Strasburg & Desmond Beat The Cubs

DC Sports Nexus ---- Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Washington Nationals offense was nearly non-existent but some strong pitching by Stephen Strasburg, a hero performance by Ian Desmond, and Kerry Wood being Kerry Wood helped the Nationals win only their 2nd ever opening day game in the team's history.

Nats 2, Cubs 1

Strasburg pitched 7 innings, struck out 5, and only gave up 5 hits and one earned run.  However Ryan Dempster outpitched Strassy, striking out 10 and giving up 2 hits and one earned run.  Both pitchers were assisted by the invisible wall in the outfield which the announcers described as "wind".  Lake Michigan robbed both teams of several home runs.

Ian Desmond was the only Nationals player who could do anything, getting 3 of the 4 Nationals hits.  Adam LaRoche is probably the worst guy you can have in the cleanup spot.  He was not just 0-3 with 3 strikeouts, he did it with multiple runners on and in scoring position.   LaRoche would fail  with 1 out, and that put up Jayson Werth up with 2 outs and he failed to drive in the runners also.  That 4-5 slot was a dagger.

The Nationals ended up scoring their first run on a bases loaded walk after Kerry Wood walked 3 straight batters.  Bad coaching decision to take out Dempster.  Desmond had the clutch 9th inning RBI which turned out to be the game winner after a guy who played in Japan and barely made the team, Chad Tracy, hit an almost homerun that turned into a double.  

Clippard got the win after a typical 8th inning of zeros.  Lidge came in to close the game and he struck out the first batter.  The next guy however hit a shoulda-been homerun that Werth couldn't catch at the wall, and it ended up being a triple.  Before Lidge ended up with a blown save, the Cubs coach made another mistake, sending the runner home from third on a ground ball to Zimmerman.  Ryan threw him out at the plate and Lidge struck out the next batter to get the save.


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