Pre-Gamin’: Cubs at Nationals (6:05 CT) – Lineup, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

nationals parkOkay, rematch time.

If the Cubs don’t win tonight, they’ll have lost their first series since in their past six chances, dating back to the start of the Giants series on May 20.

In the wake of yesterday’s loss, the Cubs seem to have a slightly more favorable matchup tonight with John Lackey on the mound, opposed by Gio Gonzalez. In his last three outings, Lackey’s allowed just one earned run over 20.2 innings pitched. He’ll throw to David Ross, who gets a start behind the plate.

Ross may not be hitting as well as he has at the beginning of the season, but he does still have a 13.6% walk rate for the year. Also, and more impressively, he is still lights out behind the plate. Despite only catching 246.1 innings, Ross has the third most defensive runs saved in 2016 (7), behind Derek Norris (8) and Salvador Perez (9) each of whom have caught nearly twice as many innings. Ross’ 6.1 Def rating at FanGraphs is also second only to Salvador Perez. Lights. Out.

Despite the benefit of Lackey on the mound, the Cubs still have an uphill climb against Gonzalez. He may not be the guy he was a few years ago, but he’s still a tough pitcher who can get a strikeout (23.3%) when he needs to, without giving up many walks (6.2%) in the process. With no particular lefty/righty splits, the Cubs are attacking him with a relatively normal lineup. Gonzalez has been slightly bit by the home run bug this year, so hopefully the Cubs can get the ball in the air against him and do some damage.

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Game Info

Chicago Cubs (43-19) at Washington Nationals (40-24), 6:05 CT on ABC-7, MLBN, 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: John Lackey (R): 2.63 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 3.36 xFIP; 4.42 K/BB

versus

Braves: Gio Gonzalez (L): 3.93 ERA, 3.46 FIP, 3.56 xFIP; 3.74 K/BB

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Washington Nationals Lineup:

1. Ben Revere, CF

2. Jayson Werth, LF

3. Bryce Harper, RF

4. Daniel Murphy, 2B

5. Ryan Zimmerman, 1B

6. Anthony Rendon, 3B

7. Danny Espinosa, SS

8. Jose Lobaton, C

9. Gio Gonzalez, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Jason Heyward, RF

3. Kris Bryant, LF

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Ben Zobrist, 2B

6. Javy Baez, 3B

7. Addison Russell, SS

8. David Ross, C

9. John Lackey, P

written by

Michael Cerami began covering the Chicago Cubs for Bleacher Nation as a part-time contributor in 2015. One year later, he joined Bleacher Nation full-time, covering the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball. Today, Michael runs Bleacher Nation, contributing as a writer (Cubs, MLB) and an editor for all sections of the site, including the Chicago Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks, as well as MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL. In 2019, Michael was the co-host of NBC Sports Chicago's Cubs Post-Game Show Outside the Ivy. You can find him on Twitter/X @Michael_Cerami

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