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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals Preview, Saturday 5/7, 3:05 CT

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The Cubs are going for their sixth win in a row this afternoon.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs have had two winning streaks of five games this season (and another of four). The current five-game streak would be extended to a season-high six games with a victory this afternoon over the Nationals.

There isn't much other news regarding the Cubs this morning, except that Miguel Montero says his back is progressing well and he thinks he might not need a rehab assignment. He's eligible to come off the DL Tuesday.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Heyward RF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Soler LF, Russell SS, Federowicz C, Hammel P

Nationals lineup:

Revere CF, Espinosa SS, Harper RF, Zimmerman 1B, Werth LF, Rendon 3B, Drew 2B, Lobaton C, Gonzalez P

Jason Hammel

vs

Gio Gonzalez

Jason Hammel struggled a bit in his last outing, Monday against the Pirates (two runs in five innings), but it was good enough for another win. Really, Hammel's been consistently solid all season so far. His last start against the Nats, June 6, 2015 in Washington, was excellent: eight innings, five hits, two runs, seven strikeouts. He'll need to keep Daniel Murphy (6-for-11, two doubles vs. Hammel) down to succeed. What is it about Murphy vs. Cubs pitching?

Gio Gonzalez' first five starts could fit right in with the Cubs rotation: 1.15 ERA, 0.989 WHIP. He's allowed just one home run (Carlos Ruiz) in 31⅓ innings. His last start against the Cubs was June 4, 2015 in Washington. He allowed four hits and four walks in six innings. Being patient with Gonzalez is likely the key to beating him. Dexter Fowler has hit him well (6-for-14, a double, a home run).

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It will also be available nationally on FS1. FS1 announcers: Joe Buck, John Smoltz & Ken Rosenthal.

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 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.

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.