Bryce Harper came to the plate in the 9th inning with two outs, two runners on, and the Nationals down three. That’s pretty much how you’d draw it up if you were the Nats (well, if you had to be losing by three with two outs in the 9th, anyway). But Wade Davis, who’d walked those two runners on base, kept his perfect save streak alive by getting Harper to whiff on a curveball down.
Whew. Cancel the August fire sale.
John Lackey gave the Cubs another serviceable fifth starter start, and he eases my mind with every turn in the rotation that he can capable fulfill that role the rest of the way.
Justin Wilson had another dodgy outing, his third with the Cubs, and although I hate to ascribe mental states to circumstance and visuals, I do wonder if he’s putting a little too much pressure on himself to justify the trade. Maybe it’s how he always looks, but he just seems a bit uncomfortable out there (and obviously he’s having a lot of trouble commanding his fastball).
Offensively, his counterpart in that trade, Alex Avila, went deep, as did Willson Contreras. You won’t see a team strike out 14 times while walking just twice and win too often, but the Cubs did it today thanks in large part to that power, and some timely hitting.
Meanwhile, Edwin Jackson had the most Edwin Jackson start ever, reminding me why it took so long to accept that he was never going to be better with the Cubs. Eight Ks and no walks? Awesome! But damaging hits early. Not awesome.