Game Seventy-Seven – Cubs (32-44) vs. Nationals (41-36)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 185, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Travis Wood (7-6, 4.55/1.37/4.08) vs. Doug Fister (6-2, 2.65/1.04/4.12)
The Cubs begin a four-game series tonight against the Nationals that will take place over three days. The Cubs and Nationals have a day-night doubleheader scheduled for Saturday. The Cubs will have a rare off day Sunday before beginning a three-game series Monday in Boston.
The Cubs agreed to move Sunday’s game to Saturday (12:05pm CDT) in order to accommodate the Pride Parade as part of the Ricketts family commitment to be good neighbors.
For the first time in a month, the Cubs begin a series at Wrigley with a sub-.500 home record. The Cubs enter play tonight against the first place Nationals with a 17-18 record at Wrigley after losing back-to-back series to the Pirates and Reds. The Cubs are 2-4 over the first six games of the 10-game homestand that wraps up Saturday night with the last of four against the Nationals.
The Cubs were 3-4 in the seven games with the Nationals a year ago.
The Cubs offense will not get a break over the next three days after dealing with the Pirates and Reds pitching staffs. Following tonight’s matchup of Travis Wood and Doug Fister, Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Tanner Roark in game two Friday afternoon. Dallas Beeler makes his big league debut in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against lefty Gio Gonzalez and the series concludes Saturday night with Jeff Samardzija facing Jordan Zimmermann.
The Cubs will see plenty of the Nationals over the two weeks. Seven of the Cubs next 10 games are against Matt Williams’ team. The Cubs travel to the Nation’s Capital next weekend and will spend the Fourth of July at Nationals Park.
The four-game series, in three days, all starts with Travis Wood …
After putting together his best start of the season and hitting a game winning double in the 13th inning in Miami, Travis Wood struggled against the Pirates last Saturday following the rain delay and he could not complete five innings. Wood could not finish off the Mighty Bucs and it cost both him and his team. Wood gave up three runs on four this with three walks and four strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.
Other than his outing against the Pirates, Travis Wood has pitched rather well at Wrigley this season. Wood is 3-2 in seven home starts with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. Wood makes only his second career start against the Nationals tonight.
Travis Wood received a no decision in the game he started against the Nationals last Aug. 22 at Wrigley Field. Wood gave up four runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. The Cubs lost the game 5-4.
The Nationals Career Numbers against Travis Wood
The Cubs will get their first look at Doug Fister tonight. Fister was acquired from the Tigers last winter and after missing the first month of the season he has been very good this year.
The Nationals are 7-2 in games started by Doug Fister and he is coming off an eight-inning shutout. Fister walked only one of the free swinging Atlanta Braves while striking out three. Fister is 3-1 in his last four starts with a 1.93 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.
Outside of Nationals Park, Doug Fister is 2-2 in five starts this season with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.
Ryan Sweeney (4-for-10 with two doubles and three walks), Luis Valbuena (2-for-8), Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3) and Chris Coghlan (1-for-1) are the only players on the Cubs active roster with at bats against Doug Fister in a regular season big league ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …