Cubs @ Nationals: Mourning Thread (Games 105-107)
This series begins after the trade deadline and will be a contest between one dismantled roster and one absurdly dismantled roster. Might this end up one of the least-watched series of 2021? See below for some sorrowful notes on players who have departed for more competitive climes and a lot of TBD in the daily matchups.
Game 105, Friday, July 30, 6:05 pm central
Neither the Cubs nor the Nationals have named a starter for this one. Instead of the matchups, let's note some players who will definitely not appear in this one. The Cubs will be without Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Craig Kimbrel, Trevor Williams, and Jake Marisnick. That's assuming more trades don't come to light in the aftermath of the bigger deals.
The Nationals are down Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Yan Gomes, Daniel Hudson, Josh Harrison, Jon Lester, and Kyle Schwarber. Starlin Castro has also been suspended 30 games under the MLB Domestic Violence Policy and was subsequently served his release from the Nats.
Game 106, Saturday, July 31, 6:05 pm central
Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs, and somebody will have to pitch first for the Nationals. It's easy to imagine Hendricks feeling kind of lonely, with basically just Contreras and Heyward left with him as holdovers from the 2016 champion roster--assuming you don't count Ross, of course.
Game 107, Sunday, August 1, 12:05 pm central
Adbert Alzolay gets a start for the Cubs, now looking absolutely in the right place as an inexperienced MLB player trying to find his footing and consistency. He can look forward to being reinforced next year by fellow members of a Cubs' youth movement, Nick Madrigal and probably the newly acquired OF Greg Deichmann, along with the returning Nico Hoerner.