Series Wins Are Always Good: Cubs vs. Nationals Preview, Thursday 8/27, 1:20 CT

You'll hear nothing from me this morning about the current chances for the Cubs to overcome huge deficits. Instead, let's hear from Lou Piniella:

"I don't think anybody's packing it in. I don't see that," said Piniella, whose team is further out of first place than it has been since he took over before the 2007 season. "Remember, these teams are getting paid to play, too. We're not playing a beer-league team from across town. We're playing a professional team that's got professional players, and they're getting paid to play and beat you, too."

And from Alfonso Soriano, who returned to the lineup last night and went 1-for-4:

"It bothers me a lot," slumping left fielder Alfonso Soriano said of the slide and the booing and criticism that have come with it, "because we're not supposed to do what we're doing. We're supposed to be a better team than we are right now. We need to keep fighting."

And from Rich Harden:

"I think everybody in the clubhouse, we still believe we're in it," Harden said. "Nobody's down. We don't believe we're out of it. You've got to go with that mindset. We've got to win some games. You can't get too ahead of yourself and start thinking we've got to win however many in a row.

"Just plan on winning every series, I think we'd be in pretty good position at the end of the season."

From the same Bruce Miles article, Koyie Hill:

"It always feels good to contribute; it feels even better to win," Hill said. "With that being the pressing issue around here, I think it always is, but it's nice to get back on the right track."

Today's weather forecast is not encouraging for baseball:

Today: Rain and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 72. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming northeast. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

They will, as they did last night, hope they get a break of 3-4 hours this afternoon to play. There are no more makeup dates available, so if this game gets rained out, it would be held till the end of the season and only played if necessary.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
vs. J.D. Martin
J.D. Martin
9-6 W-L 2-3
2.84 ERA 4.76
74 SO 13
29 BB 7
9 HR 7
vs. Was -- vs. Cubs

2009 - Randy Wells 9-6 19 19 0 0 0 0 120.1 116 43 38 9 29 74 2.84 1.20

2009 - J.D. Martin 2-3 7 7 0 0 0 0 34.0 42 19 18 7 7 13 4.76 1.44

Randy Wells faced the Nats in Washington on July 18, had a rough time in the first two innings, then settled down. That night, the Cubs bullpen did an outstanding job. Randy has been consistent through all his 19 starts, having only a couple of bad ones and going at least five innings in all of them.

The Cubs used to have a catcher named J.C. Martin. One letter in the alphabet further, we have J.D. Martin pitching for the Nats. He has made seven major league starts; three of them were good, two mediocre, and two bad. He doesn't strike out many -- 13 in 34 innings -- but does allow a fair number of home runs (seven of them so far). This will be his first start against the Cubs.

The Cubs are on WGN for national distribution today. For other games today see the Mediacenter. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Nationals site Federal Baseball.

Overflow comment threads will post today at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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