Ivy’s Roundup: Those Annoying Buzzing Nats

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Well, I haven’t done one of these in what seems like forever! I’ve been so busy with life and school that I was unable to do the recaps, which tends to happen when you work full time and go to school part time. I just want to thank Rice for filling in for me while I was gone and for your patience.

A roundup hasn’t been done since the Cubs lost the series to the Milwaukee Brewers, but in the meantime, this is what happened:

New York Mets @ Chicago Cubs

May 11 – Cubs 4, Mets 3
May 12 – Cubs 6, Mets 1
May 13 – Cubs 2, Mets 1
May 14 – Cubs 6, Mets 5

Pittsburgh Pirates @ Chicago Cubs

May 15 – Cubs 11, Pirates 10
May 16 – Cubs 4, Pirates 1
May 17 – Cubs 0, Pirates 3

Chicago Cubs @ San Diego Padres

May 19 – Cubs 3, Padres 4
May 20 – Cubs 3, Padres 2
May 21 – Cubs 3, Padres 0

Chicago Cubs @ Arizona Diamondbacks

May 22 – Cubs 4, Diamondbacks 5
May 23 – Cubs 9, Diamondbacks 6
May 24 – Cubs 3, Diamondbacks 4

Now, let’s look at the recap vs. the Nationals:

Washington Nationals @ Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field

5/25: L

Cubs 1, Nationals 2

W: Roark (1-2) L: Grimm (1-1) SV: Storen (15)

Denard Span homered to lead off the game and Wilson Ramos hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth to lead the Nationals to a 2-1 victory over the Cubs on Monday. Cubs left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings in his second start since being recalled from Triple-A. Tanner Roark, who was making his first start in place of Doug Fister, pitched five effective innings for the Nationals and only gave up one run on three hits, struck out three and walked one. The Cubs lone run came from Kris Bryant, who homered in the first inning. Even after Roark was pulled the Cubs could not put together a comeback against the Nationals’ bullpen, which did a great job in securing the one-run victory.

5/26: W

Cubs 3, Nationals 2

W: Rondon (3-0) L: Grace (2-1)

Miggy on the big board. #wearegood
Miggy on the big board. #wearegood

I’m going to go ahead and just say it. This was the best Cubs game I have ever been to…and I have been to A LOT of games. One of the perks about writing for WSD and having a friend like Anno is that we get to attend games with him. So he was so sweet to take me to Tuesday’s game which obviously from my statement above, I had a great time. I got to support my brother Miguel Montero (Twitter joke!), watch Bryce Harper homer, root for my favorite pitcher Kyle Hendricks and see my future husband’s mammoth homer that hit the brand new video board in left field.

Kyle Hendricks and Nationals’ starter Jordan Zimmermann each turned in dominant starts, both allowing one run over seven innings. Hendricks, coming off his first career shutout last week in San Diego, gave up four hits and Zimmermann allowed six hits, but the long balls overshadowed those strong starts by Hendricks and Zimmermann. Especially the long ball hit by none other than Kris Bryant. The moment Kris Bryant made contact, just about everyone inside Wrigley Field got on their feet to take a look. It was hard to tell but after watching the replay, it showed that the ball struck the top of the new video board in left and ricocheted back into the bleachers. That was definitely the most impressive hit of the night.

Dexter Fowler put the Cubs in front with a leadoff homer in the first and that was the score until Bryce Harper led off the seventh inning with his 17th homer of the season. The Nationals took the lead when Span connected against Pedro Strop with two outs in the eighth but Bryant’s homer came shortly after that. Bryant’s seventh homer came on a full-count pitch from Aaron Barrett after he fell behind 0-2 in the count and that tied the game at 2. After Hector Rondon pitched a scoreless ninth, Chris Coghlan started the winning rally with a one-out single against Matt Grace. Then shortstop Ian Desmond threw wide to first while trying to turn a double play on pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera‘s grounder to second which extended the inning and set up the winning hit. Addison Russell hit a game ending RBI double that was just impossible for Denard Span to handle. The end of the game was the loudest I’ve ever heard a Wrigley Field crowd, everyone definitely went home happy that night, including us!

Go Cubs! #wearegood
Go Cubs! #wearegood

5/27: L

Cubs 0, Nationals 3

W: Scherzer (6-3) L: Lester (4-3) SV: Storen (16)

Nice seats!
Nice seats!

This was the one Anno and Rice went to and they got quite a show, pitching-wise:

What a matchup!
What a matchup!

Max Scherzer has been one of the National League’s most dominant starting pitchers and teammate Bryce Harper is one of the best hitters and together they helped the Nationals beat the Cubs on Wednesday night. The games’ top free agent pitchers dueled it out and Scherzer came out on top. He allowed only five hits and one walk and struck out a total of 13 batters.

Jon Lester warms up.
Jon Lester warms up.

Jon Lester took the tough-luck loss as he pitched a terrific game himself. Lester allowed two runs, one earned, over seven innings while allowing seven hits and walking two. He struck out 10, and after a shaky start to the season, he is looking more and more like the ace the Cubs signed during the offseason. The Nationals scored first in the top of the fourth on a throwing error from Addison Russell. Ryan Zimmerman grounded to short, setting up the perfect double play, but Russell’s throw skipped past first baseman Anthony Rizzo, allowing Yunel Escobar to score the unearned run. With the Nationals still leading 1-0 in the top of the sixth, Harper lined a solo home run off Lester into the left-field bleachers. Danny Espinosa added an insurance run for the Nationals with his homer in the ninth. Drew Storen pitched a scoreless ninth to give the Nationals the series win.  The Cubs are now 25-21, still in second place and still very much in the Wild Card hunt in the National League.

Next up for the Cubs:

After an off day, the Cubs begin a three-game series vs. the Royals, who they haven’t faced since 2011 when the Royals took two of three at home. Both teams look to get back on the winning side and also to get their offense going. Kansas City has dropped four straight while totaling five runs. They lost 4-2 to the New York Yankees and that dropped them into a first-place tie in the AL Central with the Twins. Kansas City has won 19 of its last 24 interleague games, though. The Cubs have lost four of six and scored seven runs in their last four games. Six of those runs came on homers, and they have struggled to manufacture runs. Royals’ starter Edinson Volquez has given up two runs over 13 innings while winning his last two starts, though he hasn’t won in three road outings this year. Volquez is 5-0 with a 1.36 ERA in his last 10 outings against NL teams going back to last season with Pittsburgh. Jake Arrieta will get the start for the Cubs and has had three straight quality starts, he is 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in three starts against the Royals, whom he hasn’t faced since 2011.

Kansas City Royals @ Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field

 

Friday, May 29, 3:05 PM CDT
Edinson Volquez, (4-3, 2.77 ERA) vs. Jake Arrieta (4-4, 2.95 ERA)
TV = CSN

 

Saturday, May 30, 6:15 PM CDT
Yordano Ventura, (3-4, 4.64 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel, (3-2, 2.98 ERA)
TV = FOX

 

Sunday, May 31, 1:20 PM CDT
Jeremy Guthrie, (4-3, 6.70 ERA) vs. Tsuyoshi Wada, (0-0, 2.70 ERA)
TV = ABC Channel 7

 

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Thanks for reading and as always, Go Cubs!

-Ivy

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