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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals preview, Thursday 9/6, 6:05 CT

The Nationals have struggled recently, but are still a formidable opponent.

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Sigh. Here we go again with chances of rain tonight (and Friday and the weekend are worse forecasts), so here’s your DC-area radar to keep handy.

Thursday notes:

  • The Cubs’ win Wednesday was their 82nd of the year, guaranteeing them a winning season, their fourth straight. That’s the longest such streak for the Cubs franchise since a six-year run from 1967-72.
  • The Cubs reached 82 wins in Game 139 on September 5. Last year, the Cubs reached 82 wins in Game 148 on September 16.
  • Kyle Hendricks has gone 5-2 with a 3.48 ERA (21 earned runs in 54⅓ innings) in nine starts since the All-Star break. Also, Kyle has pitched six innings or more in five straight starts for the first time this season, the first time overall since right around this time last year when he had an eight-start run from August 15-September 23. More on Kyle below.
  • Wednesday, Kyle Schwarber hit his 25th home run of the season, all of which have come off right-handed pitchers. Kyle has tied the single-season franchise record for consecutive home runs off same-handed pitchers, previously done by left-handed hitter Bill Nicholson, who also hit his first 25 homers in 1940 off of right-handed pitchers. Dating to last season, Schwarber has hit his last 29 homers off right-handed pitching, two short of the franchise record across multiple seasons. That record is also held by Nicholson, with 31-straight homers vs. RHP from 1939-1941.
  • Javier Baez is the only National League player in the top 10 in the league in all of the following categories: runs, hits, total bases, doubles, triples, home runs, extra-base hits, RBI and stolen bases.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Nationals lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Stephen Strasburg, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hendricks, last three starts: 1.35 ERA, 1.100 WHIP, no home runs allowed in 20 innings. In fact, after allowing 16 homers in 16 starts through the end of June (92 innings), he’s allowed just four HR in 12 starts since July 1 (72⅔ innings).

So the Kyle of the second half is looking much more like the guy we’ve seen over the last three seasons. After his last start he said:

He threw six solid innings against the Nats August 10 at Wrigley Field, allowing two runs with no walks.

Stephen Strasburg missed a month with a neck injury that was eventually diagnosed as a pinched nerve, and also missed some time earlier this year with shoulder issues. In three starts since his return from the DL he has a 5.06 ERA and 1.438 WHIP, although two of those three starts could be categorized as “decent.”

He last faced the Cubs June 28, 2017 at Nationals Park, throwing seven strong innings with 13 strikeouts. Willson Contreras homered off him that day, though. Current Cubs are hitting .219 (16-for-73) against him with three home runs (Contreras, Ben Zobrist and Tommy La Stella).

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

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. 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.