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Washington Nationals battle back, but lose in extras, 7-5 to Chicago Cubs...

The free runner on second in extras after a rally from a 4-0 deficit just makes us hate the extra innings rule even more...

Chicago Cubs v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Corbin’s Back:

With six earned runs allowed in 23 of an inning of work in an August 6th start against the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park, Patrick Corbin was left with a 7.02 ERA, a 4.97 FIP, 40 walks, 102 Ks, and a .331/.387/.533 line against in 23 starts and 110 13 IP on the year in his fourth season in Washington’s rotation. Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez decided after Corbin’s second 23 of an inning outing in three starts he needed to take a break and work on some things between appearances.

“For me, it is a tough decision, because he’s very competitive. And he takes the ball every five days,” Martinez explained.

“He’s trying to sort some things out, and some days he looks really, really good. And the last few outings, he couldn’t get out of the first inning.”

As the fifth-year skipper said, they were determined to get Corbin sorted out, three years into his struggles on the mound, because he’s under contract for another two years and they need him to contribute.

“Because regardless of what anybody thinks, he’s going to be one of our starters next year and the year after that. We’ve got to get him better,” Martinez said.

Given extra time off to work on some things, Corbin came out tonight against Chicago’s Cubs, and retired the side in order in a 14-pitch, nine-strike first, but he gave up back-to-back, one-out hits in the top of the second, with Franmil Reyes and Nico Hoerner taking sinkers up from the Nats’ starter the other way. Nelson Velazquez lined a 1-2 sinker all the way to the top of the fence in left field in the next at-bat, driving in one with the double, before Corbin retired the next two batters to escape the early jam down 1-0.

Corbin issued his first walk of the game to Seiya Suzuki in the first at-bat of the 4th, and one out later Suzuki scored on a double to left field by Hoerner which put the Cubs up 2-0, and an RBI hit to left field by P.J. Higgins (on an 0-2 changeup up in the zone) drove in run No. 3, 3-0.

Corbin gave up a 418-foot blast to right field by Franmil Reyes with one out in the top of the sixth, 4-0 Cubs.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 97 P, 59 S, 7/3 GO/FO.

Steele in D.C.:

Justin Steele was coming off a 4 2⁄3-inning start against the Miami Marlins in which he struck out 10 of the 20 batters he faced, in a 93-pitch effort, when he went up against Washington last week in Wrigley Field, and held the Nationals to two runs on eight hits in six innings on the mound in which he struck out nine of the 25 hitters he faced in a 94-pitch appearance.

A 2014 5th Round pick by the Cubs, who debuted for Chicago in 2021, Steele completed his outing with a 3.63 ERA, a 3.29 FIP, and a .252/.327/.350 line against in 21 starts and 101 23 IP on the season in his second major league campaign.

“He’s been on a roll his last couple of starts,” Cubs’ manager David Ross said after a 4-2 win over the Nationals, as quoted on “He did a nice job of finishing his outing.”

Going up against the Nats again tonight in the nation’s capital, Steele worked around three hits in three scoreless, striking out three on 44 pitches, and he came out for the fourth with a 3-0 lead, and worked around a one-out walk in an 18-pitch frame. 62 total.

It was 4-0 Cubs in the sixth, when Steele walked Victor Robles, and gave up a single up the middle by Joey Meneses. Both runners moved up on an errant throw on a pick attempt out at second base, and Robles scored one out later on an RBI sac fly to center by Nelson Cruz, 4-1.

Justin Steele’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 96 P, 65 S, 5/3 GO/FO.


Going into tonight’s game, Joey Meneses had, “... hit safely in nine straight games and recorded five straight multi-hit efforts (from Aug. 9-14),” as the Nationals highlighted in tonight’s pregame notes.

It’s been quite a run for the 30-year-old rookie, who was 14 for 31 (.452/.500/.839) with four home runs in those nine games.

“His five-game multi-hit game streak,” the Nationals added, “... tied Bryce Harper’s record of the longest multi-hit game streak by a Nationals’ rookie in Nationals’ history (2005-pres.).”

He extended his hit streak to 10-straight with a one-out single in the sixth (1 for 3), but his multi-hit game streak ended when he K’d swinging to end the game in the 11th.

Bullpen Action:

Steve Cishek took over for the Nationals in the top of the seventh, and struck out two in a 1-2-3 frame.

Erich Uelmen came on for the Cubs in the bottom of the inning, and gave up a leadoff, line drive double to left by César Hernández (24). Keibert Ruiz and Ildemaro Vargas hit one-out singles off the right-hander after CJ Abrams K’d swinging, with Vargas’s hit driving in their second run, 4-2 Cubbies.

Yadiel Hernández pinch hit for Victor Robles in the next at-bat, so the Cubs went to the pen again for another righty, closer Rowan Wick, who gave up a base-loading infield single by Hernández, but Joey Meneses grounded into an inning-ending double play on a 94 MPH first-pitch fastball. Still 4-2 Cubs.

Erasmo Ramirez struck out the side in a 13-pitch eighth.

Luke Voit hit a 94 MPH 2-2 fastball from Wick 413 feet to the back of the visitor’s bullpen to lead off the eighth, and one out later, Lane Thomas tied it up with a 388-foot shot that just cleared the left field fence. 4-4. No. 16 for Voit. No. 11 for Thomas.

César Hernández connected for his second double (and third hit) in a row in the next at-bat, before the Cubs went to the ‘pen again.

Sean Newcomb took over for the Cubs against CJ Abrams, with the go-ahead run at second base, and he struck out the Nationals’ shortstop, but both Keibert Ruiz and Ildemaro Vargas walked to load them up with two out, and Yadiel Hernández grounded out to end the threat. Still 4-4 Chicago.

Kyle Finnegan retired the Cubs in order to give the Nationals a shot at their first walk-off win of the season.

Michael Rucker sent it to extras with a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth.

Carl Edwards, Jr. got the top of the tenth for the Nationals, and gave up a single by Zach McKinstry which sent the Cubs’ free runner to third base. McKinstry collided with César Hernández on a grounder to short in the next at-bat, and was called out for obstruction.

One out, but runners on first and third.

Edwards, Jr. hit Nick Madrigal to load the bases in front of Willson Contreras, who hit a sac fly to left, 5-4 Cubs, but Rafael Ortega got caught in a rundown and tagged out to end the inning. What he was doing? Who knows.

Brandon Hughes came on for the Cubbies, and retired two batters before CJ Abrams hit one to right to drive in the Nats’ free runner, Alex Call, who slid around a tag at home to tie it up, 5-5.

Victor Arano gave up an RBI double by Patrick Wisdom, 6-5, threw a wild pitch, and then he surrendered an RBI single by Seiya Suzuki, 7-5.

Mark Leiter, Jr. came on to end it, and

Nationals now 39-79