Game 128 Thread / Nationals @ Cubs (1 of 3)
|SP||*John Lannan||SP||Jason Marquis|
|6-12, 3.81, 89 K, 54 W, 141.2 IP||8-7, 4.67, 68 K, 49 W, 129 IP|
|2B||#Emilio Bonificio||LF||Alfonso Soriano|
|SS||#Cristian Guzman||SS||Ryan Theriot|
|3B||Ryan Zimmerman||1B||Derrek Lee|
|CF||Lastings Milledge||3B||Aramis Ramirez|
|1B||Ronnie Belliard||CF||Reed Johnson|
|RF||*Ryan Langerhans||C||Geovany Soto|
|LF||*Willie Harris||RF||Mark DeRosa|
|C||Wil Nieves||2B||Ronny Cedeno|
|P||*John Lannan||P||*Jason Marquis|
Weather note: As of 12:40, it's pouring in the western suburbs, with storms on their way to the city. Could be a rain delay in our future.
The Cubs advance to the next course in the all-meatball buffet, following their series against the Reds with three against the 45-83 Nationals starting today, before moving on to Pittsburgh.
The Nats flew to Chicago following a Thursday night game in Philadelphia, so on top of being awful, they're surely tired. However, as the cliche goes, the most dangerous animal is a desperate one, so maybe the Cubs should beware. That said, Nick Zaccardi (Carrie Muskat's new nom de plume?) assures us the Cubs aren't taking anything for granted this weekend, so forget what I said about being beware—the Cubs should hammer these guys.
The home team is a perfect 7-0, averaging nearly 8 runs per game, in their last 7 games against southpaw starters. Lannan, however, dominated the Cubs (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER) in a game Washington won when the teams met in D.C. in late April. Marquis hasn't pitched in nine days, last opening the DH at Atlanta with a winning, 5.1 IP, 2 ER effort against the Braves.
The Cubs begin play with a 5 1/2-game lead over the Brewers.
Finally, one more derogatory note about the Nationals, per the Tribune: with Cristian Guzman recovering from an injury to his left thumb, Washington has started seven different shortstops in the last 22 days.
Focus. We need to focus.