Twice today, LaRoche struck out swinging and Werth flew out to right to end the threat.
The Nationals have left five runners on base through three innings this afternoon, and left ‘em loaded in the third. Today, at least, the Nats haven’t had issues with Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa getting on base; instead, they’re having issues getting their No. 1 and No. 2 hitters in.
Desmond has reached base on a single to right and an error, while Espinosa has walked twice. But Ryan Zimmerman, LaRoche and Werth have gone a combined 0-for-5.
Meanwhile, Stephen Strasburg is grooving through three innings of work, allowing just two hits with a strikeout.
Strasburg has been incredibly pitch efficient, needing just 28 pitches to get through three innings. The Cubs have come out hacking against Strasburg, but the righty has showed good tailing movement on his two-seam fastball and has mixed in his breaking stuff nicely.
He made Marlon Byrd look silly on a second inning strikeout, setting the veteran outfielder down on three pitches, the last of which was a curveball away. Byrd awkwardly flailed at that one, and walked away shaking his head.
We’re still scoreless from Wrigley here in the fourth.
Update: The Cubs drew first blood here today when Marlon Byrd dropped a single down the left-field line in the fourth inning, scoring Ian Stewart.
Stewart reached on a fielder’s choice when catcher Wilson Ramos tried to cut down lead runner Alfonso Soriano at second, only to throw the ball into center.
Two batters later, after Soriano was caught trying to steal third, Byrd sent Stewart home to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.