Chicago Cubs suffer all-around bad day in loss to Nationals

  • Washington Nationals' Trea Turner, right, scores against the Chicago Cubs on a sacrifice fly hit by Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon during the first inning Saturday in Chicago.

    Washington Nationals' Trea Turner, right, scores against the Chicago Cubs on a sacrifice fly hit by Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon during the first inning Saturday in Chicago. Associated Press

Updated 8/24/2019 6:34 PM

For the second day in a row, the Washington Nationals showed the Chicago Cubs how to get the job done at Wrigley Field when the wind is blowing in.

Unlike the Cubs' all-or-nothing approach, the Nats moved the ball and ran the bases on their way to a 7-2 victory Saturday.


One day after hitting 10 singles to beat the Cubs 9-3, Washington batters had 8 singles among their 9 hits to take the second game of this weekend series.

The Cubs? They looked flat and sloppy, getting 2 errors from first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who left the game for a pinch hitter after coming down with mid-back tightness.

If the Cubs are going to make the playoffs, they are going to have to find other ways to live other than by the home run alone.

Cubs starting pitcher Jose Quintana (11-8) lasted only 4 innings as he was nickel-and-dimed to death by the Nats, who snapped Quintana's quality-start streak at 4 and his winning streak at 7.

"Give them credit, they moved the baseball," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon, whose team fell to 69-60. "That's the thing we didn't do. Otherwise that game would have been 5-5 or whatever at some point. They moved the ball when they had to. We did not. They ran a little bit. They created their own runs because they've got some really good team speed. But otherwise, our pitchers did a really good job today, including Q."

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The Cubs were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.

They did get a bad break in the fourth when pinch hitter Ian Happ was called out on strikes on an outside pitch with two outs and the bases loaded. Happ was quickly ejected by home-plate umpire Vic Carapazza.

To a man, the Cubs felt that could have been a turning point as they were down 5-1 at that point.

"It's tough when you do your job, come off the bench there, have a great at-bat," Happ said. "It's unfortunate for the team. It would have really kept the momentum going there, score another run.

"It's really unfortunate that you have that type of at-bat, 8 pitches, make a bunch of good decisions and not only are you not rewarded for it, you're punished with a strikeout instead of a walk and an RBI."

Happ said he didn't wish to get into the exchange with Carapazza that got him tossed.

"It was pretty quick" he said. "I won't go into the exchange. I'm going to be frustrated in that situation as a competitor, having that long of an at-bat, in it for that amount of time and really feeling like I did my job. That's the competitor in me to come out and be upset in that situation. If he (Carapazza) doesn't understand that, that's OK.


"Vic guaranteed me it was a strike on the field after he tossed me. I don't know how that's possible. That's one of those situations where I'm very confident in my plate discipline. I'm very confident in my eyes. You're a competitor. You're in the moment, and you get fired up."

The other thing that has the Cubs hamstrung is the team's insistence on carrying a nine-man bullpen, meaning that there are only three position players on the bench.

In addition to Happ getting kicked out, Jonathan Lucroy batted for Rizzo and went in to catch. That moved Victor Caratini from behind the plate to first base. Infielder Addison Russell pinch hit in the ninth.

Relief pitcher Kyle Ryan batted for himself in the sixth with two outs and walked. If a man had reached before him, Maddon would have used pitcher Jon Lester to pinch hit for Ryan.

Jason Heyward walked after Ryan's walk. But Ryan was thrown out trying to go from second base to third on a ball that got away from the catcher with hot-hitting Nicholas Castellanos at the plate.

"Either Happ's at-bat or having to hit Kyle Ryan, draws the walk, and then all of a sudden he attempts to go to third base, that was another big play," Maddon said. "I loved his at-bat. I loved his enthusiasm. So there was a couple of things that went against us, but overall, it's a frustrating game.

"The biggest thing we did wrong today was we didn't move the baseball when we had to. That's it."

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