nationals parkI loved last night’s game.

No, I don’t wish every game was that close or even that intense, but it was reminiscent of 2015. Do you remember just how many close/1-run games we had to endure throughout the entirety of last season?

I’m pretty sure I started balding because of the 2015 Cardiac Cubs, and last night was like a pleasant reminder of that. With that said, let’s get back to the blowouts. I’m too young to start balding.

With the win last night, the Cubs preserved their chance to net their seventh straight series victory today. Of course, they’ll have to do it while facing starter Stephen Strasburg, who’s been very, very good this year. His 3.03 ERA is actually a fair bit worse than his peripherals (2.77 FIP) suggest he has been. With a 6.7% walk rate and a 32.0% strikeout rate, the Cubs will have their work cut out for them.

However, I’m suddenly more interested in Albert Almora’s inclusion in today’s lineup. At first, I suspected the start was due in part to his big hit last night (rewarding a rookie for good play), and mostly to give Dexter Fowler a well-earned breather. But maybe there’s something more to it; we know Almora has excellent bat-to-ball skills, making him a tough strikeout – so maybe Maddon is hoping he’ll be a good matchup for Strasburg, who’s been reliant on the K all season long.

It’s more fun when the Cubs win. Let’s see if they can get series win #7.



Game Info

Chicago Cubs (44-19) at Washington Nationals (40-25), 3:05 CT on WGN-9, 670 The Score.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?

The Series Preview lives here. The Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Jason Hammel (R): 2.36 ERA, 3.68 FIP; 4.19 xFIP; 2.50 K/BB

versus

Braves: Stephen Strasburg (R): 3.03 ERA, 2.75 FIP, 2.76 xFIP; 4.78 K/BB



Washington Nationals Lineup:

1. Ben Revere, CF

2. Jayson Werth, LF

3. Bryce Harper, RF

4. Daniel Murphy, 2B

5. Ryan Zimmerman, 1B

6. Wilson Ramos, C

7. Anthony Rendon, 3B

8. Danny Espinosa, SS

9. Stephen Strasburg, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Ben Zobrist, 2B

2. Jason Heyward, RF

3. Kris Bryant, LF

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Miguel Montero, C

6. Albert Almora Jr., CF

7. Javy Baez, 3B

8. Addison Russell, SS

9. Jason Hammel, P


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