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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals preview, Thursday 5/4, 12:05 CT

The Cubs try to salvage a series split in D.C.

Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images

Today’s roster move: Here

Update on Kyle Hendricks:

Thursday notes...

  • NOT ROAD WARRIORS: The Cubs need to win this afternoon to avoid finishing their road trip 1-6. They have not lost 6 of 7 on a two-city trip since August 17-22, 2012, when they dropped three of four at Cincinnati, then were swept in three games at Milwaukee. They were 1-5 last year at San Francisco (1-2) and St. Louis (0-3) from July 28-Aug. 4.
  • PITCHING WARRIORS: Cubs starters enter today’s game with a 3.18 ERA, which is tops in the National League and second only to the Rays (3.13).
  • BUT NOT MUCH OF A RELIEF: On the other hand, Cubs relievers now rank 19th in MLB in ERA (4.04), just behind the Nationals at 4.01.
  • HE’S HOT: Cody Bellinger, last 17 games since April 12: .344/.413/.734 (22-for-64) with five doubles, a triple, six home runs and 17 runs scored.
  • HE’S NOT: Nico Hoerner, last 10 games since April 23: .171/.239/.220 (7-for-41), one extra-base hit (a triple), seven strikeouts.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

MLB debut today for Miguel Amaya. Good luck!

Nationals lineup:

Jameson Taillon, RHP vs. Patrick Corbin, LHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Jameson Taillon made three starts this year before going on the injured list with a groin strain. The last start before the IL stint, April 15 vs. the Dodgers, was pretty good — five shutout innings with seven strikeouts.

Taillon has not faced the Nats since 2019, so that’s largely irrelevant, and the only current Nats player who has any hits at all off him is Jeimer Candelario (3-for-5, a double, a home run).

I’d imagine that after having been out for two and a half weeks, Taillon might be on a pitch limit. He had maxed out at 85 pitches in that April 15 outing so maybe 80 would be about right today.

Patrick Corbin had one of the worst years for any starting pitcher in recent memory last year — 19 losses, a 6.31 ERA and -2.4 bWAR. He had a decent year in his first season after signing a big free-agent deal with the Nats (2019) and has a World Series ring as a result, but he’s just been awful since.

That includes this year, where he has a 5.74 ERA in six starts, and charitably I could probably call two of those starts “decent.” The others have been pretty bad.

He last faced the Cubs August 16, 2022 in D.C. and allowed four runs in six innings, which was one of his starts that was not terrible last year.

Current Cubs are hitting .275 (27-for-102) against Corbin with three home runs (Dansby Swanson, Eric Hosmer, Ian Happ).


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.