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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals preview, Tuesday 7/18, 7:05 CT

The Cubs look to even up their series against the Nats.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Tuesday notes...

  • RUN-SCORING FACTS: Maybe the Cubs should change their name to the Contrarians. When the Cubs have scored exactly five runs in a game this season, as they did Sunday and Monday, their record is 2-8, .200. All other teams are 209-96, .685. When the Cubs have scored exactly six runs, they are 2-5, .286. All other teams are 190-79, .706. But when the Cubs have scored exactly four runs, they are 8-5, .615. All other teams are 162-189, .462. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • EVEN WITH ALL THE LOSSES: The Cubs remain the only team in the N.L. Central with a positive run differential (+19). The others: Brewers -8, Reds -14, Cardinals -26, Pirates -65.
  • LOTS OF PITCHES: Cubs batters are averaging 4.06 pitches per plate appearance, the highest rate in the majors ahead of the Brewers (4.02) and Padres and Mariners (3.98) ... Ian Happ’s 4.33 pitches per plate appearance rank fourth in the majors among 153 qualified hitters and Seiya Suzuki’s 4.24 mark ranks tied for 10th.
  • STILL HOT: Cody Bellinger, last 17 games since June 27: .438/.471/.719 (28-for-64) with three doubles, five home runs, 17 runs scored and only eight strikeouts.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Nationals lineup:

Jameson Taillon, RHP vs. Patrick Corbin, LHP

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

What struck me most when looking at Jameson Taillon’s pitch chart is the percentage for sliders — 0.8 percent. That’s eight-tenths of one percent, meaning he has thrown 10 sliders all year (total of 1,194 pitches). In 2022, he threw sliders 18.7 percent of the time.

So is that the problem? A pitch mix issue?

Well, I dunno. He didn’t throw any sliders in that great outing he had against the Yankees. Per Statcast, he hasn’t thrown one — at least not one that resulted in an out — since April.

Okay, too much from me. Just replicate what you did against the Yankees, Jameson. Tonight’s game is also a pitching rematch, from May 4 at Washington, but that was Taillon’s first start back from the injured list and he only went three innings.

Patrick Corbin, meanwhile, in that May 4 game, held the Cubs to three hits and two runs in seven innings, and struck out six. That was one of his best starts of the year.

Over his last four starts, Corbin has alternated bad and good. June 23: seven runs in five innings vs. the Padres. June 28: seven shutout innings, nine strikeouts vs. the Mariners. July 4: six runs in five innings vs. the Reds. July 9: five hits, one run, six strikeouts vs. the Rangers.

This should be his turn to get hit hard. Go for it, Cubs.


Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. You can find out if Marquee is available via a provider in your area here.

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 Nats 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.