Game Sixty-Three: Cubs (43-19) vs. Nationals (40-24)
- Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ABC-7, MLB Network – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 89, 844
- Location – Nationals Park, Washington DC
John Lackey, RHP (7-2, 2.63/0.92/2.98) vs. Gio Gonzalez, LHP (3-5, 3.93/1.25/3.47)
Joe Maddon gives the ball to John Lackey tonight in the middle game of the series at Nationals Park.
John Lackey makes the 400th start of his big league career and will face a Nationals team out to send a message during this series against the Cubs. Maddon’s team has shown the ability to bounce back following a tough loss for the last calendar year. And there is no reason to think that won’t continue tonight against lefty Gio Gonzalez.
Maddon should run out a right-handed heavy lineup with Gonzalez on the hill. Without Jon Lester scheduled to pitch until Saturday, it would be the right move to have David Ross behind the plate tonight in order to slow down the Nationals running game.
The Cubs must make Gio Gonzalez work early and not allow him to get comfortable or into a rhythm.
Tonight all starts with John Lackey …
John Lackey is coming off his second straight start in which he put nothing but zeros on the board. Lackey pitched 6 2/3 innings of scoreless ball against the Diamondbacks on June 3 and followed up that outing with seven shutout innings against the Phillies in an 8-1 victory in Philly.
John Lackey is 2-0 in his last two starts with a 0.00 ERA and 0.73 WHIP. Lackey has given up eight hits with two walks and 17 strikeouts in his last 13 2/3 innings.
In six road starts this season, Lackey is 3-1 with a 3.72 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. Two of the six starts (Phoenix, Cincinnati) have skewed his numbers outside of Wrigley Field.
John Lackey faced the Nationals at Wrigley on May 6 and picked up the win after the Cubs closed out the 8-6 victory. Lackey allowed two runs on six hits with a walk and 11 strikeouts in seven innings. In five career starts against the Nationals, Lackey is 2-0 with a 3.58 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. At Nationals Park, Lackey owns a 1-0 record in two starts with a 3.95 ERA and 1.24 WHIP.
Nationals Career Numbers against John Lackey
- Jason Werth: 7-for-17 with four doubles, one home run and one walk
- Ben Revere: 1-for-14 with one double
- Bryce Harper: 0-for-7 with two walks
- Daniel Murphy: 4-for-9 with one double
- Ryan Zimmerman: 4-for-9 with one double
- Stephen Drew: 2-for-7
- Danny Espinosa: 0-for-5
- Jose Lobaton: 1-for-5 with one walk
- Wilson Ramos: 1-for-6
- Anthony Rendon: 1-for-4 with one home run and two walks
- Chris Heisey: 0-for-2 with one walk
- Michael Taylor: 0-for-3
- Gio Gonzalez: 0-for-2
Gio Gonzalez has really struggled of late and is coming off a loss to his former organization. The White Sox beat Gonzalez on the South Side five days ago. Gonzalez gave up three runs on five hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in seven innings. The three runs put up by the Sox represented the fewest amount of runs Gonzalez has been charged with since May 18.
Gonzalez is 0-2 in his last two starts with a 5.54 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.
Tonight is Gonzalez’s seventh start of the season at Nationals Park. Gonzalez is 1-3 in the first six with a 4.36 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. And he faces the Cubs for the second time on the season.
For one of the only times in his career, Gonzalez struggled in a start against the Cubs. Back on May 7 at Wrigley, the Cubs scored five runs on seven hits with a walk in 5 2/3 innings. Gonzalez struck out two and received a no decision in an 8-5 win for the Cubs.
Gio Gonzalez is 3-2 in eight career starts against the Cubs with a 3.10 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Gio Gonzalez
- Jason Heyward: 7-for-34 with one double and two walks
- Dexter Fowler: 8-for-17 with one double, one triple, one home run and one walk
- Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-17 with one walk
- Ben Zobrist: 2-for-8 with two doubles and two walks
- David Ross: 2-for-6 with two walks
- Kris Bryant: 2-for-6 with one home run and one walk
- Chris Coghlan: 2-for-6
- Addison Russell: 1-for-3
- Tim Federowicz: 1-for-4
- Miguel Montero: 1-for-3
- Matt Szczur: 0-for-3
- John Lackey: 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …