Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals come to the friendly confines for a four game series. This series has playoff implications or possibly a preview of the NLCS? Kyle Hendricks seeks to get his second win of the season against hot throwing, 3-0 Joe Ross. Now, the Big Jack had questioned whether or not Maddon would have Kyle throwing or avoiding Harper, well it looked like it would start with the avoidance of the young hot MLB star with a walk in the first but that would be the only base runner of the inning. Joe Ross would take to the rubber and lead off his half of the inning by striking out Dexter Fowler. Tommy La Stella would double but that would be all the action in the 1st. Both men would get through the next two innings pretty easily. Joe Ross would end the bottom of the 3rd with another strikeout to Dexter Fowler, who would not agree with the last call, while arguing the call he would be ejected from the game! Jason Heyward would take his place.
Bryce Harper would lead off the fourth and draw another walk from Kyle but would catch Harper and pick him off at 1st base for the first out. He would essentially make it a 1-2-3 inning. Bottom of the fourth. La Stella would lead off with a single. Kris Bryant would double to center. With two men on, former Cubs manager, Dusty Baker would decide to put Antony Rizzo on first. Ben Zobrist would single to Harper, grabbing two more RBI’s on the season. Attempting to challenge Harper’s arm, Rizzo would get gunned down at third for the first out. Ross would end the inning by getting Ryan Kalish to ground out and striking out Addison Russell. Cubs up 2-0.
Both pitchers would make it through the fifth inning but not without hitting a batter each. First Kyle would hit Danny Espinosa, then Ross would return the favor by losing a slider and hitting Kyle. Hendricks would not pitch around Harper in the top of the sixth and give up a single, but that would be all the action for the Nats in the 6th. Ross would have a 1-2-3 inning. Clayton Richard would come into the game in the top of the 7th striking out Daniel Murphy. Playing the numbers, Joel Maddon would make another move bringing in Justin Grimm to face Jason Werth and Wilson Ramos to end the inning.
Joe Ross would get into a little bit of trouble giving up a lead off walk to Kalish and then two outs later a walk to Jorge Soler. Sammy Solis would come for relief and get out of the inning. Pedro Strop would come into to the 8th and hit Danny Espinosa, then walk Clint Robinson. He would strike out Michael Taylor and then get Anthony Rendon to ground into a double play.
Felipe Rivero would replace Solis for the Nats and immediately give up a single to Tommy La Stella, but would strikeout Bryant and get Rizzo to flyout. With a man on and two outs, Ben Zobrist would smack his third home run of the season, picking up two more RBI’s for the night. Kalish would get hit by a pitch prompting yet another pitching change. Addison Russell would double scoring Kalish and the Cubs are up 5-0 after 8. Travis Wood comes into pitch the 9th with a leadoff walk to Harper, his third of the day. Wood would get the next two batters out. With a man on and two out Jayson Werth would smack a fly ball to left and this would clear the Ivy for his sixth homerun of the season. Maddon would make the change to bring in Rondon to close out the game and he would getting Wilson Ramos to line out to Rizzo to end the game and my prediction to come true that the Cubs would take the first of four.