September 3 – 6, 2012; @ Nationals – Series Preview

Long time no see as the Cubs travel to Washington to take on the Nationals.  When the two teams last met it was the opening series of the 2012 season, the Cubs were unsure of what the beginning of the build would look like, and the Nationals were a young upstart bunch.  Fast forward five months and the Cubs are now feeling what’s it’s like to begin the process of building a perennial contender and the Nationals sit atop Major League baseball as the best team in the land.  The Nationals are hurtling towards the finish, but the focus is on what or should I say who will not be with them as they descend on the postseason.  I’m talking about Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals ace, who will make his last start on September 12, and miss the postseason because the organization wants to be cautious with him.  To each their own, not sure I agree with it, but I understand it, I guess.  The Cubs will miss Strasburg but will have to deal with the rest of a pitching staff that has buzzed its way through the National League.  They will also have to deal with a Washington offensive attack that now features a rookie that won’t turn twenty years old until the playoffs are in progress.  Bryce Harper has given the Nats a jolt and made them one of the most exciting teams in baseball, it’s up to the Cubs to temper that enthusiasm and slow down this well oiled machine.

Here are the four game series pitching matchups.

Monday September 3, 2012
Cubs: Jeff Samardzija (8-12, 4.03 ERA)
Washington: Ross Detwiler (8-6, 3.32 ERA)

Tuesday September 4, 2012
Cubs: Chris Rusin (0-1, 1.80 ERA)
Washington: Edwin Jackson (8-9, 3.53 ERA)

Wednesday September 5, 2012
Cubs: Chris Volstad (2-9, 6.06 ERA)
Washington: Gio Gonzalez (17-7, 3.10 ERA)

Thursday September 6, 2012
Cubs: Justin Germano (2-5, 5.52 ERA)
Washinton: Jordan Zimmermann (9-8, 3.01 ERA)

Season Series:  Nationals lead 2-1

Prediction:  Nationals Win Series 3-1

Thanks for reading,
– George

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