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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals Free Pass - 8/21/13

Washington Nationals (61-64) at Chicago Cubs (54-71)

MLB Baseball: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm (Wrigley Field)

Ross Ohlendorf (R) (1-0) (1.385) vs. Jake Arrieta (R) (2-2) (4.909)

The Line: Chicago Cubs -107 / Washington Nationals -103 --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals continue their series at Wrigley Field Wednesday.

It's been a very long season for the Nationals as nothing has been easy for the defending National League East champions. Washington will be former division champs as the work on the mound and at the plate that made them one of most feared teams in the game in 2012 hasn't materialized. The Nats mustered just enough scoring to support strong pitching in Tuesday's 4-2 victory at Wrigley Field. Dan Haren continued his hot pitching with one run plated on five hits and no walks, while striking out six over six frames. The bats pounded out 14 hits and walked seven times with four different players driving in runs and three scoring. Washington is scheduled to send Ross Ohlendorf to the mound to face the Cubs for his first start since a sore shoulder put him on the disabled list. Ohlendorf has just ten appearances in 2013 with two being starts.

Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals Free Pass - 8/21/13

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs are a better team but their record says they are not good enough to compete in the National League Central that is being dominated by Cincinnati, St Louis and Pittsburgh. The offense needs a boost and the pitching could use more consistency which has been a problem in previous seasons. The bats failed them Tuesday and the pitching couldn't win on their lonesome with Chris Rusin allowing just two runs on ten hits and two free passes over 5.2 frames that saw him wiggle out of several tough spots. The bats mustered just six hits and failed to draw a walk with Brian Bogusevic and Donnie Murphy clubbing solo homers. Jake Arrieta faces Washington in only his third start since coming over from Baltimore. Arrieta has been outstanding in two outings with one run given up on four hits and five walks in 13 innings.

This is an interesting match up on the mound between two hurlers who have struggled quite often. Arrieta has thrown the ball well in limited opportunities with the Cubs and I guarantee that won't last, but hopefully it lasts one more game...

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