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Game 81: Nats at Cubs

Jun 28, 2014, 5:48 PM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

CHICAGO — And we’re back for our second game of the day here at Wrigley, the final game of this series. The Nationals need another win to salvage a 4-game split, and to do that they’ll need to beat Jeff Samardzija and finally provide some run support for Blake Treinen.

Treinen returns from Syracuse as the special 26th man call-up for the doubleheader. The right-hander has given up only nine runs (six earned) in four big-league starts, but he has yet to earn his first career win because his teammates have scored only eight total runs in those four games.

A couple of changes to the Nationals’ lineup for the nightcap: Denard Span gets this one off, so Anthony Rendon will lead off. But Ian Desmond is starting both ends of the doubleheader (something Matt Williams said yesterday he wasn’t planning to do) and so is Kevin Frandsen, which means Danny Espinosa will not have started either game today. A sign of things to come?

Updates to come, so please check back…

Where: Wrigley Field
Gametime: 7:15 p.m. EDT
TV: Fox (coverage map),
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 869,
Weather: Isolated storms, 81 degrees, Wind 14 mph RF to LF

3B Anthony Rendon
2B Kevin Frandsen
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Ryan Zimmerman
C Wilson Ramos
SS Ian Desmond
CF Nate McLouth
RHP Blake Treinen

CUBS (34-45)
LF Chris Coghlan
CF Ryan Sweeney
1B Anthony Rizzo
SS Starlin Castro
3B Luis Valbuena
C Welington Castillo
RF Nate Schierholtz
2B Darwin Barney
RHP Jeff Samardzija

HP Hunter Wendelstedt
1B Mike DiMuro
2B Mike Estabrook
3B Tom Woodring

7:15 p.m. — And we’re underway for the second time today. Anthony Rendon sends a flyball to center first on the first pitch for the first out.

7:23 p.m. — A 1-out infield single for Kevin Frandsen, but he was immediately erased on Jayson Werth’s 6-4-3 double play. That makes Werth 8 for his last 56, a stretch during which he has driven in only three runs. Not going well for him right now.

7:28 p.m. — That’s a nice-and-tidy, 11-pitch bottom of the first for Blake Treinen, who was firing up 95-mph sinkers with ease. He struck out Ryan Sweeney on one of them, a nice pitch that broke back over the inside corner for his first K of the night. To the second we go…

7:37 p.m. — Adam LaRoche certainly isn’t fazed going up against Samardzija. He just launched his third homer in 16 career at-bats against the right-hander, this one one-hopping its way onto Sheffield Ave. beyond the right-field bleachers. On the downside, Ian Desmond just struck out again. In this series, he’s now 0-for-12 with six strikeouts. Not good. Nats lead 1-0, though.

7:48 p.m. — You know, struggles at the plate or not, Desmond continues to play a distgustingly good shortstop. (Is disgustingly a word? I don’t care, I’m using it anyway.) With runners on the corners and two outs just now, he ranged way to his right to snag Darwin Barney’s grounder, then fired across his body to a stretching Frandsen at second base to get Nate Schiertholtz by a split-second. Huge play to end the second inning with the Nats still up 1-0.

7:54 p.m. — Some nice at-bats from the Nats in the top of the third. It started with McLouth’s leadoff double to right-center. It continued with Treinen’s well-executed sac bunt. And it concluded with Rendon’s sac fly to center, giving him 46 RBI now in Game 81 of the season. That’s pretty impressive for a guy who usually hits second in the order. 2-0 Nats.

7:59 p.m. — Another 1-2-3 inning for Treinen, who showed off his slider in striking out Sweeney for the second time tonight. That’s big for Blake. If he can keep throwing his offspeed stuff in good locations, it makes him an even bigger threat. Still 2-0 after three.

8:15 p.m. — Bad news: Luis Valbuena destroyed a 3-1 pitch from Treinen into the right-field stands for a game-tying homer in the bottom of the fourth. Worse news: It’s now pouring here and the game is in delay with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Stay tuned for updates.

8:37 p.m. — No word yet on when we’ll resume, but here’s some good news to pass along: Bryce Harper has homered twice tonight for Harrisburg at Akron. I think at this point, it’s probably safe to go ahead and buy tickets to Monday night’s game if you want to see his return in person.

8:42 p.m. — More good news: The tarp is being removed as we speak and the game should resume around 9:10 p.m. EDT.

8:55 p.m. — Both Treinen and Samardzija are warming up, so it looks like both starters will stay in after a delay that will be roughly 1 hour.

9:11 p.m. — And we’re back after a 55-minute rain delay, with Treinen back on the mound sitting on 55 pitches. He gets the strikeout to send the fourth, so it’s still a 2-2 game here.

9:30 p.m. — Wilson Ramos is back, ladies and gentlemen. The Buffalo smashed his first homer since coming off the DL to lead off the fifth, putting the Nats back on top. He’s now 4-for-8 with two walks and a homer in his return. Pretty good. Even better: The Nats are putting a beating on Samardzija. They got RBI singles from Frandsen and Werth, plus a run-scoring error via Rizzo. It’s now 6-2 in the middle of the fifth.

