Strasburg Dominates Cubs

It is a little late but between volleyball camps, softball games and attending baseball games myworld has been a little busy. Strasburg started on Thursday and struck out 13 Cubs in seven innings of work, leading to the Nationals 8-4 win. He allowed three runs, two coming on a Wilson Contreras two run homer in the fourth and the other coming as a result of a Ryan Zimmer boot.

John Lackey of the Cubs was not so fortunate. He gave up eight runs in just a little over five innings of work, six of those runs coming in the first three innings. He retired the first two hitters he faced but a Bryce Harper double into the right center field gap and a Ryan Zimmerman single into left center gave the Nationals an early 1-0 lead.

They poked a hole through Lackey in the second when Anthony Rendon and Matt Wieters led off the inning with back to back homeruns. A Strasburg single followed by a Trea Turner single seemed to unnerve Lackey. Walks to Brian Goodwin and Bryce Harper forced in a run and a boot by Kris Bryant scored another run. Daniel Murphy grounded into a double play to keep Lackey in the game.

In the third a Rendon leadoff double led to the sixth run to up the lead to 6-0. Albert Almora took a poor route to the ball and let it get by him. Rendon advanced to third on a ground out to second and scored on a fly ball to Almora in center. Lackey settled down after that, shutting the Nationals down in the fourth and allowing only a solo homerun in the fifth to Daniel Murphy.

A one out Trea Turner double down the third base line in the sixth finished the day for Lackey. A Bryce Harper hustle double up the middle off lefty Brian Duensing scored Turner and notched eight runs given up by Lackey to his total, raising his ERA to an unsightly 5.24.

Strasburg was dominant for most of the game. He struck out the side in the second and third innings. In the fourth Kris Bryant doubled down the left field line. Wilson Contreras got ahead of Strasburg 2-0 and then drove a pitch high and far into the left field bleachers. That made the score 6-2.

Albert Almora drove a pitch over the head of Brian Goodwin for a double to lead off the fifth. He scored from second when Ryan Zimmerman booted a Mark Zagunis grounder. A first baseman that could throw the ball may have been able to get Almora at the plate but the Cubs recognized the bad limb of Zimmerman and had Almora break for home. After that Strasburg retired the final eight hitters he faced.

The Cubs added another run in the eighth inning when Anthony Rizzo drove an Enny Romero 98 mile per hour fastball into the second deck of the right field bleachers.

Game Notes: In a fluke play the Cubs will miss Kris Bryant for a couple weeks. He caught a routine pop up, evidently did not know where the third base bag was and when he made a step forward he caught the corner of the bag and twisted his ankle. Cubs trainers had to help him off the field. The final injury report is a high ankle sprain, which can take some time to heal. The Cubs anticipate two days but myworld believes it will be longer…The Cubs also released Miguel Montero after he was critical of Jake Arrieta keeping runners on base. He faulted Arrieta for failing to hold the runners, resulting in seven National steals, adding to his poor 1 for 32 success rate in caught stealing. The Cubs did not like him airing his grievances in public and released him…John Lackey did not give in to Bryce Harper when he walked him in the second inning to load the bases. All four pitches to him were breaking balls…Seeing Jon Jay hitting fifth for the Cubs makes me wonder if I was dreaming that the Cubs won the World Series last year…Stephen Strasburg was forced to leave his start after seven innings because of back spasms.

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