Well, the Cubs simply did not get things done against the Brewers these past two weeks, winning just two of their final six games against them this season. Now, the division will be a full-on sprint the rest of the way, as the Cubs look to keep a hold onto their 1.0 game lead.
At least we have a secret weapon …
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) September 13, 2018
These shoes were ruined at Sluggers on the night of Cole Hamels complete game and worn only once since: the Cubs lone victory against the Brewers this week. I forgot to wear them last night, so I’ll take the blame for that loss, but I’ve got them on right now, so we should be good to go.
Mike Montgomery is taking the ball this afternoon, coming off back to back starts without making it through 5.0 full innings. But outside of a single inning of relief back in early August, the Nationals haven’t seen him yet this season, and I think that gives him a pretty big advantage. Here’s hoping he’s got everything working from the word go, because the Cubs lineup, outside of the greatest leadoff hitter of all time, isn’t their best overall offensive group.
But maybe it won’t need to be. By a stroke of luck, the Cubs will not be facing Max Scherzer again today (as originally scheduled), instead drawing Joe Ross in his 2018 debut. Ross originally debuted for the Nationals back in 2015 and had back-to-back quality seasons before hitting a speed bump in 2017. That year, he earned a 5.01 ERA through 13 starts, before learning that Tommy John surgery was going to be necessary. He’s only now ready for big league action once again. Well, sorta. If you recall, Rossa made his 2018 debut against the Cubs last Friday, but the game was rained out after he threw 1.2 innings, so it technically didn’t happen.
The weather is good for now, though, so let’s see if the Cubs can get this one in, escape D.C. with a win, shave one click off their magic number, and leave with a 1.5 game lead in the NL Central.
Chicago Cubs (84-61) at Washington Nationals (74-72) – Thursday, September 13th at 3:05 CT on NBC Sports Chicago, 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: Mike Montgomery (L): 3.85 ERA, 3.86 FIP; 2.00 K/BB
Nationals: Joe Ross (R): no stats in 2018
Washington Nationals Lineup:
- Victor Robles, CF
- Trea Turner, SS
- Bryce Harper, RF
- Anthony Rendon, 3B
- Juan Soto, LF
- Ryan Zimmermann, 1B
- Adrian Sanchez, 2B
- Spencer Kieboom, C
- Joe Ross, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Kris Bryant, RF
- Daniel Murphy, 2B
- Javy Baez, 3B
- Victor Caratini, C
- David Bote, LF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Mike Montgomery, P
- Ian Happ, CF