Justin Grimm gives up game-winning HR to Ramos
The Chicago Cubs found themselves in a low-scoring game as they were edged 2-1 by the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field on Memorial Day, dropping the first game of this three-game series.
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Things got off to a rocky start in the top half of the first with Tsuyoshi Wada on the mound after Denard Span rocked a solo bomb that bounced off the right field video board in the first at-bat of the game. Rookie third baseman and high school rival of Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, tied things up with his sixth big league home run during the bottom half of the first.
Wada (0-0, 2.70 ERA) worked a quality start today, holding the Nationals to just one earned runs on four hits with six strikeouts. Chicago’s Japanese born southpaw found himself in a rocky situation with the bases-loaded and Michael Taylor up to bat but was able to get him to strike out swinging to end the fourth.
Taylor robbed Wada of what could have been an RBI double earlier in the game, extending his body to bring in a ball that appeared to be behind him in left field.
While the offense was limited over the course of the game, the defense stood out.
Second basemen Addison Russell had a beautiful diving play which resulted in him throwing out Taylor in the second inning. Russell was unable to record a hit during the game as he finished 0-for-3 at the dish.
Illinois-native Tanner Roark matched Wada pitch-for-pitch, picking up his first win in his first start this season after beginning the year in the bullpen for the Nationals (27-18). Roark (1-2, 2.49 ERA) held Chicago (24-20) to just one earned run on three hits including the long-ball by Bryant in the first inning while recording three punch-outs.
Harper made a spectacular play in right fielder that caused him to run straight into the brick covered ivy and appeared to have injured his wrist. It didn’t take long for fans to know that he as he hammered a ball down the right-field line for a double right after.
Shortly after Wada was pulled from the game by skipper Joe Maddon, reliever Justin Grimm entered with the opportunity to keep things exactly where they were. Instead, catcher Wilson Ramos drilled what would be the game-winning home run to right field, making it a 2-1 ballgame and putting Grimm in line for the loss.
Chicago had themselves a bit of drama in the bottom half of the ninth when Kris Bryant was originally called out on a foul-tip strikeout. Bryant pleaded to the umpire, claiming that the ball hit him in the wrist and not the bat.
Maddon quickly raced out to from the dugout to ask for a review and the replay showed that the ball did, in fact, make contact with Bryant’s wrist, allowing him to take first base. Both Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro would pop out, leaving the game in outfielder Jorge Soler‘s hands.
Soler would strike out swinging to end the game.
What Stood Out:
It was a hard-fought game and while the offense was quiet after Bryant’s game-tying home run, the outcome wasn’t necessarily as bad as most thought it would be. Chicago has run into a red-hot Washington Nationals team who has dominated opposing teams over the last week – outscoring them 40-24.
Both teams combined for 10 hits on the day.
The Cubs will have a shot at redemption tomorrow with Kyle Hendricks on the mound opposite Jordan Zimmerman. That game will take place at 6:05 pm central time and will air live on CSN, ESPN, and WBBM 780.