Series Preview: Chicago Cubs (13-21) @ Washington Nationals (19-15)

Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Coming off of four straight wins, including a mini-sweep over the Detroit Tigers, the Washington Nationals now face the Chicago Cubs who are in last place in the NL Central. Will the Nationals continue their winning ways, or will their struggles against the Central Division continue...

The Chicago Cubs make their way to Washington for a three-game series against the Nationals. Among the storylines will no doubt be the return of Edwin Jackson who has struggled to start the season for his new team. Unlike Dan Haren, however, Jackson has yet to rebound. Maybe a visit to Nationals Park can allow him to do that. It is also the return of Alfonso Soriano, although not his first return. Soriano has been hitting the ball well lately and has found himself in the 'Hot' column below. With Jayson Werth's nagging injuries, you wonder if there isn't a spot in Washington for the former National. (This may or may not have been serious... Discuss below in the comments!)

Probable Pitchers
Friday, 7:05 p.m.
WSH: Ross Detwiler (1-3, 2.50 ERA)
CHC: Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.09 ERA)

Saturday, 4:05 p.m.
WSH: Stephen Strasburg (1-4,3.45 ERA)
CHC: Edwin Jackson (0-5, 6.39 ERA)

Sunday, 1:35 p.m.
WSH: Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.97 ERA)
CHC: Scott Feldman (3-3, 2.70 ERA)

Projected Cubs Lineup (via MLB Depth Charts)
CF David DeJesus
SS Starlin Castro
1B Anthony Rizzo
LF Alfonso Soriano
RF Nate Schierholtz vs RHP
C Welington Castillo
3B Luis Valbuena vs RHP
2B Darwin Barney

BENCH
C Dioner Navarro
IF Cody Ransom 3B vs LHP
OF Julio Borbon
OF Scott Hairston RF vs LHP
OF Ryan Sweeney

BULLPEN
RHP Kevin Gregg
RHP Kyuji Fujikawa
LHP James Russell
RHP Carlos Marmol
RHP Michael Bowden
RHP Hector Rondon
RHP Shawn Camp

WASHINGTON NATIONALS


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Bryce Harper 33 116 22 35 6 1 10 21 16 23 1 2 .302 .383 .629
Denard Span 31 122 13 35 5 2 0 11 12 19 5 1 .287 .356 .361
Ian Desmond 34 132 15 36 11 2 4 12 3 34 4 1 .273 .285 .477
Jayson Werth 27 100 17 26 2 0 4 10 6 21 2 0 .260 .308 .400
Wilson Ramos 11 39 4 10 2 0 2 6 4 5 0 1 .256 .326 .462
Anthony Rendon 8 25 2 6 1 0 0 1 5 7 0 0 .240 .367 .280
Ryan Zimmerman 20 71 9 17 2 2 1 12 10 21 1 0 .239 .337 .366
Kurt Suzuki 23 67 6 16 4 1 2 7 9 10 1 0 .239 .333 .418
Steve Lombardozzi 26 52 2 12 3 0 0 4 2 4 0 0 .231 .259 .288
Gio Gonzalez 7 9 1 2 0 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 .222 .300 .556
Dan Haren 7 14 1 3 1 0 0 1 0 5 0 0 .214 .214 .286
Adam LaRoche 31 102 11 20 3 0 3 10 14 35 1 0 .196 .291 .314
Danny Espinosa 28 99 9 19 8 0 3 10 3 23 1 0 .192 .229 .364
Jhonatan Solano 3 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .167 .167 .167
Tyler Moore 20 43 4 7 4 0 1 8 2 21 0 0 .163 .196 .326
Stephen Strasburg 7 13 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 .154 .154 .231
Chad Tracy 19 34 0 5 0 0 0 2 3 11 0 1 .147 .216 .147
Roger Bernadina 21 31 4 4 0 0 0 1 2 12 0 0 .129 .206 .129
Jordan Zimmermann 7 16 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 .063 .063 .063
Ross Detwiler 6 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 10 0 0 .000 .083 .000
Craig Stammen 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Drew Storen 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Ryan Mattheus 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Tyler Clippard 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Rafael Soriano 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Henry Rodriguez 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Zach Duke 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Jordan Zimmermann 6-1 7 7 2 1 0 0 51.0 33 9 9 2 9 34 1.59 .82
Rafael Soriano 0-0 16 0 0 0 12 1 16.0 11 4 4 2 3 13 2.25 .88
Craig Stammen 2-1 9 0 0 0 0 1 14.2 11 4 4 1 4 17 2.45 1.02
Ross Detwiler 1-3 6 6 0 0 0 0 36.0 42 12 10 3 8 21 2.50 1.39
Ryan Mattheus 0-0 11 0 0 0 0 1 13.0 15 4 4 0 3 11 2.77 1.38
Tyler Clippard 2-1 14 0 0 0 0 0 13.1 6 5 5 1 10 13 3.38 1.20
Stephen Strasburg 1-4 7 7 0 0 0 0 44.1 38 21 17 5 13 44 3.45 1.15
Henry Rodriguez 0-0 10 0 0 0 0 0 9.2 5 4 4 1 9 7 3.72 1.45
Drew Storen 0-0 12 0 0 0 0 1 12.1 16 8 6 2 1 13 4.38 1.38
Gio Gonzalez 3-2 7 7 0 0 0 0 38.0 31 21 21 5 20 41 4.97 1.34
Dan Haren 4-3 7 7 0 0 0 0 38.1 51 26 22 8 6 27 5.17 1.49
Zach Duke 0-0 8 0 0 0 0 0 14.1 18 12 10 2 4 10 6.28 1.53



