The Chicago Cubs (32-44) will welcome the National League East-leading Washington Nationals (41-36) to Wrigley Field Thursday night to kick off a four-game weekend series that will be capped by a day-night doubleheader on Saturday.
Left-hander Travis Wood (7-6, 4.55 ERA) will take the ball for Chicago in tonight’s opener. The southpaw has been notably better at home this season as opposed to on the road, pitching to the tune of a 2.93 ERA at Wrigley Field and a 6.07 ERA away from Chicago. This month, opponents are hitting just .225 against him and are slugging just .337 – signs of improvement after a rough spell earlier this season.
However, he has had control issues, leaving balls out over the plate or missing the strike zone altogether. In six of his last nine starts, he’s issued at least three walks and he’s also struggled with pitch counts in recent outings.
He will be opposed by former Detroit Tigers right-hander Doug Fister (6-2, 2.65 ERA) who has been superb in his first season with Washington. Control has been his speciality, issuing just six walks all season. He has held opponents to two runs or fewer in all but two of his nine starts this year.
Tonight’s game will be shown on CSN and WGN AM 720 will carry the radio broadcast. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. CT.
Here are tonight’s lineups:
#Cubs lineup: Sweeney LF, Ruggiano RF, Riz 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Castillo C, Lake CF, Barney 2B, Wood P
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) June 26, 2014