Chicago Cubs: Nationals And Cubs Set to Square Off Sporting Best Records
The Chicago Cubs are coming off a sweep of the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates and return to Wrigley Field tonight to start a four-game set with the Washington Nationals. Setting the match-up between a former skipper and two Las Vegas-born superstars.
The Cubs and Nationals currently sport the top two records in baseball, with the Cubs sitting at 20-6 while the Nationals are at 19-8. Hendricks (1-2, 3.91 ERA) had his last start skipped in Pittsburgh but has done a nice job so far, sporting a 3.91 ERA, with 19 strikeouts in 23 innings.
He also sports an opponent batting average of .244, not too shabby. Joe Ross (3-0, 0.79 ERA), on the other hand, has been flat-out dominant. He has an ERA of 0.79, he’s given up just two earned runs in 22 2/3 innings, and has an opponent batting average of just .195.
The Nationals are leading the National League East, they currently have a 1.5 game lead over the defending National League Champions, the New York Mets.
They are led by ultra superstar and reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper, but he is just 1-for-6 off Kyle Hendricks, but that one hit was a home run, last year at Wrigley Field.
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Free agent acquisition Daniel Murphy is hitting just under .400, with an OPS over 1.000 and played a part in eliminating the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship series to win the pennant. He’s looked like the guy they signed in free agency so far.
The Cubs’ positioning has changed a bit. Tommy La Stella will now play third, Ben Zobrist will shift to second, and Kris Bryant will move out to right field.
First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. central time. Len and JD will have the call on Comcast, Pat Hughes, and Ron Coomer will have the radio broadcast on The Score. Be sure to check back here after the game for a recap and follow @CubbiesCrib on twitter for live updates!
Next: When will we see Willson Contreras?
Jason Heyward is out of the Cubs’ lineup for the fourth straight game, as he is still nursing a sore wrist. Ryan Kalish gets his first start in the outfield, playing left field. Tim Federowicz gets his second start of the season behind the plate. The lineups for tonight’s game are as follows: