The two hottest teams in the National League meet in this three-game series, which could be a preview of a postseason matchup.
The Nats have won 10 of their last 13. The Cubs have won 14 of their last 18. The Cubs hold the advantage so far this year, having swept a four-game set at Wrigley Field and driving Dusty Baker nuts by walking Bryce Harper 13 times in that series. If the situation calls for similar things in this series, have no doubt that Joe Maddon will do them again.
This one won't be easy, but as I noted in the series preview, I think the Cubs can win this set. Bring it on.
Here is your once-a-series reminder about SB Nation's daily fantasy partner FanDuel. If you want to play, click this link.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Heyward RF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Coghlan LF, Montero C, Russell SS, Hendricks P
Revere CF, Werth LF, Harper RF, Murphy 2B, Zimmerman 1B, Ramos C, Rendon 3B, Espinosa SS, Scherzer P
This might not be as much of a pitching mismatch as you'd think. On May 5 at Wrigley Field, Kyle Hendricks threw six shutout innings against the Nats, allowing just two hits and two walks. Hendricks also has a 1.98 ERA and 0.768 WHIP over his last four starts, covering 27⅓ innings.
Max Scherzer has had an up-and-down year. He's got a 20-strikeout game and is currently fourth in the major leagues in K's. On the other hand, the Cubs pounded him on May 6 at Wrigley, with seven hits, three walks and seven runs in five innings, including four home runs (Anthony Rizzo, Tommy La Stella and two by Ben Zobrist). On the other other hand, Scherzer has been very good since that Wrigley outing (six starts, 2.58 ERA, 0.838 WHIP in 45⅓ innings). On the other other other hand, he's given up seven homers in that six-start span and has allowed the second-most home runs (16) of any pitcher in the major leagues.
So I'd expect a low-scoring game tonight. Maybe.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago. Outside the Chicago and Washington markets this game will be available nationally on ESPN.
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.