Jun 7, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
The Nationals close out their season series with the Chicago Cubs in a late afternoon Sunday start with Jordan Zimmermann (5-2, 2.88) and Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 3.99) set to pitch.
The Nationals lost 4-2 on Saturday, as their offense struggled against Jason Hammel. They will hope for better results from their lineup on Sunday, but they should have some help from one of the hottest pitchers in baseball. Zimmermann has allowed only three earned runs over his last four starts, a stretch of 28 innings.
Hendricks has not been quite as good lately with 10 earned runs in his last four outings, including four his last time out against the Marlins. But he did beat the Nationals on May 26 – two starts ago – when he threw seven innings of one-run ball.
We have both myself and Daniel Shiferaw at the park for this one, so check back for updates…
CHICAGO CUBS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 187
Weather: Partly cloudy, 78 degrees, Wind 11 mph in from RF
CF Denard Span
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Bryce Harper
2B Anthony Rendon
C Wilson Ramos
SS Ian Desmond
1B Tyler Moore
LF Michael Taylor
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
CF Dexter Fowler
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Kris Bryant
C Miguel Montero
LF Chris Coghlan
SS Starlin Castro
RF Chris Denorfia
RHP Kyle Hendricks
2B Jonathan Herrera
HP Kerwin Danley
1B Gabe Morales
2B Rob Drake
3B Joe West (cc)
4:22 p.m. — It was a quick first inning that featured no runs. Both teams got a baserunner apiece as Rizzo walked and Escobar singled in his first at-bat since leaving Thursday’s game with a sore right wrist. Rizzo was caught in a rundown and Escobar was strande don first after two outs on balls put in play by Harper and Rendon. It’s 0-0 with the second up next.
4:47 p.m. — It didn’t take long for the Nationals to respond, as they now lead 2-1. Ramos reached on an error by Castro at shortstop and Desmond followed with his fifth homer of the season. He lofted it over the fence opposite field to right-center. Zimmermann also got a single in the inning. Nats lead 2-1 with the third up next.
5:08 p.m. — It is still 2-1 after three. Fowler led off with a double for the Cubs and moved all the way to third, but that’s as far as he would get. The Nats then went down 1-2-3.
5:26 p.m. — The Cubs tied the game up at 2-2 in the top of the fourth on an RBI single by Herrera. He brought home Denorfia, who reached on a one-out single and moved to second on a groundout by Hendricks. The Nats then went down in order for the second straight inning.
5:51 p.m. — Both teams scored again in the fifth, as the Cubs lead 4-3 with the sixth inning up next. Chicago notched two runs on a single by Coghlan. He brought home Rizzo, who led off with an infield single, and Bryant who doubled right after. The Nats got their run on a single by Escobar. That brought home Clint Robinson, who pinch-hit for Zimmermann. Blake Treinen will now take over looking to keep this one close.
6:10 p.m. — Blake Treinen came on in relief of Zimmermann and quickly gave the run right back to the Cubs and then some, as two scored to make it 6-3 on a wild pitch and a bases-loaded RBI single. The Nats offense went quietly in the bottom half of the inning, going down in order.
6:39 p.m. — Nothing doing in the seventh inning for either team, as Aaron Barrett shuts down the Cubs in order and the Nats fail to capitalize on their scoring chances in the bottom half of the frame. It’s still 6-3 heading to the eighth.
6:58 p.m. — Eighth inning starts and Denard Span has been removed from the game, with Michael Taylor taking his place in center and Danny Espinosa going to left. We’ll have an update on Span’s condition after the game. Meanwhile, the Nats still couldn’t muster any offense. It’s still 6-3 heading to the ninth.
7:18 p.m. — And that’ll do it. Nats fall to the Cubs 6-3 and drop the series. More coming soon.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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