Game One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Cubs (51-85) vs. Nationals (84-52)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Nationals Park, Washington DC
Justin Germano (2-5, 6.30/1.38) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (9-8, 3.01/1.16)
The Cubs wrap-up the series and season series with the Washington Nationals tonight (1-5). The Cubs have been outhit and outpitched over the first three games of the series. The Nationals have launched 13 home runs, 12 over the last two games, during this series while the Cubs have hit only two out of the park. The Nationals are squaring up everything the Cubs throw at them, especially Adam LaRoche. The veteran first baseman has hit four home runs against Cubs pitching over the last three games.
The Cubs have been outscored 22-7 over the first three games of this series … and according to Dale Sveum it has looked like men playing against boys for the last three games.
Justin Germano must keep the ball in the park tonight in order for the Cubs to salvage one game of this series and finish the year with two wins in seven games against the Nationals.
In other news … Darwin Barney ran his errorless games streak to 121 games on Wednesday. Barney enters play tonight two games short of the Cubs’ record for consecutive games by a second baseman without an error held by Ryne Sandberg (123).
The Cubs begin the night 34 games under .500 with 26 games left on their schedule. The team is focused on not losing 100 games this season. The Cubs are just 1-19 on the road since the trade deadline and are 8-27 over their last 35 games. The Cubs have to post a 12-14 record over the last 26 games in order to avoid a 100-loss season.
Tonight it all starts with Justin Germano … Justin Germano has gone from serviceable to horrible in his last three starts. Germano was able to give the pitching-starved organization a couple of decent starts but more importantly he was eating innings for the Cubs. Germano allowed two earned runs per game in three of his first four starts while pitching into or through the sixth inning. While Germano has completed at least five innings in two of his last three outings, he has allowed 17 runs on 24 hits with three walks and nine strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings (10.43 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP) over his last three outings … and it does not figure to get any easier for him tonight.
Justin Germano is 1-4 over his last six starts with a 7.03 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP … and on the road this season 0-2 in three games, two starts, with a 6.92 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.
Justin Germano has faced the Nationals just once in his career. Germano beat the Nationals back on June 2, 2007 after allowing three runs on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts over six innings in a Padres’ uniform.
Mark DeRosa (0-for-1), Chad Tracy (one walk), Jayson Werth (2-for-2 with a home run) and Ryan Zimmerman (1-for-3) are the only players on the Nationals’ active roster with limited at bats in their career against Justin Germano.
Jordan Zimmermann has struggled of late after a good first half and the Nationals are concerned about his drop-off. Zimmermann posted a 5-6 record in his first 17 starts of the season with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. In 110 1/3 innings, Zimmermann struck out 74 batters while walking 22 and allowing 102 hits. Since the break, the talented right-hander is 4-2 in 10 starts with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP … but just 1-2 in his last six starts with a 6.16 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP.
Jordan Zimmermann is coming off a loss to the Cardinals in a start he lasted just 3 2/3 innings. Zimmermann gave up eight runs on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Even with his recent issues, the Nationals are 7-3 in his last 10 starts … and the Cubs’ offense could be what Zimmermann needs to get back on track.
Tonight will be Zimmermann’s fifth career starts against the Cubs. Zimmermann is 0-3 in the first four with a 4.68 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP and the Cubs beat him back on April 8 (two runs, one earned, on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts in seven innings).
Cubs Career Numbers against Jordan Zimmermann
- Darwin Barney – 1-for-8 with a double and a walk
- Tony Campana – 0-for-1
- Starlin Castro – 1-for-10
- Steve Clevenger – 1-for-3
- David DeJesus – 0-for-3
- Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-2
- Dave Sappelt – 0-for-3
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-11 with a triple and a home run
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