|The tarp comes off the field.|
What a terrible way to start the game. And the end it for that matter.
Actually it took a while to actual start the game. Rain delay until just before 9. And the way it started looked like it would be a long night.
It started with Gio Gonzalez walking the first four batters. Ugh. As the Post put it:
The first three Cubs reached against him. Gonzalez walked the fourth, and the Cubs had a lead before making an out. After allowing two runs in the first, catcher Jose Lobaton told Gonzalez he was flying open, leaving pitches flat and over the plate.
Gonzalez corrected the problem. In the second, he struck out the side. He threw seven pitches in a scoreless third. Gonzalez held the Cubs at two through six innings, allowing four hits and striking out six. After the first four batters reached, four reached in the next 5 2/3 innings.
As the Post said after the first inning Gio did great. The Cubs were unable to do anything after that. The bull pen was a little shaky (as they have been this season). There were a couple of times the Cubs threaten but the Nats got the outs.
It's too bad they couldn't get anyone across the plate. Not that they didn't have chances. They left nine men on base. You score just two of those guys and you win the game. The needed hits just did not come. But boy were they close. With the bases loaded in the 6th, Ian Desmond came up. He got two strikes on him. Then had a hit.
Well at least it sure looked like it should have been a hit. He blasted a ball but the Cubs's first baseman Anthony Rizzo grabbed it. It was a great play. If it had gotten through at least two runs would have scored and the inning would have been kept a live.
As I said the game ended as badly as it started. Bottom of the 9th. there are two outs. Runners are on first and second. Up comes Anthony Rendon. His first game back. Actually his first game of the season. He'd done well. He had a single and a double. The double in the 6th helped with the one run the Nats scored.
And then this happened. I'll let the Post tell it:
Up Rendon came with two men on and two men out in the bottom of the ninth, his Nationals trailing the Chicago Cubs by a run. Back he went, walking to the dugout, bat in his hand, his moment stolen. Cubs catcher David Ross picked pinch-hitter Clint Robinson off first base with Rendon at the plate. The Nationals lost, 2-1.
Hopefully they will do better today. They've been flat the last few games. But there was hope in this game that the Nats were getting hits. Getting on base is the first step. The next is getting across the plate.