The Chicago Cubs got back in the win column on Friday in our Nation’s Capital with a 14–6 drubbing of the Nationals!! The Cubs pounced on Max Scherzer early and then put the game away late, as they have done many times this year.
The highlight of this game was Kris Bryant’s three home runs, his second career three homer game, as the Cubs offense slugged six home runs. Milwaukee and St. Louis both lost so the Cubs will extend their lead in the NL Central to 1.5 games and go back to 10 games above .500
The Cubs offense got to Max Scherzer early. Baez hit an RBI double in the first and Almora crushed a two run blast to left in the second to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead. Scherzer settled in but the Cubs offense pounced on the Nationals bullpen late.
In the seventh, Bryant hit a two run shot to open the lead to 5–2. The Nationals came back in the bottom of the inning to make it a one run game, but the flood gates opened after that.
In the eighth, Schwarber worked a 13 pitch at-bat that resulted in a two run homer, and Bryant immediately homered right after and suddenly the Cubs lead was a more comfortable 8–4. After loading the bases, Zagunis hit an infield single and then Baez scored a throwing error by Rendon to make it 10–4.
In the ninth, Bryant homered for the third time, another two-run shot, to make it 12–4 and then Contreras added a two run shot of his own to make it 14–4. After only drawing three walks and scoring just 10 runs in the Cincinnati series, the Cubs offense has drew 7 walks and scored 14 times in the first game of this series. With Strasburg on the mound, let’s hope that continues again tomorrow.
Hamels did enough to get the win, but labored through a five inning, 101 pitch outing. He allowed a lot of base runners but improves to 4–0 with a 3.13 ERA in nine starts this season.
The Cubs bullpen struggled again. Ryan put two guys on before Brach induced a double play to clean up the mess. Kintzler probably had his worst outing of the season, allowing two runs on three hits, one of which scored on a balk by Edwards.
Montgomery finished off the game and struggled in the ninth, allowing two runs and likely taking him out of play for a few days since he threw 45 pitches.
Game 2 of the series continues tomorrow at 6:15pm. It’s the FOX Saturday Night Game of the Week. Another good pitching matchup as Jon Lester (3–1, 1.16 ERA) opposes Stephen Strasburg (3–3, 3.63 ERA) from our Nation’s Captial.