The Chicago Cubs played tough and battled back against a strong Arizona Diamondbacks team this week, but ultimately couldn’t come out on top.
They’re facing a similar challenge in the Washington Nationals over the weekend, though they’ll likely avoid each of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg along the way. Although, I’m not so sure that’s entirely a good thing.
You see, if the season ended today, the Cubs and Nationals would square off in the NLDS. And while the Cubs still haven’t guaranteed their spot at the post season table, they’re very likely to make it and could probably use the extra looks at the Game 1 and Game 2 probable starters.
And just as I was typing this, Gio Gonzalez went on the paternity list, so now the Cubs won’t see any of the Nats top three starters before potentially facing them in a short five-game playoff series. This isn’t a *huge* factor, after all the Nats will miss Jose Quintana and Jake Arrieta, but it’s certainly non-zero.
In any case, Kyle Hendricks is taking the ball this afternoon, and is looking to get the Cubs back on track after their first series loss. He’s been increasingly better in each of his last two starts (which are also his first two since going on the DL), so hopefully he continues to ramp up as the Cubs head into the final stretch.
Game time is at 1:20 and it figures to be another good series at Wrigley Field.
Chicago Cubs (57-50) at Washington Nationals (63-43) – 1:20 CT on WGN, 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: Kyle Hendricks (R): 3.80 ERA, 4.11 FIP, 3.91 xFIP; 2.81 K/BB
Nationals: Tanner Roark (R): 4.93 ERA, 4.14 FIP, 4.33 xFIP; 2.36 K/BB
- Brian Goodwin, CF
- Howie Kendricks, LF
- Bryce Harper, RF
- Daniel Murphy, 2B
- Anthony Rendon, 3B
- Adam Lind, 1B
- Matt Wieters, C
- Wilmer Difo, SS
- Tanner Roark, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Jon Jay, CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Kyle Hendricks, P