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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Nationals, Friday 5/4, 1:20 CT

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With the day off, I thought I'd give you all an early start on discussion of the six-game homestand which opens today.

The last time the Cubs faced the Nationals, last July in Washington, they got swept. Two players who played in the last Cubs/Nats game on July 23, 2006 -- Alfonso Soriano, who homered that day, and Daryle Ward -- are now Cubs.

Seriously. Without looking it up, can you name three members of the Nats?

And don't count the guy in the pitcher box below.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Jason Bergmann
J. Bergmann
Nationals
2-2 W-L 0-2
5.77 ERA 2.79
25 SO 26
19 BB 16
8 HR 2
vs. Was -- vs. Cubs
Jason Bergmann -- listed as "Jay" on his baseball-reference.com page -- has never faced the Cubs, and only two current Cubs, Cliff Floyd and Scott Eyre (!), have ever faced him, both going 0-for-1. He made five decent starts in 2006 for the Nats, and has thrown reasonably well this year while going 0-2 for a team that has had tremendous trouble scoring runs (tied for dead last in the majors with 84 runs), while allowing the second-most (149) in the National League.

So with Carlos Zambrano on the mound, six-days-rested from his best start of the year last Saturday and throwing in what has historically been his best month, May (9-7, 2.15 lifetime), and the fact that none of the current Nats have hit him well, you'd think this game might be an easy win.

But that's why they play the games. Time to start winning some home games -- from the beginning of 2006 through last week, the Cubs are 40-54 at Wrigley Field.

Today's game is on WGN and also at the Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

And, for the Nats fan point of view (yes, there are Nats fans!), please visit our friends at Federal Baseball.

UPDATE [2007-5-4 10:10:39 by Al]: Derrek Lee has doubled in eight straight games. He is the only major league player to do that in at least the last fifty years.

Discuss amongst yourselves.