Dallas Beeler now knows how Jeff Samardzija feels.
The Cubs minor-league veteran, called up via the 26th man roster rule, put together a really fine outing in his major-league debut, throwing six innings, allowing just four hits and a pair of walks and striking out six. Unfortunately, two of those hits were back-to-back in the sixth inning and a passed ball by John Baker was followed by a wild pitch from Beeler, allowing Anthony Rendon to score the only run the Nationals would need in a 3-0 shutout of the Cubs in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader Saturday.
Beeler even got the hit that extended the Cubs' no-no-hit streak to 7,742 consecutive games, a two-out single in the third inning, in his first major-league at-bat. He threw strikes, had the Nats beating the ball into the ground (seven ground-ball outs) and definitely, in my view, deserves another look, perhaps in September, or maybe after next month's starting-pitcher selloff.
Meanwhile, the Cubs couldn't do a thing with Gio Gonzalez and relievers Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano (19th save). They recorded just two hits after Beeler's, a fifth-inning single by Chris Coghlan and a pinch single from Ryan Sweeney in the eighth.
Honestly, there isn't a whole lot more to say about this game. The Cubs got shut down by some good pitching, and that's going to happen from time to time. But they might have found a possible future major-league pitcher in so doing.
A couple of mini-thunderstorms passed very close to Wrigley Field during Game 1, but it didn't do anything more than sprinkle on a game that was really fast-paced. I'd love to see that kind of thing happen again in the nightcap, only with a win. Remember that Samardzija is starting, so the offense could resemble the first game.
I'm writing this recap via iPad standing in line for Game 2 outside the VIP entrance on Sheffield, which makes for a fine temporary office. A couple site notes for Game 2: a preview with lineups and pitching matchups will post in this StoryStream at 5 p.m. CT, and then the usual first-pitch and overflow threads will post beginning at 6:10 p.m. CT.
Enjoy the rest of this rare scheduled-doubleheader day.