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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals preview, Tuesday 8/9, 7:05 CT

The Cubs go for two in an row over the Nats.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s roster move: Here

Tuesday notes...

  • A NOTABLE ANNIVERSARY: Thirty-four years ago today, August 9, 1988, the Cubs played the first official night game at Wrigley Field (after the first scheduled one the previous night was rained out in the fourth inning). These numbers are courtesy of BCB’s own JohnW53: Since that first night game, and through last night’s win, the Cubs are 447-394 (.532) in home night games and in that same time frame, are 985-908 (.520) in home day games. This year, though, it’s been the reverse: 11-21 in home night games, 12-12 in home day games.
  • THE FRIENDLY CONFINES: The Cubs have allowed three or fewer runs in seven consecutive home games. That’s the longest such stretch since a seven-game run from June 1-18, 2016.
  • THE MOREL FILES: With his 10th home run Monday, Christopher Morel became the 26th player in Cubs franchise history to record a double-digit home run season as a rookie (last accomplished by both Frank Schwindel and Patrick Wisdom in 2021). The home run snapped a 65 at-bat homerless drought dating to July 7 at Los Angeles.
  • WILLSON!: Willson Contreras since he was not traded at the deadline: .269/.345/.615 (7-for-26), a double, a triple, two home runs, only four strikeouts.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Nationals lineup:

Marcus Stroman, RHP vs. Paolo Espino, RHP


Marcus Stroman threw six really good innings against the Cardinals August 4 in St. Louis, until he ran out of gas and Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt homered off him in the seventh.

Still, in five starts since he returned from the IL, he has posted a 1.67 ERA and 1.000 WHIP, with a .214 opponents BA. That’s All-Star level pitching.

The one Nats player who really hits him hard is Nelson Cruz — 8-for-14 lifetime with only one strikeout.

Bet you didn’t remember this because I didn’t — Paolo Espino was briefly in the Cubs organization, signed to a minor-league deal in November 2013, released in March 2014. According to this he pitched in four spring training games for the Cubs in 2014, but I do not remember that, at all. I also have no recollection of a start he made against the Cubs at Wrigley Field May 19, 2017. He’s just completely non-memorable.

Anyway, he’s now 35, and is a sometimes-starter, sometimes-reliever for the Nats, mostly starting since mid-June. Since he went into their rotation full-time: 10 starts, 5.52 ERA, 1.432 WHIP, .302 opponents BA. That’s... not good.

His most recent start against the Cubs was July 30, 2021 in Washington. That was the first Cubs game after the big selloff last year, and Espino threw 5⅓ innings and allowed one run. I don’t think that is at all relevant to today’s game, though.


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

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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 2022 Game Thread procedure will be like last years, 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.