9:48 p.m. — That’ll do it for Treinen, who is pulled after 5 innings of 2-run ball. Considering the rain delay, that’s more than enough for the Nats. He’s in line now to earn his first career win if the Nats can hold their 6-2 lead. Xavier Cedeno on to pitch the 6th.

10:03 p.m. — Wow, Nate McLouth went into the ivy and emerged with the ball (alas, not with Andre Dawson). Impressive catch by tonight’s center fielder, helping keep this a 6-2 game. Meanwhile, Harper just hit his third homer of the night in Akron. Sweet. Fancy. Moses.

10:22 p.m. — A scoreless seventh inning from Ross Detwiler, who showed off his reflexes with a quick snag of Barney’s comebacker. We go to the eighth, still 6-2 Nats.

10:35 p.m. — On the heels of his four scoreless innings during Tuesday night’s 16-inning win in Milwaukee, Detwiler has now retired all six batters faced tonight. He has certainly come up big on this road trip.

10:48 p.m. — Detwiler even knows how to draw a walk. And score a run (via LaRoche’s RBI single). It’s 7-2 heading to the bottom of the ninth.

10:55 p.m. — Ballgame. Nats win 7-2. They sweep the doubleheader, split the series, finish 4-3 on the road trip and finish the first half of the season 43-38.

  1. sjm308 - Jun 28, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Well, MW left McClouth in for a 2nd game like I wished but of course the huge move did not happen.

    Zimm will have to play 3rd in front of the home team I guess.

    Pretty good commentary on Espinosa’s troubles as well but I still think Desmond needs a day off.

    Hope I am wrong and also hoping for the double header sweep.

    Go Nats!!

    • Sonny G 10 - Jun 28, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      I think you are right, coach, that Desi needs off. At least they all will get off tomorrow, so Desi must effort one more time today.

  2. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Won’t see all of this one in real time but maybe some of it. Let’s keep that Wrigley “W” flag down tonight, boys.

  3. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 28, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    This is about when you want to get an alert from MLBTR telling you that Jeff Samardzija has just been traded to the Blue Jays.

    • BurnedOnce - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:38 PM

      Not until after the game

  4. Joe Seamhead - Jun 28, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Curious lineup. Hope it works out.

    • masterfishkeeper - Jun 28, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      Agreed. I really don’t understand batting Frandsen second. I’d move everyone else up one and bat him eighth, or switch him and McLouth.

  5. davecydell - Jun 28, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    “”””which means Danny Espinosa will not have started either game today. A sign of things to come?””””

    Do I ever hope so.

  6. janebeard - Jun 28, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Half way point! Man that came fast.

    We were at the afternoon game. Met Carp as he was mulling how to get to the airport. He couldn’t have been lovelier to every fan he saw, including us. He says he will put our fan photo on TV. I hope he does.

    I have seen games at Wrigley before, but this this first that I tracked that they fly the W or L flag for people on the El to know how the team did. Yesterday, when they Cubs won, they played a Cubs song that everyone stayed to sing. We need one about another Curlie W in the books.we need stuff
    Ike that in our park.

    Denard was spectacular today. That catch in the ivy was shocking in the park. May they please please hold on yo things enough to win tonight. The we o ahead those darn braves.

    It was really cool to be in Wrigley for the 100th year. I will be long give by the time our guys…four generations fom now…,are in their 100th year. But the longevity of the game is something you really feel there.

    Desi is lights out against Samardajzi or however you spell it. I hope he is again tonight.


  7. David Proctor - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    That wasn’t a strike that Rendon swung at first pitch

  8. ehay2k - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    FOX is well, terrible. They should allow us to have our own feed with our own broadcasters.

    Espi got a pinch hit earlier today, unsurprising result.

    Werth just looks awful at the plate. Its like he has leg or back issues and is trying to compensate. But that swing is so ugly, makes me want him to call Eck!


    • ehay2k - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:36 PM

      And yes I know FP is there.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:38 PM

      makes me want to call Eck

      Or Larry.

      • ehay2k - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:42 PM

        +1 for the Chipper reference sofa

    • BurnedOnce - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      I think it’s that tweaked groin from late April – May

  9. Joe Seamhead - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:49 PM

    Sorry, but I think our below avg. CF makes that play that McLouth missed.

  10. RickH - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    A double, a sacrifice bunt and a sac fly = a run. How about that?!

  11. David Proctor - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    Even after the home run, this is the best I’ve seen Treinan pitch. Getting some swings and misses and throwing the offspeed. Just one bad pitch.

  12. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    And as the tarp comes out … I wonder who first came up with the idea of putting a tarp over the infield during rain delays?

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      is one your email?

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:23 PM

        It is, FS

      • Faraz Shaikh - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:39 PM

        Done. Thanks!

