Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon has insisted, at some point, his team would start to click and there was enough time to turn things around.
"We started this series off the right way and, hopefully, gave ourselves a chance to win the series tomorrow", he said. "And that's what we're doing".
Russell also has been bothered at times by shoulder pain. "That's why they put up lights", Maddon said, via the Chicago Tribune.
"That's not been part of the issue", he said.
The Cubs momentum has been slowed, and they haven't exactly fared well against the better competition this season.
The Cubs play a ton of day games at Wrigley Field - nearly half (38, or 47 percent) of their 81 home games begin in the afternoon.
"They're only here for a couple days", he said. "They get through it and they move back to a normal schedule. I think 107 years indicates it wasn't such a good idea".
Harper homered off the right field videoboard to give the Nationals the lead in the first inning.
On Friday night, he did it again, pitching a nine-inning complete game win to become the oldest right-handed starter with a complete game since 1994 (Charlie Hough, age 46), the oldest pitcher to toss a complete game against the Rangers since 1988 (Tommy John, age 45), the oldest American League pitcher to win a complete game since 1992 (Nolan Ryan, age 45), the oldest pitcher with a complete game since 2010 (Jamie Moyer, age 47) and the oldest Twins pitcher to ever record a complete game.
The Nationals, meanwhile, remain comfortably atop the terrible National League East as they were when they took two of three from the Cubs in Washington.
The Cubs play day games almost every Friday and Saturday. Maddon wants the Friday rule relaxed.
It may seem inevitable after their hot second-half start and the lack of quality competition in the National League Central. It's an alarming development for the lefty, who has never dealt with arm injuries before, and for a team that was both seeking some bullpen stability, and already has 11 players on the disabled list. Maddon would like that too because it would afford his team more rest. "I'm not blaming anybody", Maddon said. Javier Baez will get the start in Russell's spot. "He's had like 15 starts and it's very uncharacteristic". But Carl Edwards Jr. gave up an insurance run in the eighth, and with a man on and two outs, Kyle Schwarber swung and missed at three straight high fastballs from Madson. He's not the only Orioles pitcher to go through an ugly stretch this season, but with the team finally having some other options, the move to the bullpen clearly seems the best option.