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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals preview, Wednesday 6/28, 6:05 CT

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The Cubs looked bad Tuesday night. Hopefully, they will look better tonight.

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

So. Any Cubs news today?

Of course you know what's been going on, so this is just a preview of the lineups and pitching matchups, with a couple other notes:

  • Even with last night's poor performance by Jake Arrieta, Cubs starting pitchers have a 2.95 ERA (26 ER in 79⅓ innings) over their last 14 games. That's good! Keep it up.
  • The Cubs have two players in the top 11 in OBP in the National League: Kris Bryant is 10th at .393, and Anthony Rizzo is 11th at .389.
  • Rizzo has a .423 OBP over his last 46 games, fourth in the N.L. over that span.

One more note: Victor Caratini will wear uniform No. 20.

On to today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B, Happ 2B, Contreras C, Jay LF, Baez SS, Almora CF, Lackey P, Zagunis RF

Nationals lineup:

Turner SS, Goodwin LF, Harper RF, Zimmerman 1B, Murphy 2B, Rendon 3B, Wieters C, Taylor CF, Strasburg P

John Lackey vs. Stephen Strasburg

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Guess which Cubs starter has the most outings this year of six innings or more?

That's right, it's John Lackey, tied with Jake Arrieta. Both have 10 such starts, though Lackey has done that in 15 starts, while Jake has 16. So at least there's a chance that Lackey will pile up some innings tonight.

Lackey's last two starts have been very good: 12 total innings, five hits allowed, two earned runs. He seems to be getting into the groove he was in for the first four months of 2016. That included two good starts vs. the Nats, in which he pitched 13 total innings, allowed four earned runs, and struck out 18.

Lackey's 38 and might retire at the end of this year, but I think he's still got some good outings left. Let's hope tonight is one of them.

Stephen Strasburg has overall had a good year, but has not gotten out of the sixth inning in any of his last three starts, during which he has a 7.63 ERA in 15⅓ innings and a 1.697 WHIP. He's also been touched up for four homers over that span.

Last year he had a strong outing against the Cubs, June 15 in Washington, seven innings of one-run ball. Current Cubs are hitting a small-sample-size .211 (11-for-52) against him.

Hopefully, he continues his current struggles.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Washington markets).

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 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. 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.

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Discuss amongst yourselves.