Let's Make It Five In A Row! Cubs vs. Nationals Preview, Tuesday 4/27, 7:05 CT

From the Things Could Always Be Worse Department, a few fun facts from the Brewers' 17-3 demolition of the Pirates last night:

  • They have outscored the Pirates 53-4 in their four meetings so far this year.
  • Thus, the Brewers are +49 runs vs. the Pirates, -35 runs against everyone else.
  • Meanwhile, the Pirates are -82 runs for the season, by far the worst in the major leagues. That's in 19 games. If they kept up that pace all year, they'd be outscored by 700 runs. For comparison, even the worst teams in baseball history (some of the old Philadelphia A's, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Browns clubs, the 1962 Mets and 2003 Tigers) only got outscored by about 300 runs.
  • And speaking of the Browns, my favorite part of that recap:
    The Pirates have lost to the Brewers 22 straight times at Miller Park and are 12-37 against Milwaukee overall since 2007. The Brewers’ home winning streak against Pittsburgh is the longest by one team over another since the Indians beat the St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles 27 consecutive times from 1952-54.

What's the ultimate meaning to the Cubs of all this? Starting next Tuesday, the Cubs will play the Pirates nine times in 27 games between May 4 and June 2. In that same 2007 to date timeframe, the Cubs are 32-15 vs. the Pirates, and 24-8 combined in 2008 and 2009.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Tom Gorzelanny
Tom Gorzelanny
Cubs
vs. Livan Hernandez
Livan Hernandez
Nationals
0-2 W-L 2-1
2.40 ERA 0.75
14 SO 9
5 BB 7
0 HR 2
vs. Wash -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Tom Gorzelanny 0-2 3 3 0 0 0 0 15.0 11 7 4 0 5 14 2.40 1.07


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Livan Hernandez 2-1 3 3 1 1 0 0 24.0 13 2 2 2 7 9 0.75 .83

Livan Hernandez has a reputation as a Cub-killer, but his overall numbers vs. the Cubs are just 10-6, 3.97 in 20 career starts. That's a little better than his 4.41 career ERA, but not enough to call him a "nemesis". Seems like he's been around forever -- among his rookie year teammates with the Marlins in 1997 was Jim Eisenreich, who is now 51 years old -- but he's only 35. He's off to a fine start this year. Aramis Ramirez is 11-for-29 (.379) against him with three doubles and four HR. A-Ram has started hitting the ball hard and it's only a matter of time, I think, before he breaks out and has a huge game. Tonight would be a good time for that.

Tom Gorzelanny has made two career starts vs. the Nats, one in 2007 and one in 2008, and won both of them with a 3.46 ERA. As it was for Carlos Silva last night, that's not really relevant, since most of those players aren't on the Nats any more. Current Nats, though, are hitting .317 against Gorz, although that's only 13-for-41. No current Nat has more than 10 career AB against him (Willy Taveras, 3-for-10).

Tonight's game is on WCIU. This means a lot of you outside metropolitan Chicago won't get to see it, unfortunately. It's also on the Nats cable channel, MASN2. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Nationals site Federal Baseball -- one of my favorite site names.

This afternoon's first pitch thread will be up at 7 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 8, 9 and 9:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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