Game #78 Stephen Strasburg and Lackey as season inches closer to the midway point!

This weekend is the mathematical halfway point of the 162 game regular season after Saturday night’s game. Onward to tonight is the 3rd game of this 4-game series with the Chicago Cubs. The winner of tonight’s game at the very least has earned a series split.

The Washington Nationals pitch Stephen Strasburg and the Cubs have the struggling John Lackey going tonight.

After last night’s game, the Cubs had a clubhouse issue after the Nats ran wild on Miguel Montero who placed much of the blame on his now ex-teammate Jake Arrieta. We say ex-teammate because the team immediately shot back and released Montero. No anonymous sources, no un-named gossip, none of that. Montero just expressed how he felt to the media in the post-game yesterday, and now he is an ex-Cub, separated from his teammates who he sprayed with champagne just 8 months ago as the World Series champs. Losing causes issues in the clubhouse no matter what happened last year as players live in the here and now. Ken Rosenthal reports issues with personnel in the San Francisco Giants bullpen, and you hear that there could be some clubhouse issues with the Mets and Asdrubal Cabrera and the Phillies with Freddy Galvis. Losing causes stress, and maybe there is some honor in putting your name to the issues even if it leads to a loss of your job. Some players are just complainers and whiners, and most of the media members know who those players are and don’t bother reporting it unless a player is willing to put their name to the story. Some media outlets won’t use un-named sources.

Here are the Nats stats against John Lackey:

In the last 15 days, Ryan Zimmerman has had his struggles slashing .205/.250/.250/.500 while batting .275 over the last month. Zimmerman overall still has some lofty stats and is batting .340 based on his en fuego month of April when he batted .420. Contrast those numbers with Michael Taylor who is making hay when the sun shines in the 8-hole in the order and the last 2 weeks Taylor is slashing .366/ .381/ .854/ 1.235.

What we learned from TN member AllFoNats is that MAT has some very large gaps in his home/road stats this year:

The one thing we know is Michael Taylor also hits well in front of his family in Florida. While sample sizes are small, there might be something to “Home” versus being away from home(s).

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), Comcast (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. Stephen Strasburg RHP
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