Cubs, Nationals manage well through fog

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals played their version of the Fog Bowl on Thursday night as conditions made it hard to see the ball at times.

“It made the signs a little harder to see,” Cubs pitcher Travis Wood said after their 5-3 win.

And it made for some adventures in the field, as well. Nationals center fielder Denard Span completely lost a Luis Valbuena drive that landed behind him for a triple in the sixth inning.

“Just rough conditions,” Span said. “There’s nothing you can do to prepare for that. I don’t think I’ve ever played in a game with that much fog. You just try to concentrate and try to keep your eye on the ball as long as possible and hope that you can gauge where the ball’s going to be after it’s hit.

“I didn’t even know it was coming at me, to be honest with you. I didn’t know where it was. I finally figured that the ball was coming towards me because everybody was looking at me and pointing in my direction.”

Chicago has been hit with fog for several days, but Thursday was the worst of it at Wrigley Field. Starlin Castro started a double play on a ball hit by Danny Espinosa in the fifth inning, but he barely glimpsed the ball at first.

“I saw that ball in the last moment,” Castro said, shaking his head. “That double-play ball? It almost got me.”

Luckily for Span and the Nationals, Valbuena didn’t score after his triple, and no other plays in the game were adversely affected.

“As long as the ball stayed lower than the lights, it was all right,” Cubs outfielder Justin Ruggiano said. “It’s kind of fun, because it mixes it up a little bit.”