The Cubs got swept at home by the Nationals this weekend, the first time since last season they’ve failed to win a game in a series at Wrigley. Washington’s grinding offense proved too much for Chicago’s pitching staff and the singles machine rolled.
The sweep dropped the Cubs 2.5 games behind the Cardinals for first place in the Central, a gap that grew by half a game when the Cards blew out the Brewers Monday night. Things don’t get easier as three games with the Mets in New York are next on the schedule. Oh, and they’ll have to go through New York’s three best starters.
The Mets began the second half at 40-51, well out of the playoff race, and the deadline addition of Marcus Stroman to make a run at the postseason was roundly mocked. Then they proceeded to go 27-12 and find themselves just two games back of the Cubs for the second Wild Card.
New York’s offense is lead by sluggers Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto. Alonso has been great all season while Conforto has surged of late. Citi Field has been particularly friendly to them, the Mets are 15-5 at home since the break.
The starting rotation still features dueling aces Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, both of whom the Cubs will face. The bullpen has been a big question mark, especially closer Edwin Diaz and his 5.55 ERA, so the key is to tire the starters early
The Cubs haven’t experienced a great deal of success at Citi Field or Shea Stadium, not that any road series is easy at this point. With a sub-.500 record over their last 95 games and the Cardinals surging, now would be a great time to start changing some trends.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Tuesday, August 27 at 6:10pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago and MLB Network
- Wednesday, August 28 at 6:10pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago
- Thursday, August 29 at 6:10pm CT on ABC-7 and MLB Network
What to Watch For
- Lester has a 5.86 ERA in the month of August and has had several clunkers lately.
- Nicholas Castellanos continues to be the Cubs’ hottest hitter with five hits last weekend.
- Hendricks pitched seven shutout innings in his last outing as his excellent season rolls on.