The stretch of facing contenders continues for the Cubs this weekend in Washington as they take on the exciting Nationals. The Cubs last trip to Washington didn’t go so well as they were swept in a four game series, well swept is to kind of a word, they were embarrassed in a four game series. There was also a bench clearing incident between the two clubs which centered around Steve Clevenger and at the time third base coach of the Nats Bo Porter, neither will be in Washington this weekend. Here’s a fun fact that you probably were not aware of, the Cubs have actually scored more runs this year than the Nationals. That’s right, the Cubs have scored 128 runs, and the Nats have scored 121, both teams are near the bottom of baseball in that category, however the Nats are above .500 and the Cubs, well, aren’t. The Nationals get it done with pitching, but still are not that much better than the Cubs. The Nats have a team ERA of 3.47 which is good for seventh in the Majors while the Cubs sit at thirteenth with a 3.77 ERA. The difference is the Nationals bullpen more times than not gets the job done, they have a team ERA of 3.57 which is fifteenth best in baseball while the Cubs are twenty-fifth best with a 4.57 bullpen ERA. Too many game this year have been lost by the Cubs pen, a failing bullpen will not be good enough against good teams, as evidenced by the Reds, and Cardinals series. Should be a fun weekend, and hopefully we see a better showing than last year, nothing could be worse really.
The Cubs split a two game series with the Cardinals at Wrigley.
The Nats swept a two game series at home against Detroit, they have won four straight heading into tonights game.
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Friday, May 10, 2013 – 6:05 PM CST on WGN TV
- Saturday, May 11, 2013 – 3:05 PM CST on CSN Chicago
- Sunday May 12, 2013 – 12:05 PM CST on WGN TV
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.09)
– Career vs. Nationals (9 appearances, 2 GS) (1-1, 1.48)
Game Two – Edwin Jackson (0-5, 6.39)
– Career vs. Nationals (2 appearances, 1 GS) (0-0, 1.13)
Game Three – Scott Feldman (3-3, 2.70)
– Career vs. Nationals (First appearance)
Game One – Ross Detwiler (1-3, 2.50)
– Career vs. Cubs (3 GS) (2-1, 2.60)
Game Two – Stephen Strasburg (1-4, 3.45)
– Career vs. Cubs (1 GS) (0-0, 1.29)
Game Three – Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.97)
– Career vs. Cubs (3 GS) (1-1, 5.74)
The Nationals have gotten hot recently, winning four straight games heading into this series. The Cubs will need to play error free baseball and get improved performances from their bullpen if they want to compete in this series. I still think the Nationals will take two out of three this weekend.
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Long time no see as the Cubs travel to Washington to take on the Nationals. When the two teams last met it was the opening series of the 2012 season, the Cubs were unsure of what the beginning of the build would look like, and the Nationals were a young upstart bunch. Fast forward five months and the Cubs are now feeling what’s it’s like to begin the process of building a perennial contender and the Nationals sit atop Major League baseball as the best team in the land. The Nationals are hurtling towards the finish, but the focus is on what or should I say who will not be with them as they descend on the postseason. I’m talking about Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals ace, who will make his last start on September 12, and miss the postseason because the organization wants to be cautious with him. To each their own, not sure I agree with it, but I understand it, I guess. The Cubs will miss Strasburg but will have to deal with the rest of a pitching staff that has buzzed its way through the National League. They will also have to deal with a Washington offensive attack that now features a rookie that won’t turn twenty years old until the playoffs are in progress. Bryce Harper has given the Nats a jolt and made them one of the most exciting teams in baseball, it’s up to the Cubs to temper that enthusiasm and slow down this well oiled machine.
Here are the four game series pitching matchups.
Season Series: Nationals lead 2-1
Prediction: Nationals Win Series 3-1
Thanks for reading,