Both the Nationals and Cubs fans can find reasons to complain amidst great seasons by both teams, but this season is only 40% complete now and 60% to go in the regular season. Much can change, and there will certainly be much to complain about because that is what most sport’s fans do. Both fanbases can see this series as a vision of things to come.
The Cubs have had more to complain about than almost any franchise in sports history, and they have symbols of that lengthy history of losing with Goats and Bartman. They blame certain players and even their former manager Dusty Baker as a scapegoat for seasons gone wrong. They blew up the ‘Bartman’ ball, but the ball that lost them that game in 2003 still exists.
‘Trust’ only goes so far. The Cubs fans trust few and have a unique frustration in a code in the Latin words “EAMUS CATULI! AC0871108” posted in large letters on a blue background on the left side of the upper facade of the Lakeview Baseball Club building, 3633 N. Sheffield Avenue, just beyond Wrigley Field’s right field bleachers. Translated to “Let’s go young animals” and it’s supposed to mean “Let’s Go Cubs” with the last 3 numbers 108 is supposed to mean it has been 108 years since the Cubs won their last World Series. Tell your friendly Cubs fan sitting by you that we have all waited a long time.
If these two teams meet after today in a game, it means good things for both teams as that would signify they are playing in the post-season. Today is the last scheduled regular season game between the Cubs and the Nationals in 2016.
Let’s talk about today. Stephen Strasburg will face the Cubs for the first time since 2013, and more specifically August 22, 2013 when the Nationals won 5-4. Much has changed since then when you consider the Nationals manager was Davey Johnson and the Cubs manager was Dale Sveum.
Times have changed, and some would say Strasburg is much better than his former self. Surprisingly, the stats say Jason Hammel is at the best point ever in his career. His 2.36 ERA is better than half of what it was just 3 years ago, and more than 2.00 points better than his career average ERA of 4.39. It is hard to explain how Hammel is enjoying the best season of his career at the age where you start to see age regression as he is almost 34 years old.
Here are the Nats stats against Jason Hammel:
Here is Stephen Strasburg’s stats against the Cubs:
Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
1st Pitch: 4:05pm EDT
TV: MASN, WGN-Chicago, MLB.tv
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Ben Revere CF
- Jayson Werth LF
- Bryce Harper RF
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Wilson Ramos C
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Danny Espinosa SS
- Stephen Strasburg RHP
Happy Birthday Dusty Baker. Don’t tell us your birthday wish.
Happy birthday, Dusty. We hope it's magical. pic.twitter.com/ZWHF5HeXLI
— #VoteNats (@Nationals) June 15, 2016