Game #77 The battle of the Cy Young pitchers: Max Scherzer and Jake Arrieta

The 2016 Cy Young winner in the NL will face the 2015 Cy Young winner in the NL tonight in Nationals Park. Yes, that’s right Max Scherzer and Jake Arrieta on national television in a much-hyped match-up, but does it really deserve hype given Arrieta’s fall to below average standards? Arrieta’s ERA is at 4.36, and his inconsistencies have been apparent. Max Scherzer leads the Majors in ERA and most categories with 145 strikeouts this season and a 2.09 ERA.

The Nats greeted Arrieta rudely last May in Chicago and hope to do the same again tonight in Washington, D.C. when the Nats get their chances. We will see if there will be any line-up maneuvers for either team. Joe Maddon is known to mix it up as he will move players around like he has done the past week using both Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras to lead-off and Kris Bryant to play both corner outfield spots last night. Dusty Baker is not as quick with change even though some change might have been good last night.

Today is a new day, and it is time for Ryan Zimmerman to silence the doubters who think Joe Maddon is inside his head. 

Here are the Nats match-ups against Arrieta:

The Nationals acquired Francisco Rodriguez a.k.a. “K-Rod” as a free agent yesterday and he will be officially assigned to the Triple-A Syracuse on a minor league deal. There most likely is an opt-out clause in his contract if he is not called up.

Sammy Solis pitched last night for Syracuse and did not have a good night giving up 3 hits and 1 earned run. The Nationals indicated to Solis that he would be activated shortly, but last night’s outing surely won’t help his cause.

Trevor Gott has not pitched in 9-days and our sources said he will sit again tonight as he waits for his arm to feel 100%. The minor league DL is only 7-days but the team decided to give him rest for 10 days and play a man short for that entire period. Gott had a 52 pitch outing for the Nationals two weeks ago and was optioned back to Triple-A Syracuse where he sat for 3 days initially and did not pitch well. Gott has only pitched that one time since going back to Syracuse.

Koda Glover is still receiving treatment for his ailing back and he has not started a throwing program. Jayson Werth will not return until after the All-Star break, and he will head to the West Palm Beach facility shortly. There is also no timetable for Chris Heisey or Shawn Kelley.

Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
1st Pitch:  7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, MLB Network (out-of-market), ABC7 (Chicago), MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® XM 183 Sirius 216 (Internet 869)

Line-ups (subject to change without notice):

  1. Trea Turner SS
  2. Brian Goodwin LF
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  5. Daniel Murphy 2B
  6. Anthony Rendon 3B
  7. Matt Wieters C
  8. Michael Taylor CF
  9. Max Scherzer RHP
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