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A Marquis Matchup: Cubs vs. Nationals, Wednesday 8/25, 6:05 CT

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You may have noticed the somewhat small crowds at Nationals Park the last two days. With two teams around 20 games under .500 playing each other, this is no big surprise.

Thanks to SB Nation DC's editor Mike Prada for pointing BCB at this link -- Bravo's "Top Chef DC" is airing an episode tonight that was taped earlier at Nationals Park:
"Top Chef D.C." is heading to Nationals Park tonight for an elimination challenge. Contestants will be asked to run two concession stands and cook up ballpark food for fans to enjoy. There will be appearances by John Lannan, Adam Dunn and Matt Capps, the latter of which is obviously not with the Nationals anymore. The episode will air at [9 p.m. CDT] on BRAVO.

Sounds like fun. You'll likely see more people at Nationals Park in this episode than will be in attendance tonight, as the Cubs go for the series sweep.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Jason Marquis
Jason Marquis
Nationals
11-8 W-L 0-6
3.56 ERA 11.39
160 SO 9
68 BB 14
22 HR 5
vs. Wash -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Ryan Dempster 11-8 27 26 1 0 0 0 172.0 153 81 68 22 68 160 3.56 1.28


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Jason Marquis 0-6 9 6 0 0 0 0 21.1 34 31 27 5 14 9 11.39 2.25

Jason Marquis has had a horrific season. He made three starts in April, including one where he faced seven batters and didn't retire any of them, before undergoing surgery for bone spurs in his elbow and missing three months. He's made three more starts since returning, finally having a good outing (five innings, one run) in his last start vs. the Phillies on August 20; the Nats lost 1-0. He and Ryan Dempster matched up on August 8, 2009 when Marquis was with the Rockies; the Cubs beat him that day. The current Cub who hits him best is Aramis Ramirez (9-for-24, .333, two HR).

Marquis' streak of playing for a team that made the playoffs every season of his career will end this year.

Ryan Dempster has had another solid season, leading the team in wins (though, of course, the "win" stat for individual starting pitchers means less and less every year). His 160 K's rank seventh in the National League. He faced the Nats on April 28 at Wrigley Field, allowing solo HR to the Adams (Dunn and Kennedy); it was a solid outing, but the Cubs lost 3-2. Dunn and Kennedy, in fact, are the only current Nats who have homered off Dempster, who has held them to a .236 average (17-for-72).

Lineup via tweet from CubsInsider:

#Cubs lineup @ #Nationals (8/25): Fukudome RF, Castro SS, Byrd CF, Ramirez 3B, Hoffpauir 1B, Soriano LF, Dewitt 2B, Soto C, Dempster P

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 overflows will post at 7 pm, 8 pm and 8:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.