Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals Preview, Wednesday 7/6, 6:05 CT: The Doldrums

What are Mike Quade and John Grabow saying to each other? (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

If your team is in playoff contention, now is the time you start sizing up your rivals, looking into whether you can make the wild card if you don't win your division, what kind of players you might acquire for the stretch run...

Unfortunately, none of that applies to the Cubs this year. Since winning the first game of the Yankees series, the Cubs are 6-12 and, although they have played a lot of competitive games in that stretch -- they could have won the White Sox and Giants series, as well as the first two games of this one -- that doesn't matter, as they went into the books as losses.

I wish I had more or better things to say about this team. I don't even have a retread pitcher to diss today. But that's the reality of what's going on now -- summer doldrums, and it's not even the All-Star break.

Cubs lineup:

RF Johnson, SS Castro, 3B Ramirez, C Soto, 1B Pena, CF Byrd, LF Soriano, 2B Barney, P Wells

Nationals lineup:

Bernadina CF, Espinosa 2B, Zimmerman 3B, Nix LF, Morse 1B, Werth RF, Ramos C, Desmond SS, Gorzelanny P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
Cubs
vs. Tom Gorzelanny
Tom Gorzelanny
Nationals
1-3 W-L 2-6
6.59 ERA 3.77
27 SO 64
21 BB 23
6 HR 12
vs. Wash -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Randy Wells 1-3 8 8 0 0 0 0 42.1 48 32 31 6 21 27 6.59 1.63


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Tom Gorzelanny 2-6 12 12 0 0 0 0 71.2 68 33 30 12 23 64 3.77 1.27

Randy Wells started twice against the Nats in 2009, not at all last year. He posted a 1-1 mark and a 7.15 ERA in those starts -- but most of those guys aren't on the team any more. The only Nationals player who has more than five career PA against Randy is Laynce Nix (2-for-11). Wells really needs to step it up to return to his previous level of performance.

Tom Gorzelanny hasn't faced the Cubs, obviously, since 2008 when he was with the Pirates, and injured. He was pretty bad then, but has been just about as good this year as he was last year for the Cubs. Current Cubs are hitting .328 against him (22-for-67) and that includes 7-for-11 from Geovany Soto and three Alfonso Soriano home runs.

We missed by one day having a "Gorz vs. Garz" matchup, as Matt Garza will go tomorrow.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago and MASN. 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.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 6 pm CDT and the overflow threads will post at 7 pm, 8 pm and 8:45 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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