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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals preview, Tuesday 5/18, 6:40 CT

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The Cubs go for their third consecutive win.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Tuesday notes...

  • WHAT A RELIEF: Including four scoreless innings Monday night, the Cubs bullpen has posted a 3.40 ERA (61 earned runs in 161⅓ innings) this season, the third‐best mark in the NL. 200 strikeouts by Cubs relievers are second‐most in the majors behind the Padres (205).
  • BETTER PITCHING OVERALL: Cubs pitching in May has produced a 3.21 ERA (45 earned runs in 126⅓ innings), the fourth‐lowest ERA in the majors behind the Rays (2.56), Padres (2.64) and White Sox (2.75).
  • A MILESTONE REACHED: Monday’s game marked David Ross’ 100th regular season game managing the Cubs, and he has amassed a 54‐46 record. Ross is just the fourth Cubs manager since 1940 to win at least 54 of his first 100 games managed for the team. The others: Whitey Lockman (61‐39 in 1972‐73), Herman Franks (60‐40 in 1977) and Jim Frey (57-43 in 1984). (H/T: Ed Hartig)
  • NOBODY BEATS THE RIZ: Anthony Rizzo has a 17-game on-base streak and over his last 10 games is hitting .355/.488/.484 (11-for-31) with four doubles and eight walks.

Cubs lineup:

The Nationals lineup was not available at posting time. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Nats lineup.

Zach Davies, RHP vs. Patrick Corbin, LHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

Zach Davies has turned his season around after a horrific April. In three May starts: 1.10 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, and his first seven-inning outing of the season.

He hasn’t faced the Nats since 2017, which is largely irrelevant since most of the Nats who played in those two games aren’t on the team anymore. Several of the current Nationals have faced him quite a bit, in particular Kyle Schwarber, from Davies’ time in Milwaukee. Schwarber has homered off Davies four times in 30 at-bats — something Zach will need to be careful of tonight.

Patrick Corbin has had an up-and-down 2021 after spending some time on the COVID list earlier this year.

He was just about as horrible as Davies in April, but also like Davies, he’s had a good May: three starts, 2.70 ERA, 0.850 WHIP. He’s been susceptible to the home run this year, allowing 10 in 36⅓ innings, and righthanded hitters have hit him for a .935 OPS so far in 2021.

The Cubs have hit LHP better (.760 OPS) than RHP (.707 OPS) and are 10-3 vs. LH starters so far this year, including Monday’s win against Jon Lester.

So this one shapes up pretty well for the Cubs.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com 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 2021 Game Thread procedure will be a bit different than previous years. It will be similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.