy Milone back in a heartbeat.

  75. David Proctor - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    Lol…they aren't giving up Tommy Milone for Kurt Suzuki. Unless they're insane.

  76. peric - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    McCann has a strong left-handed bat and he too has has problems staying healthy. If you shed LaRoche McCann might make a nice possibility as a left-handed first baseman.

  77. peric - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    Lol…they aren't giving up Tommy Milone for Kurt Suzuki. Unless they're insane.Milone was optioned to AAA. The Nats aren't taking Milone for Suzuki is how you should put it methnks.

  78. peric - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Plus Milone is no longer a "prospect".

  79. David Proctor - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    You'd have to be insane if you wouldn't take Tommy Milone for Kurt Suzuki.

  80. peric - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    You'd have to be insane if you wouldn't take Tommy Milone for Kurt Suzuki.With Karns, AJ Cole, Robbie Ray + Caleb Clay doing better in AA/AAA? You'd be crazy to NOT get a young pitching prospect to develop. Milone becomes another Rosenbaum / Meyers with the Nats. Or? Lannan. They would keep him in AAA as veteran depth. I don't see it.

  81. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  82. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Grammatical corrections.Agreed. Also, can't help but recall how, when he gave his denial presser in ST of 2012, those of us who still didn't believe him were referred to here as "horses' a$$es." All I can say is "neigh," or something. :-)NatsLady said…Braun's excuse for lying to his family and friends was that he was in denial at the time and didn't think he had done anything wrong. That is just unbelievable. Simply not believable.He thought he would get away with it. And he might well have done so except for the disgruntled employee/whistle-blower at Biogenesis.

Archives

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter