The Nationals have a 2-1 lead on the Cubs after three innings, courtesy of a top-of-the-order attack that got going early tonight.
Nyjer Morgan started the game with a triple to center, scoring on Ian Desmond’s single to right. Then Desmond stole second, and scored on Cristian Guzman’s triple. All that before Cubs starter Tom Gorzelanny got an out. The Chicago left-hander hasn’t located his fastball on another cold night in Chicago, and the Nationals have jumped on him early.
Livan Hernandez is off to a decent start, though he gave up a couple hits in the second inning, when the Cubs scored on an error by Cristian Guzman. Hernandez is able to get grounders and mix up his pitches, and in weather like this, that helps. Hitters have to make solid contact to do damage in the wind, and Hernandez is a master of generating weak contact with how he locates.
If there’s a concern for the Nationals early in this one, it has to be Guzman’s arm; aside from the throwing error, he made a weak throw to first that prevented Washington from turning a double play on Derrek Lee. But nonetheless, the Nationals have the lead early, and we’ll see if they can keep it to get back above .500.