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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals preview, Friday 8/23, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs are going for their sixth straight win.

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Today begins three days of Players Weekend, where MLB players will wear uniforms that look like this. The idea, from what I gather, is to allow the players to wear colorful accessories that will stand out. I’m a bit skeptical, we’ll see how it works in practice. Also, home teams had the choice of white-on-white jerseys or black-on-black. The Cubs chose white, so the Nationals will be wearing black.

Notes:

  • Anthony Rizzo is 7-for-12 with one double, three homers, six RBI, eight runs scored and four walks in his last four games.
  • Despite Nicholas Castellanos going hitless Thursday, the first game at Wrigley in his career where he failed to have at least one hit, he is hitting .462 (24-for-52) lifetime at the Friendly Confines.
  • Weird stat of the day: The Cubs are 18-6 with Jason Heyward in the leadoff spot in the batting order. This is true despite Heyward hitting just .172/.261/.364 out of that spot, partly because of a low .164 BABIP batting leadoff. He has hit two leadoff home runs this year.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Nationals lineup:

For those not familiar with Nats nicknames: Trea Turner, Adam Eaton, Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto, Howie Kendrick, Kurt Suzuki, Brian Dozier, Victor Robles, Anibal Sanchez

Jon Lester, LHP vs. Anibal Sanchez, RHP

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Lester had three pretty awful starts to begin August — and then threw six shutout innings against the Pirates last Saturday, getting out of several jams. That’s good, but it happened against a team that’s scored 14 total runs in its last seven games. The Nats are... a bit better than that.

Jon’s start vs. the Nats May 18 in Washington ... wasn’t good. Let’s leave it at that. You can click on the link if you want. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Jon has been much better in day games this year (11 starts, 3.13 ERA, 1.210 WHIP) than night games (13 starts, 5.13 ERA, 1.588 WHIP), so there’s that.

Anibal Sanchez. Remember when he was good?

Oh. That includes now. Sanchez has put together a decent year for the Nats, although he hasn’t gotten out of the fifth inning in either of his last two starts and has a 2.222 WHIP over that span.

His last start against the Cubs was April 13, 2018 at Wrigley Field, when he was with the Braves. That was a miserable, cold, windy afternoon. He threw six shutout innings. The weather will be nicer today.

Current Cubs are hitting .296 (21-for-71) against him with four home runs, two by Jonathan Lucroy.

Today’s game is on ABC7 Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Nationals market territories).

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 2019 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. 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.