Generally, you think of demoralizing losses as the ones in which you thoroughly outplay your opponent, and by virtue of some cosmic fluke, you lose at the last moment, or the ones in which you are completely dominated the entire time.
I’m not sure this game qualifies as either of those, but I absolutely think it had to be at least a little demoralizing for the Nationals.
Consider: they got a dominating performance from the guy stepping into the Game One starter role in Stephen Strasburg, who didn’t even allow a hit to the Cubs until the 6th inning. But that hit scored the first run of the game, and then a second hit immediately thereafter scores the second run of the game. Two hits, and the dominating performance evaporates into the smoke of foggy memory.
Add to that the fact that the Nationals, after striking the ball very hard in the first inning, could do absolutely nothing against Kyle Hendricks, and this game had to absolutely grate on a team that hadn’t played a meaningful baseball game in several weeks.
All kudos to Hendricks there, as it didn’t even seem like he had his best stuff on the night (did you notice that his command to the glove side was especially poor?), and yet still made the Nationals work so very hard … to make nothing but meek contact.
Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis dominated from there, and now you’re suddenly feeling VERY good heading into game two tomorrow. Worst case scenario, the Cubs split in DC, and that’s a GOOD outcome!
A little extra shoutout to Anthony Rizzo, who looked so befuddled in his first two at bats, and then came through with two run-scoring hits for the Cubs. The guy is just a professional hitter.
Ah, rest easy, my friends. Great start. 10 to go.