There’s been a heck of a lot going on today, but the Cubs still have a game tonight – and an important one at that.
After taking game one (of four) against the Nationals on Monday, the Cubs were, well, destroyed by Max Scherzer and company last night (somehow they managed to steal seven bases). They’ll have another tough matchup today with a struggling John Lackey taking on a healthy and effective Stephen Strasburg on the road.
BUT, if they do manage to pull it off, they have the matchup advantage tomorrow with Jon Lester working the rubber against the youngster, Joe Ross. So, not only would a win tonight guarantee the road split, but it would also give the Cubs more than a fighting shot at winning the series. On the other hand, a loss tonight would bring the Cubs back to .500 for the bajillionth time this season and make tomorrow a must-win (which is never fun).
As I said, Lackey is taking the ball tonight after a pretty bad first 15 starts. He has had back-t0-back quality starts against the Pirates and Marlins though (combined 12.0 IP, 2 ER, 5BB, 8K), so maybe he can finish the first half of his season strong.
Stephen Strasburg has been pretty great this season, which he usually is when he’s healthy. In fact, his 3.19 FIP is tied for 7th best in all of baseball. With that said, there are some silver linings. Namely, he’s failed to go a full six innings in each of his last three starts. As a matter of fact, his most recent start against the Reds was one of his worst of the year (5.0 IP, 5ER, 2BB, 5K). Perhaps the Cubs can take advantage of a weak stretch in his year.
As I mentioned earlier, he doesn’t have any notable lefty/right splits, so the Cubs are going with a pretty standard lineup tonight. This should be a good, but tough one, guys (especially considering all the off field issues). Let’s see what kind of season the Cubs want to have.
Chicago Cubs (39-38) at Washington Nationals (46-31) – 6:05 CT on CSN-C, 670 The Score
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun today.
Cubs: John Lackey (R): 4.74 ERA, 5.54 FIP, 4.39 xFIP; 2.89 K/BB
Nationals: Stephen Strasburg (R): 3.57 ERA, 3.19 FIP, 3.45 xFIP; 4.04 K/BB
- Trea Turner, SS
- Brian Goodwin, LF
- Bryce Harper, RF
- Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
- Daniel Murphy, 2B
- Anthony Rendon, 3B
- Matt Wieters, C
- Michael A. Taylor, CF
- Stephen Strasburg, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Ian Happ, 2B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Jon Jay, LF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- John Lackey, P
- Mark Zagunis, RF