It’s only two games, but it’s certainly a disturbing trend. For the second straight game the Cubs played great baseball through 7 innings, and seemed to be on their way to a victory. Instead of being 2-0, they are now 0-2 after Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol both were terrible for the second straight afternoon. Heading to the 8th inning the Cubs led 4-2 with Kerry Wood taking the mound. Things went well enough early as Wood set down the first two Nationals hitters that he faced, then things got ugly, really fast. Danny Espinosa got the rally started launching a solo shot to the left center bleachers to make it a 4-3 game. No harm done, solo home runs will happen, especially with the wind blowing out, but Wood unraveled. Wood gave up a broken bat single to Ryan Zimmerman, then another base hit to Adam Laroche, and just like that his day was over. Sveum decided to go back to Marmol to try to get out of the inning, but that only threw gasoline on the fire. Marmol started his effort with a walk to Jayson Werth, he then gave up a two run single to Chad Tracy, and ended his day with by giving up a double to Bernadina and just like that it was 6-4 Nats, and the game was all but lost.
Cubs radio play-by-play voice Pat Hughes hit the nail on the head entering the sixth inning when he said it’s a completely different team out there. Such is spring training, the longer the game goes the earlier in the Spring the more players are swapped in and out. The Cubs dominated for the first six innings today, as they built up a 6-1 lead by the bottom of the 4th inning behind a three run shot by Blake Dewitt in the second, and run scoring singles by Clevenger and Barney in the fourth. The Cubs were clicking on all cylinders as they were working counts where necessary and jumping on fastballs early in the count when the situation called for it.