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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals Preview, Wednesday 9/5, 6:05 CT

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What are these men thinking? Members of the Chicago Cubs bench look on from the dugout during their 11-5 loss to the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
What are these men thinking? Members of the Chicago Cubs bench look on from the dugout during their 11-5 loss to the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Let's play "This Date In Cubs History"! (Since there isn't much new about this year's team.)

50 years ago today (September 5, 1962): the Cubs dropped a doubleheader at Cincinnati, 7-5 in 10 innings and 10-3. In the first game, Billy Williams and Ernie Banks homered but the Cubs lost when Gordy Coleman hit a two-run walkoff homer off Dave Gerard, who never pitched in the major leagues again after 1962. Game 1 boxscore; Game 2 boxscore.

40 years ago today (September 5, 1972): Rick Reuschel threw a three-hit shutout over Tom Seaver and the Mets at Shea Stadium. Rick Monday and Jim Hickman homered in a 3-0 Cubs win. Boxscore

30 years ago today (September 5, 1982): Current WGN broadcaster Keith Moreland hit a two-run homer and the Cubs defeated the Padres at San Diego 5-1. For the Cubs, who always had trouble winning on the West Coast in those years, it was just their second win in six tries at San Diego that year. Boxscore

20 years ago today (September 5, 1992): Jerald Clark hit a two-run homer off Jeff Robinson in the eighth inning, giving Greg Maddux a defeat in a year where he'd eventually post a 20-win season. The Cubs lost to the Padres 5-3, part of an eventual San Diego sweep in a series at Wrigley Field. Boxscore

5 years ago today (September 5, 2007): The Cubs had the day off 10 years ago today (9/5/2002), so I'm sneaking in this more recent game, in which Ted Lilly threw seven strong innings in an 8-2 win over the Dodgers. Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run homer and Mark DeRosa had three hits. (Yes, that was only five years ago. Seems a lot longer, doesn't it?) Boxscore

Cubs lineup:

Mather CF, Sappelt RF, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, Vitters 3B, Barney 2B, Volstad P

All right. The idea that Joe Mather is a suitable leadoff man against lefthanded pitching is... well, it's just plain wrong, particularly against a LHP as good as Gio Gonzalez. Darwin Barney would be a better choice. So would Starlin Castro, for that matter. And why, again, is Dave Sappelt playing right field and Mather center? Backwards.

Nationals lineup:

Bernadina CF, Harper RF, Zimmerman 3B, LaRoche 1B, Morse LF, Desmond SS, Espinosa 2B, Suzuki C, Gonzalez P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Chris Volstad
Chris Volstad
Cubs
vs. Gio Gonzalez
Gio Gonzalez
Nationals
2-9 W-L 1-0
6.06 ERA 1.20
46 SO 6
27 BB 5
8 HR 1
vs. Was -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Chris Volstad 2-9 15 15 0 0 0 0 81.2 93 57 55 8 27 46 6.06 1.47


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Gio Gonzalez 17-7 27 27 2 0 0 0 168.1 130 61 58 8 63 176 3.10 1.15

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

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 post at 6:05 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 7:05, 8:05 and 8:50 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section. Also please note: due to some under-the-hood changes, the sidebar box with the game thread links is no longer available. It seems you've found them with no problems, but if you haven't been able to find the overflow threads, click the "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" link under "Sections" on the left sidebar. They're all in there.

Discuss amongst yourselves.