The Longest Fourth...
The Washington Nationals entered the fourth inning of this afternoon's series finale against the Chicago Cubs with a 2-1 lead courtesy of Ryan Zimmerman's third inning sac fly to center. DC right-hander Garrett Mock, making his first start of the season after being called back from a successful stint at Triple-A Syracuse, had allowed the leadoff runner on in each of the first three innings, and given up a single, three doubles and a walk, but only one run to that point. Mock got Micah Hoffpauir to fly out to start the fourth, and he got a ground ball from Cubs' third baseman Jake Fox to short, that was unfortunately blown by Alberto Gonzalez, who let it slip under his glove. Alfonso soriANO!!! followed with a long fly ball to left for a two-run HR and a 3-2 Cubs' lead. Nine batters later, Alfonso Soriano would line out to end the fourth, but only after six more runs were scored and the Washington Nationals were down 8-2 and well on their way to being swept in four straight at home by the visiting Cubs...
Cubs win, 11-3 final.
Miss The Game...The DC Faithful Suffered Through It...Uh, Were Watching...
BACKPAGE: (Continued After The Jump...)
• E: 86
• E: 87
• Bullpen 3.0 Coming Soon...
• Nationals' Highlights.
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The Jump...
Nationals now 26-65. (Countdown To 100 Losses Begins At 70. Countdown To History At 110.)
Alberto Gonzalez' fourth inning error came with one down in the frame and started the Cubs' 7-run rally. Garrett Mock got a routine grounder with a first-pitch fastball to Cubs' third baseman Jake Fox, and instead of getting in front of it, or at least putting his glove down, Gonzalez tried to field it on the run, snatching down at the last second only to have it roll under his glove. What should have been the second out was followed by Alfonso soriANO's two-run HR to left, and then Garrett Mock completely imploded. Three singles a wild pitch and a walk later (not in that order), Mock was lifted and everyone's favorite reliever Julian Tavarez was on in relief...
Julian Tavarez takes over on the mound for Mock with runners on first and third and the Cubs ahead 5-2. Ryan Theriot flies to left-center, and Nyjer Morgan cuts in front of Adam Dunn to make the catch for the second out, but his throw home bounces off Josh Bard as the opposing pitcher, Kevin Hart, scores from third, and Kosuke Fukudome, who'd been on first, takes second on Morgan's errant throw. 6-2 Cubs. Three straight singles by Micah Hoffpauir, Derrek Lee and Jake Fox followed and by the time Soriano was retired, the Cubs led 8-2 and Washington was essentially done.
Bullpen 3.0 Coming Soon...
After the game it was widely reported that RHP Julian Tavarez was designated for assignment, with RHP Kip Wells, (heh, Logan Kensing, I can't tell the difference) called up to take his place on the roster.
Washington Post - Nationals Journal - "Tavarez DFA'd; Kensing Returning" - Chico Harlan
"Sunday afternoon's game was a mess. 'Just a breakdown all the way around,' interim manager Jim Riggleman said. It was also Julian Tavarez's last as a member of the Washington Nationals. Following the 11-3 defeat against the Cubs, Tavarez, 36, was designated for assignment..."
• Adam Dunn's solo HR in the seventh off of Jeff Samardj...Samardzj...Samardzija.
• Nyjer Morgan stealing second and third after singling to start the third inning.
• Tyler Clippard, Sean Burnett and Mike MacDougal throw 3.0 scoreless...
• Did I mention Dunn's HR...and uh, Tavarez getting DFA'd...Hmmm...
• You should've seen Dunn's HR!!!!
Chicago Cubs At Washington Nationals. Game 91 Of 162.
Garrett Mock throws a first-pitch fastball to Kosuke Fukudome, who doubles to the right field corner to start the Sunday finale. Josh Willingham speeds over to catch a line drive off Ryan Theriot’s bat and spins to throw but his aim is off. Derrek Lee up with one down, and he grounds to third, Ryan ZImmerman fields, tags Fukudome and fires to first, in time, double play, Mock through the first...Nyjer Morgan bunts his way on, beating the throw to first, but he gets caught trying to steal second. Nick Johnson uses his Discerning Eye to draw a walk from Cubs’ starter Kevin Hart, but gets forced out at second on Ryan Zimmerman’s grounder. Adam Dunn flies out to center to end the first.
Micah Hoffpauir singles to center to start the second. Garrett Mock drops a 74 mph curve on Jake Fox to get a swinging K for the second out. Alfonso Soriano lines to right and beats Josh Willingham’s throw to second, Hoffpauir to third. Mike Fontenot drops a blooper in front of Dunn in left, Hoffpauir scores, 1-0 Chicago, and Dunn’s throw in allows Fontenot to take second. Garrett Mock throws a high two-strike fastball by Koyie Hill. Mock gets the opposing pitcher swinging to end the top of the second...Josh Willingham walks to start the home-half of the frame. Josh Bard bashes single through second, Hammer moves up. Ronnie Belliard’s high fly to center lets Hammer take third. Alberto Gonzalez flies out to center, Willngham scores to tie it. Mock takes a fastball outside for a called strike three.
