After hitting six home runs in each of the previous two games, would the Washington Nationals make history last night?
I don’t know if I’d go far enough to say they made history, but the destroyed the Chicago Cubs, 9-2. The score was not the big story though, the benches and bullpens emptied twice with the Cubs frusturated about being dominated all week long.
It had only been 48 days since the Nationals carried a nine-run lead into the sixth inning of a crucial game against the Braves and watched it all crumble away in horrifying fashion. So when they entered the fifth inning Thursday night against the Cubs, leading this time by five runs, they weren’t about to ease off the gas pedal.
Thus, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa each stole second base off Chicago rookie reliever Lendy Castillo. And later Jayson Werth was given the green light to swing away at a 3-0 pitch with the bases loaded.
Delivering the KO punch – Nats Insider
Swinging at a 3-0 pitch up by five runs, wasn’t appreciated by Cubs coach Jamie Quirk, who yelled at Bo Porter which started a commotion. The bullpens emptied.
By the way, the 3-0 greenlight might be the Ombudsman’s favorite part of baseball. Quirk got ejected. Porter did not. Remember, the Nats blew a huge lead to the Atlanta Braves back in July, so they aren’t letting up. By the way, Porter did a little boxing in his youth.
Tempers continued to rise until Bryce Harper got thrown at a few innings later.
(Davey) Johnson held back (Michael) Morse and bench coach Randy Knorr held back (Edwin) Jackson. (Afterward, Jackson declined to comment.) Johnson was protective of his own players — they had everything to lose, and they were feuding with a team with nothing to lose.
Thankfully, the Nats, save for Michael Gonzalez (ejected) stayed out of further trouble.
The Nats just beat the Cubs about as bad as you can beat somebody in baseball:
The seeds had been sown for days by the combustible combination of a ticked-off team and a manager, Davey Johnson, who gives no quarter.
“If they get mad at my guys in the fifth inning swinging 3-0 or running,” Johnson said, “they better get used to it.”
All series, the Nationals had battered the Cubs as soundly as one major league team can trounce another. Wednesday night, Chicago Manager Dale Sveum called their meeting “men against boys.” By the end of Thursday night, the Nationals would outscore the Cubs 31-9 over four games. The Cubs lost their 86th game. Frustration filled their dugout.
Nationals vs. Cubs: Bench-clearing incidents overshadow Washington’s four-game sweep – The Post
Lost in all the fussin’ an’ fightin’ was Jordan Zimmermann having a strong outing, particularly after giving up two early runs.
Somebody said the Nats “weren’t a team that you want to get in a snowball fight with” but I couldn’t find it. Great line.
AND HERE COME THE PRETZELS
IT GETS HARDER TONIGHT
The chance of a letdown here is huge, but Stephen Strasburg is making his final home start of 2012 against the Miami Marlins.