CHICAGO - For the second straight game, the Nationals have done very little at the plate through seven innings.
And for the second straight game, the Nats will need to get the job done against the Cubs’ bullpen in the late frames in order to come away with a win.
Adam LaRoche’s two-run homer in the fourth is all the Nats have been able to muster against Cubs pitchers Matt Garza and Rafael Dolis, and they trail 4-2 with just six outs left to work with.
Jayson Werth has struck out swinging twice today and is now 0-for-6 this season with three strikeouts and a walk.
Mark DeRosa has gone 0-for-3 and is now hitless in seven regular season at-bats this season.
Even Ryan Zimmerman is hitless so far; the Nats’ third baseman walked twice and hit two balls hard in the season opener, but he’s now 0-for-5 in 2012.
Meanwhile, it might go unnoticed because of the offensive issues, but Craig Stammen did a really nice job in long relief, throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings to help keep the Nats in this game.
Update: Either the Nats love high drama, or they love facing the Cubs bullpen.
Washington batted around in the eighth inning, scoring five runs in the frame to take a 7-4 lead. All the damage happened with two outs, as eight straight Nats hitters reached base after Kerry Wood retired the first two hitters he faced.
Chad Tracy delivered the big knock, singling to right to score two runs and give the Nats a 5-4 lead.
The cardiac Nats have done it again.