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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals preview, Monday 5/1, 6:05 CT

The Cubs open a four-game set in the nation’s capital.

Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Monday notes...

  • THOSE ONE-RUN LOSSES: The Cubs have lost three straight games by one run: 3-2, 7-6 and 4-3. This is their 50th such three-game streak since 1901. They have had six such streaks of four straight, the last in 1972. They lost five one-run games in a row in September of 2019, the last four to the Cardinals, all at home. The franchise record is six straight one-run losses, in 1915: 1-0, 4-3, 2-1 (11 innings), 1-0, 1-0 and 3-2. The first five were on the road. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • A GOOD START: Cody Bellinger’s 22 runs scored are tied for the third-most by a Cub since 1901 through the end of April, surpassed only by Derrek Lee in 2008 (25) and Javier Báez in 2019 (23). Nico Hoerner’s 39 hits are fourth-most through the end of April, surpassed by Mark Grace in 1988 (42), Lee in 2008 (40) and Starlin Castro in 2011 (40).
  • NOT SHUT OUT YET: The Cubs have scored at least one run in each of their first 27 games of the season, just the sixth time in the expansion era (since 1961) the team has gotten on the board in each of its first 27 contests. The other five, all longer (as of now): 47 games in 1995, 43 games in 2020, 40 games in 2012, 35 games in 1975 and 34 games in 1991.
  • SMYLY FACES: In his last 14 starts dating to August 6 of last season, Drew Smyly is 6-3 with a 2.63 ERA (22 earned runs in 75⅓ innings), allowing 18 walks and striking out 70. He’s allowed two or fewer runs in 12 of those starts. Smyly’s 2.63 ERA since August 6, 2022 is third-best among N.L. hurlers (minimum 14 starts), trailing only Zac Gallen (1.64) and Julio Urías (2.45).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Nationals lineup:

Drew Smyly, LHP vs. MacKenzie Gore, LHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Smyly followed up his almost-perfect game with a decent, not great, outing against the Padres last week. Over his last four starts: 1.54 ERA, 0.643 WHIP, only four walks in 23⅓ innings.

No current Nats batter has more than nine career AB vs. Smyly. The last time he faced them, August 17, 2022 at Washington, he allowed two runs in 5⅓ innings. Hoping for Smyly to continue his good pitching.

MacKenzie Gore was one of the centerpieces of the trade that sent Juan Soto to the Padres last year. The Nats sent him to Triple-A after the deal, perhaps not wanting him to be part of the tire fire that the 107-loss Nats were after the trade.

He’s made five starts this year with pretty good results (3.00 ERA, 35 strikeouts in 27 innings). He’s also walked 16 in those innings, so the Cubs should try to work long counts.

Gore has one career start vs. the Cubs, May 9, 2022 at San Diego. He allowed three runs in five innings.


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 2023 Game Thread procedure will be like last year’s, 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.