Washington Nationals Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Jayson Werth ankle 05/10/2013



NL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Atlanta 21 13 .617 0 Won 2
Washington 19 15 .558 2 Won 4
New York 14 17 .451 5.5 Won 1
Philadelphia 16 20 .444 6 Lost 2
Miami 10 25 .285 11.5 Lost 3

(updated 5.10.2013 at 2:08 PM EDT)



CHICAGO CUBS


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Cody Ransom 9 24 4 9 2 0 3 4 3 9 0 0 .375 .444 .833
Welington Castillo 26 95 8 29 6 0 1 7 1 29 1 0 .305 .347 .400
Nate Schierholtz 31 97 14 29 12 0 4 17 6 15 4 1 .299 .343 .546
Alfonso Soriano 32 123 13 34 7 0 3 10 5 24 4 1 .276 .310 .407
David DeJesus 32 106 18 29 10 1 4 8 11 16 2 0 .274 .342 .500
Luis Valbuena 29 89 9 24 4 0 5 13 16 17 1 0 .270 .387 .483
Anthony Rizzo 34 130 18 35 10 0 9 25 13 34 4 2 .269 .349 .554
Starlin Castro 34 145 18 39 6 1 3 15 5 25 2 1 .269 .293 .386
Julio Borbon 17 20 3 5 1 0 0 0 3 2 2 1 .250 .348 .300
Alberto Gonzalez 11 23 3 5 1 0 1 2 2 6 0 0 .217 .269 .391
Ryan Sweeney 3 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .200 .200 .200
Dioner Navarro 19 43 4 8 1 0 3 7 3 4 0 1 .186 .239 .419
Dave Sappelt 20 45 3 8 2 0 0 1 3 9 2 0 .178 .229 .222
Carlos Villanueva 7 17 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 9 0 0 .176 .176 .176
Darwin Barney 20 68 5 10 4 0 1 3 10 8 1 0 .147 .275 .250
Travis Wood 9 14 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 5 1 0 .143 .200 .143
Scott Feldman 6 15 1 2 1 0 0 2 0 5 0 0 .133 .133 .200
Scott Hairston 23 38 3 5 1 0 3 7 1 6 1 0 .132 .167 .395
Steve Clevenger 8 8 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 .125 .222 .125
Brent Lillibridge 9 24 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 9 0 0 .042 .042 .042
Jeff Samardzija 7 12 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 9 0 0 .000 .077 .000
Edwin Jackson 7 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Kevin Gregg 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Shawn Camp 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Michael Bowden 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Hector Rondon 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Hisanori Takahashi 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
James Russell 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Carlos Marmol 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Kyuji Fujikawa 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Rafael Dolis 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Kameron Loe 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Rafael Dolis 0-0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1.2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0.00 1.20
Kevin Gregg 0-0 9 0 0 0 5 0 8.1 3 0 0 0 4 10 0.00 .84
James Russell 0-0 18 0 0 0 0 2 13.1 10 1 1 0 2 16 0.68 .90
Travis Wood 3-2 9 7 0 0 0 0 46.1 29 13 12 4 14 34 2.33 .93
Scott Feldman 3-3 6 6 1 0 0 0 36.2 27 18 11 5 14 27 2.70 1.12
Carlos Villanueva 1-2 7 7 0 0 0 0 47.2 34 16 16 5 14 35 3.02 1.01
Jeff Samardzija 1-4 7 7 0 0 0 0 43.2 34 17 15 4 17 52 3.09 1.17
Michael Bowden 1-2 13 0 0 0 0 1 14.2 12 7 7 0 5 6 4.30 1.16
Hector Rondon 0-0 9 0 0 0 0 1 10.2 10 6 6 1 7 8 5.06 1.59
Carlos Marmol 2-2 16 0 0 0 2 2 14.0 13 8 8 2 13 12 5.14 1.86
Kameron Loe 0-0 7 0 0 0 0 0 8.1 12 5 5 3 4 4 5.40 1.92
Hisanori Takahashi 0-0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3.0 3 2 2 1 2 3 6.00 1.67
Edwin Jackson 0-5 7 7 0 0 0 0 38.0 44 32 27 2 18 39 6.39 1.63
Shawn Camp 1-1 16 0 0 0 0 2 12.1 18 11 11 2 5 9 8.03 1.86
Kyuji Fujikawa 1-0 5 0 0 0 2 1 4.1 8 6 6 0 1 4 12.46 2.08



