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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals Preview, Saturday 6/6, 11:05 a.m. CT

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The Cubs and Nats play a brunch special.

That's how close Anthony Rizzo came to a third home run Friday night -- Denard Span makes a leaping catch of Rizzo's long fly to left-center
That's how close Anthony Rizzo came to a third home run Friday night -- Denard Span makes a leaping catch of Rizzo's long fly to left-center
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals have some of the strangest starting times for their games. OK, so noon ET isn't all that strange, but that makes it a morning game in Chicago. Last year, when the Cubs were in D.C. on Fourth of July weekend, the Nats started one game at 11 a.m. ET. Tomorrow's 4:05 p.m. ET start is also odd, for a Sunday, anyway.

Here's the good news. This game should be over in plenty of time to get you set up to watch the Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. That one starts at 6:15 CT.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B, Montero C, Lake RF, Coghlan LF, Herrera 2B, Hammel P, Russell SS

A day off for Starlin Castro. It's also the first major-league start at shortstop for Addison Russell (he's played two games there previously as a sub).

Nationals lineup:

Span CF, Zimmerman 1B, Harper RF, Rendon 3B, Ramos C, Robinson LF, Desmond SS, Espinosa 2B, Ross P 

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel


Cubs

vs. Joe Ross

Joe Ross


Nationals

vs. Was

--

vs. Cubs

Jason Hammel has been excellent this year, the Cubs' most consistent starter. He's gone at least six innings in nine of his 10 starts and missed by one out in his last outing making it at least seven in five straight outings. Over those five starts he has thrown 35⅔ innings and posted a 2.02 ERA and 0.785 WHIP with 42 strikeouts. He faced the Nats once last year, June 27 at Wrigley Field, and had a start very similar to most of his starts this year. Current Nats are hitting 34-for-139 (.245) against Hammel with two home runs (Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos).

Joe Ross was recalled to make his major-league debut today for the Nationals. He was one of the players acquired from the Padres in the three-team deal that included San Diego getting Wil Myers from the Rays (and 2014 draft pick Trea Turner, who can't be officially traded for another couple of weeks, also going to Washington). He is 22 and made nine starts at Double-A Harrisburg this year, posting a 2.81 ERA and 1.130 WHIP in 51⅓ innings. He's the younger brother of Padres starter Tyson Ross.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It will also be carried nationally on MLB Network. Check your cable/satellite listing.

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. If you do go there to interact with Nationals fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2015 Game Thread procedure has changed a bit. Here's how it will work going forward.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.