Garrett Mock walks Fukudome to let the leadoff runner on again. Ryan Theriot grounds to third, Zimmerman to Belliard to Johnson, double play. Zimmerman has the glove low on a hotshot from D. Lee, the throw to first is true...Nyjer Morgan takes a fastball to left for a leadoff single. Stolen base by Morgan. Nick Johnson up, Morgan takes third. Johnson uses his Discerning Eye™ to work a walk out of Hart. Ryan Zimmerman lifts a sinking fastball to second for an RBI sac fly, 2-1 DC. Adam Dunn goes to left with a line drive hit and run single, oh yeah, and the fleet-footed NIck Johnson takes third. Josh Willingham grounds to short, Theriot to Fontenot to Lee, double play.
Micah Hoffpauir flies out to Adam Dunn in left. Jake Fox grounds to short and it goes under Alberto Gonzalez’s glove for the Nationals’ 86th error. Alfonso Soriano gets a fastball down the middle and he destroys it, GONE. 2-run blast for soriANO! 3-2 Cubs. Mike Fontenot follows with a single, and takes second when a bender in the dirt gets by Bard. Mock walks Koyie Hill. Kevin Hart singles up the middle when DC’s looking bunt. Kosuke Fukudome singles as well, and it’s 5-2 Chicago. Mock is done. Julian Tavarez gives up a fly ball to short center, Nyjer Morgan cuts in front of Dunn to make the catch, and he throws home, but bounces it, E on throw, Hill scores, Fukudome to second, 6-2 DC. 7-2 on Derrek Lee’s single to score Fukudome. Micah Hoffpauir singles in his second at bat of the fourth. Jake Fox lines to center, D. Lee scores, 8-2 Chicago. Alfonso Soriano flies out to left, the inning is finally over...Josh Bard flies out to Fukudome. Ronnie Belliard lines a single to left and pulls up after turning the corner. Alberto Gonzalez reaches on a fielder’s choice, Belliard’s running and safe at second when Jake Fox’s throw pulls Fontenot off the bag. Cristian Guzman walks to load the bases. Nyjer Morgan bounces a grounder off Jake Fox at third, who fields and throws home for the force. Nick Johnson pops out to the Cubs’ catcher Koyie Hill to end the the threat. 8-2 Cubs after four.
Mike Fontenot lines a single into left to start the Cubs’ fifth. Koyie Hill pops up a fastball from Ron Villone. Kevin Hart gets a swinging bunt down to move Fontenot to second. Kosuke Fukudome flies out to left, and it’s 8-2 halfway through the fifth...Ryan Zimmerman pops out to second to start the fifth. Adam Dunn grounds into the dramatic shift. Josh Willingham works a two-out walk off of Kevin Hart. Josh Bard flies out to right, and it’s still 8-2 Cubs after five.
Ryan Theriot singles to left in front of Dunn to start the sixth. Ron Villone gets D. Lee looking with a low fastball outside. Micah Hoffpauir singles to right and Ron Villone grooves a fastball to Jake Fox that ends up in the visitor’s bullpen, 3-run blast, 11-2 Cubbies. Alfonso Soriano takes a one-out walk. Soriano’s forced out at second on a broken bat grounder to first. Koyie Hill grounds out to end the Cubs’ sixth...Jeff Samardzija gets a ground ball to second from Belliard for the first out. Alberto Gonzalez chops out to second. Austin Kearns with a broken bat single over short. Samardzija strikes out Nyjer Morgan to end the sixth.
Samardzija grounds to short to start the seventh. Tyler Clippard walks Fukudome, who takes second on a groundout by pinch hitter Andres Blanco. Reed Johnson works a two-out walk off of Clippard. Hoffpauir flies to right and it’s 11-2 Cubs in the seventh, stand up and stretch...Samardzija vs Johnson to start the seventh. Johnson K’s swinging. Ryan Zimmerman skies on straight up that falls at short. Adam Dunn unloads on a fastball from Samardzija that ends up in the first row over the out-of-town scoreboard, 11-3 Cubs. Wilingham K’s to end the seventh.
Jake Fox doubles to start the eighth. Sean Burnett on for DC. Pinch hitter Jeff Baker grounds back to Burnett, who catches Fox off second. Mike Fontenot K’s swinging through a high heater. Koyie Hill K’s chasing to end the top o’ the eighth...Josh Bard flies out to start the Nationals’ half. Ronnie Belliard grounds out to third. Alberto Gonzalez flies out to left...11-3 after eight...
Mike MacDougal gets Jeff Samardzija to ground out to start the ninth. Ryan Zimmerman throws out Kosuke Fukudome on a sweet charging swipe and throw. Andres Blanco K’s swinging through a fastball outside and it’s on to the ninth...Jeff Stevens on to end it. Austin Kearns pops out foul of first and Hoffpauir makes a nice catch at the tarp. Anderson Hernandez pops out to center. Willie Harris works a two-out walk. Ryan Zimmerman grounds out to short to end the game.
Cubs win, 11-3 final.