Chicago Cubs Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kyuji Fujikawa forearm 05/10/2013

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Arodys Vizcaino elbow 03/27/2013
Steve Clevenger oblique 04/14/2013



NL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
St. Louis 21 12 .636 0 Won 1
Cincinnati 19 16 .542 3 Lost 1
Pittsburgh 18 16 .529 3.5 Lost 2
Milwaukee 15 17 .468 5.5 Lost 1
Chicago 13 21 .382 8.5 Lost 1

(updated 5.10.2013 at 2:09 PM EDT)



TEMPERATURE CHECK (Last 7 Days)

Who's Hot

Anthony Rizzo (CHC): 11/24 (.458/.519/.750), 4 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 K
Alfonso Soriano (CHC): 7/20 (.350/.409/.750), 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI
Adam LaRoche (WSH): 8/14 (.571/.650/.643), 1 2B, 5 BB, 4 K
Roger Bernadina (WSH): 3/9 (.333/.455/.333), 1 BB, 3 K

Who's Cold

Darwin Barney (CHC): 0/17 (.000/.105/.000), 2 BB, 2 K
Starlin Castro (CHC): 5/25 (.200/.259/.240), 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K
Bryce Harper (WSH): 3/17 (.176/.167/.353), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6 K
Ian Desmond (WSH): 3/21 (.143/.136/.143), 2 RBI, 5 K

MATCHUPS TO WATCH

Nationals Bullpen vs Chicago's Bullpen

The Cubs bullpen has seen three different closers - Gregg, Fujikawa and Marmol - this season as they deal with bad performances and injuries. Gregg has been a closer before, but mostly with teams that had no other choice. The Cubs aren't close to contending so it's not something that will make a big difference, but this Cubs bullpen is in rebuilding mode much like the rest of their team. Washington's bullpen has improved somewhat after a shaky start, but have allowed teams back in games even in games they ended up winning. Yesterday Rafael Soriano was a few feet away from blowing another save, but the ball just stayed in the park.

Nationals Pitching vs Rizzo/Soriano

Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano aren't Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder but still are on very hot streaks. The Cubs offense passes through these two. If the Nationals can get through this series with limited damage from Rizzo and Soriano they should be winning more often than not.

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