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Chicago Cubs fall to Nationals behind red-hot Scherzer

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Jun 13, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (27) hits a solo home run against the Washington Nationals during the sixth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (27) hits a solo home run against the Washington Nationals during the sixth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Cubs had no answer for a red-hot Max Scherzer as they lost 4-1 to the Washington Nationals on Monday night.

9. 4. 90. Final. 1

It was a rough one right from the get-go. Scherzer (8-4, 3.40) started the game by striking out nine of his first 10 batters.  He even carried a perfect game into the sixth inning before Addison Russell slammed a game-tying homer into the seats in left field.

Unfortunately, the game would not stay tied for much longer. Kyle Hendricks (4-6, 3.05) gave up a solo homer to Wilson Ramos in the same inning, promptly giving the Nationals (40-24) lead. This was followed by a pair of RBI singles from Danny Espinosa and Ben Revere.

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The Cubs simply couldn’t touch Max Scherzer tonight, save for the Russell homer.  They only managed to get two hits off of him. That also ended up being their hit total for the night.

The Cubs (43-19) have been striking out a lot lately, so Scherzer was really the last guy the Cubs wanted to face. It was a frustrating game to watch, but fans shouldn’t be too distraught over it. It was the Nationals’ ace going up against the Cubs’ five-man. The odds were never in the Cubs’ favor to win this one.

This is also a kind reminder that Chicago has only lost 19 games on the year. The next lowest is 24. So the Cubs are still sitting atop the baseball throne.

The Cubs’ season run differential is also at a massive +159. The next highest mark belongs to the Boston Red Sox at +85.  That’s a huge gap between first and second.

Next: Arrieta in home run derby?

Going into the game, all five Cubs’ starters had an ERA under three. That ended tonight after Hendricks gave up three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. It was a fun feat to have accomplished, but let’s be realistic, it was never going to last long.

Tomorrow’s game features a much more favorable pitching matchup with John Lackey taking the mound against Gio Gonzalez.   Look for the Cubs to get more than two hits in this next one.  You can catch the game on MLB Network at 6:05 pm Ct.

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