After yet another disappointing – though hard-fought – series loss to their division-rival Atlanta Braves, the Washington Nationals (60-63) will head north for a contest against a less formidable foe: the Chicago Cubs (53-70).
With the second-worst record in the National League, the Cubs are much farther out of the postseason equation than even the Nationals, who are hanging on to their October dream by the skin of their teeth.
The Cubs have won only one series in August, and have a 4-12 record this month.
The Nationals are likely in need of a pick-me-up after their poor showing in Atlanta, and a significantly less challenging portion of their schedule stretching over the next four weeks could be just the remedy for boosting their morale – and their record – to that of a winning team. The Nats will renew the effort for .500 with this four-game set in Chicago.
The Newest National
The Nationals announced on Monday that they had acquired a new outfielder in exchange for a player to be named, and had released six-year Nat Roger Bernadina.
Their newest addition – David DeJesus – won’t have far to travel, as his first series with Washington will happen against his former team at Wrigley Field.
DeJesus, an 11-year veteran who is hitting .250, is projected to assist the Nationals’ struggling bench, which is batting a collective .188.
In The Zone
Jayson Werth (RF) .417 AVG, .481 OBP, .542 SLG, 2 SB (last six games)
Donnie Murphy (SS) .316 AVG, .409 OBP, .526 SLG, 1 HR (last six games)
Nate Schierholtz (RF) .238 AVG, .227 OBP, .429 SLG, 1 HR (last six games)
Starlin Castro (SS) .053 AVG, .100 OBP, .053 SLG, 7 SO (last six games)
Anthony Rizzo (1B) .100 AVG, .250 OBP, .100 SLG, 5 SO (last six games)
8/19, Jordan Zimmermann (14-6, 3.02 ERA, .235 BAA, 116 SO) vs. Jeff Samardzija (6-11, 4.29 ERA, .252 BAA, 163 SO)
8/20, Dan Haren (7-11, 4.79 ERA, .271 BAA, 111 SO) vs. Chris Rusin (2-2, 3.06 ERA, .230 BAA, 21 SO)
8/21, Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 1.85 ERA, .208 BAA, 29 SO) vs. Jake Arrieta (2-2, 0.69 ERA, .095 BAA, 9 SO)
8/22, Stephen Strasburg (6-9, 2.93 ERA, .209 BAA, 154 SO) vs. Travis Wood (7-10, 3.13 ERA, .213 BAA, 112 SO)