On Thursday evening, the Cubs were looking to wrap up their four game set with the Nationals. After dropping the first three games of the series, with the previous two in blow out fashion, the question was whether the North Siders were looking to get out of town as soon as possible or try to leave our nation’s capitol with at least one win.
What Went Right: Anthony Rizzo hit a home run for the second night in a row, bringing his season total to 12. In fact, the Cubs started the game by scoring in each of the first two innings, thanks to a RBI triple by Darwin Barney in the second.
What Went Wrong: Unfortunately it was all down hill from there. The Cubs offense failed to do further damage in the run column, and the over matched pitching staff had another ugly night on the mound. The two homers given up on the evening was actually an improvement over the prior two games, but the hot hitting Nationals still put together plenty of hits to score nine runs. The majority of the damage came off of starter Justin Germano. The Boston Red Sox discard has had glimpses of success as a Cub, but last night was not one of them.
What Was Interesting: You may recall in my wrap up from yesterday that I felt a Cubs pitcher needed to throw some chin music to keep the Washington hitters honest. The Cubs actually showed some life Thursday night, even if it was to release some built up frustration. It started in the fifth inning when the Nationals third base coach Bo Porter made his way over to the near side visitor’s dugout for some heated words, apparently instigated by Jamie Quirk. The Cubs bench coach was ejected for his involvement in the incident, which triggered the bullpens to clear, although no physical actions were involved. According to Cubs radio commentator Keith Moreland, Quirk’s beef may have been over the home team swiping a couple bases despite a 7-2 lead in what has been a lopsided series overall.
Things boiled over the following inning when it appeared that Cubs pitcher Manny Corpas had thrown at rookie phenom Bryce Harper. The Nationals player took exception and had some choice words for Corpas despite not being hit by the pitch. Both Corpas and Steve Clevenger joined Quirk in ejection department after the bullpens and benches cleared again, this time with some pushing and shoving going down.
Now that the Cubs have got that out of their system, hopefully they can channel some positive energy towards getting back in the win column this weekend and avoiding the pace to lose over 100 games for the season.