Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cubs @ Nats 3-Game Series Recap

Sorry for missing a few days but I was fortunate enough to be able to attend all three Cubs games when they came to town earlier this week to play the Washington Nationals. Unfortunately, the series didn't go as well as the one in Wrigley, but at least all the games were entertaining!

I attended Game 1 on Monday evening with my dad as sort of an early Father's Day celebration. He was leaving for a trip Tuesday morning so it was the only game in the series he was able to attend. My older son had to work and my younger son was with his mom.

This was the view from our seats. The game did not begin on a great note, with Nats starter Max Scherzer striking out 9 of the first 10 Cubs and retiring the first 15. Addison Russell broke up the perfect game and tied the game in the 6th with a solo home run just above the red sign in left field in the photo above. The Cubs managed only one more hit the rest of the game, a double from Anthony Rizzo.

Kyle Hendricks pitched a very nice game to counter but was maybe left in a bit too long as the Nationals came back strong in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good. One of the perks of Nationals wins is that local food establishments offer incentives when they do well. For a converted Save, you can turn your ticket stub in for a free chicken sandwich at Chik-fil-A the next day. With two tickets (and one more found on the ground on the way out of the stadium) my boys and I had a free lunch the next day on the way to game 2.

These were our seats for Tuesday. This game went a little better, with the Cubs jumping out to an early lead on a two-run single by Jason Heyward. The game was tight though as the Nats battled back and the game was tied at 3 apiece heading to the 9th.

Russell led off with a walk, which seemingly always come back to haunt pitchers. He was moved along to second by a David Ross sacrifice bunt which was followed by an RBI double by the newest Cub, Albert Almora, Jr.

That run held up as the Cubs would go on to win 4-3 and Almora garnered his second Topps Now card within 10 days of his debut! Not too shabby.

As far as I know, I've never been to game featured on a baseball card so I definitely picked this card up when I saw it. I would love to get a copy of this card signed and frame it up with my ticket stub!

But for the record, if/when there's a Jayson Werth walk-off card later today for last night's game, I will NOT be picking that one up...ugh.

Speaking of which, these were our "seats" for game 3 on Wednesday. I use quotations because we had Standing Room Only tickets. All 3 games of the series eventually sold out but I waited too long to get my tickets and couldn't get seats together. I guess that's what happenes when the two best records in baseball meetup and there's a giveaway!

Prior to the game, the bullpen coach Lester Strode (not pictured) was working out the Cubs newest acquisition, Brian Matusz. I was a little surprised to see him there as I thought he had been signed to a minor league deal. I guess the Cubs were just seeing what they got. Above is an overhead shot of him getting a quick bullpen session in.

I also took a pregame warmup shot of the previous night's hero, Almora. Nice to see the young guys still motivated to get out there early and put in some work!

As mentioned, the game itself didn't work out although it was plenty exciting. Both starters, Jason Hammel and Stephen Strasburg settled in after rocky first innings, neither getting a decision as it was tied at 1 until the late innings. The Nationals took the lead in the bottom of the 8th on a pinch hit home run and there was a mass exodus by the crowd. But with the Nats closer on the DL, the Cubs hitters got into the bullpen for the second night in a row, this time with a two-run homer by Anthony Rizzo.

I'll have to look at the video, but thanks to what seemed like a questionable walk by Bryce Harper, the Nationals rallied with a run to send it to extras. When the Cubs came up big again in the top of the 12th, we thought we were home free. Unfortunately, the second Werth walk-off in just a few days delivered the game and series victory to the home town.

All in all, not a bad way to spend a few days. I took half days from work on Monday and Tuesday, but the whole day off on Wednesday since it was a 4:05 start time.

I'll have extras of the Almora card if anybody wants one.


  1. It was a very questionable walk to Harper, which made Rendon's strikeout later in the inning also very questionable. The strike zone was iffy at best.

    I thought Matusz was a lefty? Your picture has him as a righty.

    1. You're right about Matusz! I just assumed and you what they say when you assume...

      But with a warmup on we couldn't tell. He had one of those gloves with his name stitched on it and I thought it said Brian Matusz. I guess that's what my brain told my eyes it saw. Now I wish I could blow the photo up CSI style!