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:23 PM

        Thank YOU.

  13. ehay2k - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    Strasburg would have pitches if this weren’t as double header, correct? Thus, the rain.

  14. websterj2014 - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Listening to FP’s commentary on second game of doubleheader with Cubs, I began to wonder how long it may be before ESPN, Fox Sports or MLB Network lures him away with more money than Angelos’s MASN would be willing to shell out. Any thoughts?

    • knoxvillenat - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      Another blackout here in East Tennessee by Fox. Apparently they think everyone in the southeast wants to watch the damn Barves! Come on Fox, give us the freedom to choose our own games and stop shoving Atlanta down our throats!

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

      They’d be lucky to get him.

  15. ArVAFan - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    As part of the Nats tour, we had photos and Q and A with Aaron Barrett this morning. He said that he had never been asked or told to plunk anyone. He says the players “monitor the game and just know when that needs to happen .” That happened to him in AA: someone hit one of his team and he reciprocated. Dugouts emptied, full base-brawl.

    Notes from the second row–caught some bad language after a Cub strikeout. At least before the game started, the players seemed to be kidding around . . . Werth being the exception . Ramos was on the field doing some running and stretching . He did more stretching in the on deck circle. I yelled WIL-SON at him: I know he heard it, but didn’t connect it with me when he turned around.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:53 PM

      Good stuff! Road trips are great! When the Nats win, even better!

  16. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:11 PM


  17. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    Buffalo Bacon!!

  18. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    Nate McClouth for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

  19. stoatva - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    FP sounds really good, to my ears. I don’t hate Carp, but I don’t feel like he and FP have any chemistry at all. YMMV.

  20. David Proctor - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    Bryce Harper just homered again. He’s 3/4 with 3 homers.

  21. slidell2 - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    Harper just hit his 3rd dinger, with 2 on.

  22. Joe Seamhead - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Nice, very nice, catch by Nate McLouth!

  23. stoatva - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    Cedeno throwing BP, so far.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:16 PM

      Not exactly clean, but no runs allowed and a stalk-off K. He should sleep fine tonight.

      • stoatva - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:25 PM

        “So far” at the time of posting, was three batters in, and BP was what it was. I’m also glad he sucked it up and got Schier-whatsizname.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:38 PM

        And a 3-inning save for Detwiler wouldn’t be so bad.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:44 PM

        Looks like Matty agrees with me. Must be reading the blog in-game.

  24. janebeard - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Det looking so so good!

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:45 PM

      You still at the park, Brainey Janey?

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      And Det can run the bases a little bit. Good for him!

  25. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    Isn’t this fun! Detwiler can get the 3 inning save! That doesn’t happen often.

  26. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    Det for the ninth and his first career save!

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      And he’s working on his curve? Whatever.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:55 PM

        I’m untucking.

  27. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:52 PM


    Was that a non-fastball that Det just threw….. Please, someone…. Tell me.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:55 PM

      He threw 2 breaking pitches to Castillo.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:56 PM

        I had to rewind it… Make sure I was looking at the right jersey and situation… I was like, breaking bal… Wait, Det only throws fastballs…

        Slow down my beating heart….. I just can’t believe it…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:58 PM

        Good pickup. Great to see him in another nice outing. He saved a lot of innings for the ‘pen and that goes without saying as this was a doubleheader where Clip wasn’t available and you didn’t want to go to Soriano.

  28. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    So 4-3 on this road trip… Not bad, not bad at all….

  29. conatsguy - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    Nice Sweep.

  30. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    That was a nice win. Treinen outpitched Samardjia. Happy to see that. I remember when some wanted Samardjia. He’s good, not great, and would have cost 4 players. No thanks. I love Fister.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      I will only own up to wanting Lohse… Have never been a big Samardija fan… But I hope people weren’t surprised we did well against him…

      Nats seem to do well against all the aces… It’s the junk throwers that give them problems…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 28, 2014 at 11:08 PM

        I have to agree. Wainwright and Tim Hudson are the 2 pitchers that usually make the Nats look bad plus Dillon Gee.

        Like you said, it’s these soft tossing finesse pitchers that look like Cy Young.

        Lohse was my guy too but if given the choice I would take Fister first and Lohse if I could pick a 2nd pitcher.

        Gio really pitched a good game today. That was good to see.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 11:12 PM

      Treinen got the job done after an hour-long rain delay; Samadizja, not so much. The Cubs will still get plenty.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 28, 2014 at 11:15 PM

        They sure will. When best pitchers available are David Price and Samardzija, the takings will be big. Consider what the Cubs got for Garza as a good comparable.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 28, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        Sorry, Jeff.

  31. natsfan1a - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:05 AM

    Missed the first 4 but saw the rest of the game (well, I did turn away during the BOS/NYY bonus rain delay coverage). Another nice win and a winning road trip to boot, I do believe. Come on home, boys. We’ll leave a light on for you.





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