Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Cubs are in town for this Labor Day matinee at Nationals Park.
As for today's game, Ross Detwiler gets the start against a Cubs team is serious rebuilding mode. Check out some of the names in Dale Sveum's lineup (aside from old pal Alfonso Soriano, of course). Ex-Notre Dame receiver Jeff Samardzija is on the mound for Chicago.
Plenty of updates to come, so please check back...
CHICAGO CUBS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Cloudy, 82 degrees, Wind 9 mph RF to LF
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
LHP Ross Detwiler
CF Joe Mather
2B Darwin Barney
1B Anthony Rizzo
LF Alfonso Soriano
SS Starlin Castro
C Welington Castillo
3B Josh Vitters
RF Dave Sappelt
RHP Jeff Samardzija
HP Bill Miller
1B Clint Fagan
2B Mike Estabrook
3B Jerry Layne (cc)
1:07 p.m. -- And we're underway. Ross Detwiler starts Joe Mather off with a fastball for strike one.
1:10 p.m. -- And 10 pitches (eight strikes) later, Detwiler is through a 1-2-3 top of the first. Good stuff from the lefty to get this one started.
1:26 p.m. -- After Jeff Samardzija retired the Nats on six pitches in the bottom of the first, Detwiler got himself into some trouble in the top of the second. Starlin Castro roped a one-out double to right to put himself in scoring position. Detwiler, though, came up big to strike out Welington Castillo and then (after issuing a two-out walk to Josh Vitters) got Dave Sappelt to ground out to kill the potential rally. Still scoreless as we move to the bottom of the second.
1:34 p.m. -- Looks like Adam LaRoche's oft-streaky bat is getting hot again. He just demolished a pitch into the second deck down the right-field line to open the bottom of the second, his team-leading 25th homer of the season and his second in three days. LaRoche gives the Nats a 1-0 lead.
1:46 p.m. -- Does any second baseman in the majors charge to his right and throw across his body better than Danny Espinosa? Seriously, he makes that play look so easy, as he just did to get Darwin Barney to end the top of the third. And there's nothing easy about that play. Still 1-0 heading to the bottom of the third.
2:08 p.m. -- Um, Roger Bernadina just pinch-hit for Michael Morse to lead off the bottom of the fourth. I have no idea what prompted that, unless Morse somehow hurt himself watching Bryce Harper catch a flyball to end the top of the inning. Stay tuned...
2:15 p.m. -- No news yet on Morse. Meanwhile, Ian Desmond got caught straying too far off first base by the heretofore unknown Welington "That's Only One L, Not Two" Castillo and was picked off. Made all the more frustrating when Danny Espinosa followed with a base hit to center. So it's still 1-0 through four as Bernadina takes over in left field.
2:38 p.m. -- We've got a Morse update at last: He came out of today's game with right thumb soreness, according to the Nationals. This is something he's dealt with before, so perhaps it's not all that serious.
2:40 p.m. -- Meanwhile, Ross Detwiler has completed six scoreless innings on 85 pitches. He's had to pitch out of the stretch much of the afternoon, but he's gotten some big outs when needed, including a 6-4-3 double play just now to end the top of the sixth. So it remains a 1-0 lead for the Nats.
3:00 p.m. -- Another big double play induced by Detwiler to end the seventh. He's at 93 pitches and still has the shutout intact. Chad Tracy, however, will hit for Detwiler in the bottom of the seventh, so the lefty's day is done. His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K. He lowered his ERA to 3.15.
3:10 p.m. -- Here's Drew Storen for the top of the eighth, the Nats still clinging to a 1-0 lead. Remember: Sean Burnett is not available (and probably won't be for several days) due to a lingering elbow issue.
3:16 p.m. -- And Storen retires the side on nine pitches, including a devastating slider to strike out Brett Jackson. We head to the bottom of the eighth, the Nats still up 1-0 and Tyler Clippard limbering up in the pen.
3:24 p.m. -- And there's the insurance run the Nats have been seeking all afternoon. Harper leads off the bottom of the eighth with a single to right, then comes all the way around to score on Zimmerman's double into the left-field corner. It's 2-0 now.
3:32 p.m. -- OK, onto the ninth. Here's Tyler Clippard in search of his 30th save (not to mention the Nats' 82nd win of the season).
3:49 p.m. -- Not over yet. Clippard gives up a two-out RBI single to Castillo, cutting the lead to 2-1.
3:52 p.m. -- Now it's over. Congrats, D.C.: You've officially got yourselves a winning ballclub for the first time in 43 years.