Bryce Harper got hold of an 0-2 splitter from Chicago Cubs' starter Jeff Samardzija and hit a two-out single to left in the top of the first tonight in Wrigley Field, but Jayson Werth grounded into a force at second to end the opening frame of the first game of four the Washington Nationals play in the Cubs' home this week. Ryan Zimmerman popped up in his first at bat in the first, then had a grounder toward the hole bounce off his wrist and into left on the first ball hit his way in the bottom of the inning to give Cubs' leadoff man Junior Lake a leadoff double. Zimmerman was all over a Darwin Barney bunt that moved Lake to third with one down, and a walk to Dioner Navarro set up the double play, but instead of grounding into an inning-ender, Nate Schierholtz took a hanging 2-2 curve to right for a three-run blast that made it 3-0 Chicago after an 18-pitch, nine-strike inning for Nats' starter Jordan Zimmermann in the friendly confines.
Adam LaRoche lined a full-count fastball to right for a leadoff single in the Nationals' second, but Ian Desmond grounded back to the mound to start a 1-4-3 DP. Wilson Ramos went down swinging at a 2-2 splitter to end a quick, 16-pitch top of the inning for Jeff Samardzija, who was at 27 total after two scoreless. Jordan Zimmermann was up to 26 pitches after an eight-pitch, 1-2-3 second against the Cubs, who took a 3-0 lead into the third.
Denard Span shot a two-out single back up the middle, over the mound and into center for the Nationals' third hit of the game off Jeff Samardzija. Ryan Zimmerman hit a 1-1 fastball to center via the left side of the second base bag to put two on for Bryce Harper with two out, but the 20-year-old slugger's chopper over the mound was fielded by Starlin Castro, whose throw to first ended Samardzija's third scoreless.
Ryan Zimmerman did his thing on a bunt attempt by Junior Lake, charging, fielding and making a sidearm throw to first for the first out of the Cubs' third. Darwin Barney ended Jordan Zimmermann's streak of six-straight batters retired with a one-out line drive single to left on a 94 mph 1-2 heater. Dioner Navarro popped out to left for out no.2, but Nate Schierholtz came through again with an RBI double that landed just inside the line in right, bringing Barney in and making it 4-0 Cubs after three in Wrigley. 42 pitches for Zimmermann after a 16-pitch third inning.
Jeff Samardzija had four scoreless in the books after he threw a 1-2 splitter by Ian Desmond to end the top of the fourth inning after 12 pitches. Two pitches into the bottom of the inning it was 5-0 Cubs when third baseman Donnie Murphy hit a 93 mph 1-0 fastball to right for an opposite field blast and a five-run lead. Three quick outs later, Jordan Zimmermann was through another 16-pitch frame at 58 overall after four. 5-0 Chicago.
The Nationals went down in order in an eight-pitch frame in the fifth, Jefff Samardzija five scoreless innings on 59 pitches. Junior Lake doubled to center for the Cubs' sixth hit off Jordan Zimmermann in the first at bat of the bottom of the fifth and after a walk to Darwin Barney, Dioner Navarro hit a three-run home run to right field to make it 8-0 over the Nationals after five in Wrigley Field. 23-pitch fifth for the Nationals' right-handed starter. 81 total in 5 IP.
Bryce Harper was 2 for 3 tonight after a two-out line drive single to center in the top of the sixth, but he was left on base when Jayson Werth grounded out to third to end Jeff Samardzija's sixth scoreless inning of work. Fernando Abad took over on the mound in the bottom of the sixth and retired the Cubs in order in a seven-pitch frame. Jeff Samardzija got two quick outs in the top of the seventh, but Wilson Ramos crushed a 2-2 splitter from the Cubs' right-hander and hit one over the left field bleachers and out onto Waveland Ave to get the Nats on the board. 8-1 Chicago after six and a half in Wrigley Field. Fernando Abad walked Dioner Navarro with two down in the Cubs' half of the seventh and set Nate Schierholtz up with a runner on base so his second home run of the night was a two-run blast that made it 10-1 Cubs.
David DeJesus, who was acquired by the Nationals this afternoon, made his first plate appearances in a Nats uniform with two down in the top of the eighth, popping up to end Samardzija's eighth inning of work after eight pitches. 10-1 Chicago. Make that 11. Ian Krol's second pitch of the bottom of the eight went out to deep center and just over the ivy-covered brick wall for Donnie Murphy's second home run of the game and an 11-1 lead over the Nationals in the series opener.
Jeff Samardzija came back out for the top of the ninth and retired the Nationals in order to end it. 11-1 Cubs final.
Nationals now 60-64