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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals preview, Friday 9/7, 6:05 CT

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The Cubs go for their third straight win.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

This weather forecast does not look good:

Tonight

Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 11pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11pm. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain. Patchy fog after 5am. Otherwise, cloudy, with a low around 70. East wind 3 to 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Given the tight schedule this weekend, the fact that the Cubs don’t come back and the teams have no common off days, I’m guessing they will wait a very long time before they call this game. Your radar to keep handy tonight:

Friday notes:

  • The Cubs have 83 wins. The 83rd win was registered in the following games during the current run of contention:

2015: Game 144
2016: Game 130
2017: Game 149
2018: Game 140

  • The Cubs are 12-5 in the first 17 games of their 23-game run without an off day. They’re 5-3 in the first eight games of the current road trip. After this trip, 13 of the final 19 games will be played at Wrigley Field, and 16 of the final 19 in the city of Chicago.
  • Thursday’s win marked the Cubs 44th come-from-behind victory this season, the most in the majors. The Red Sox are second with 43. The Rockies have the second-most in the N.L., 41.
  • Jon Lester has a 3.16 ERA (56 earned runs in 159⅓ innings) in 26 starts vs. the N.L. East since he joined the Cubs in 2015. More on Lester below.
  • Cubs starting pitchers have a 2.34 ERA (31 earned runs in 119⅓ innings) in their last 21 games starting August 16 after posting a 5.46 ERA in their 21 starts prior to this stretch.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Nationals lineup:

Jon Lester, LHP vs. Joe Ross, RHP

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

Jon Lester started against the Nats August 11 at Wrigley Field.

Of that I shall say no more, and you probably shouldn’t click on that link. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

In the four starts since then, Jon has been excellent: 1.52 ERA, 1.225 WHIP, only four walks and one HR allowed in 23⅔ innings. It appears that he’s back on the track he was on during the first half, only with his peripherals matching up with the results.

Joe Ross last pitched in a MLB game July 9, 2017, after which he had Tommy John surgery. He’s made six rehab starts in the Nats minor league system with good results, and tonight is his first game back from TJS, only 14 months after he had it, which seems a little bit quick.

Ross faced the Cubs June 29, 2017 at Nationals Park and threw pretty well: 6⅔ innings, two runs. Current Cubs are hitting .250 against him in a small sample size (11-for-44).

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.

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 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.