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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals preview, Sunday 9/9, 12:35 CT

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The Cubs seek a series split with the Nats... if it doesn’t rain.

Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The weather in the Washington area this weekend has been nothing short of horrific. It’s supposed to rain all day Sunday, so this game has a good chance of being postponed, although recent movement of the rain is to the north, and might clear the DC area at some point. So, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Here’s the local Washington-area radar for your convenience:

If this game is in fact postponed, I’d expect it to be held until the end of the season, where it would likely be played only if necessary for playoff positioning. Hopefully, that won’t be needed.

Notes:

  • This is game 20 of the Cubs’ 23-games-in-23-days stretch. They are 12-7 in the first 19.
  • By tomorrow, the Cubs will be tied for the most home games (13) remaining in baseball with the Rays, Cardinals, Angels and Orioles. With a 44-24 (.647) record at Wrigley Field, the Cubs own the best home record in the N.L.
  • Mike Montgomery’s start today is the 80th by a Cubs southpaw this season, which is now approaching the single-season club record. Only twice in franchise history have the Cubs had more than 80 games started by left-handed pitchers in a single season: 2007 (85 starts) and 1966 (89 starts). (H/T: Ed Hartig)
  • Over the last four seasons starting in 2015, the Cubs have amassed a 177-94 record after the All-Star break, and the team’s .653 winning percentage is by far the best in baseball. The Indians are a distant second with a .616 mark (165-103) in that span. The Cardinals are the next closest National League team with a 154-115 (.572) record.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Nationals lineup:

Mike Montgomery, LHP vs. Erick Fedde, RHP

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

Mike Montgomery has yet to complete five innings since his return from the disabled list. The results in those two starts aren’t good (6.48 ERA, 1.800 WHIP), but I thought he threw better than the results. No home runs allowed in 8⅓ innings in those two outings.

Montgomery’s only appearance against the Nationals this year is an inning of scoreless relief August 11 at Wrigley Field. He threw only briefly in relief against them last year, and not at all in 2016. No current Nats hitter has more than two at-bats against him. Hopefully, this will be an advantage for Mike.

Erick Fedde was the Nats’ first-round pick (18th overall) in 2014, and has been one of their top prospects since.

He’s made 10 major-league starts, three last year, seven this year, and the results have not been good: 7.08 ERA, 1.759 WHIP, 11 home runs in 48⅓ innings. In his last start, September 4 against the Cardinals, he allowed four hits, two walks and four runs in five innings.

One of those 10 career starts was against the Cubs, August 6, 2017 at Wrigley Field. He allowed eight hits, four walks and four runs, including two homers by Willson Contreras and another one by Kyle Schwarber. The Cubs lost that game, but if they can generate that kind of offense today, good things should follow.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on TBS (outside the Chicago and Washington markets). TBS announcers: Ernie Johnson and Ron Darling.

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.