Joe Ross made his MLB debut on Saturday and though he did fairly well, he picked up the loss after he allowed 3 earned runs. The young right hander lasted 5 innings, allowed 6 hits, 3 runs, struck out 4 and walked none. For a Major League debut it was a very positive thing to see. Harper hit his 19th home run of the season in the 9th inning and Ramos hit his 4th earlier in the game. Unfortunately, Hammel did what he always seems to do against the Nationals. He went 8 innings, allowed 2 runs, and struck out 7 all while walking only 2. Hammel just has the Nationals number for whatever reason. The Nationals will send Jordan Zimmermann to the mound on Sunday and if there is one guy that can help to get the team back on track it is him. Kyle Hendricks will oppose Zimmermann as the Cubs attempt to win the series.
Kyle Hendricks has done a pretty good job for the Cubs so far this season, so he will likely be a tough customer for the Nationals. The last time the Nationals faced Hendricks, he went 7 innings, allowed 1 run, and struck out 4 to pick up the win. Hendricks' last 3 starts have all been quite good, so he is on a good streak, though he did allow 4 runs in his last start. Hendricks has hardly faced the Nationals at all, but the few plate appearances they've had against the Cubs pitcher they've not done too well.
Hendricks vs. Current Nationals
Jordan Zimmermann has been doing great this season. He had a little bit of a slow start, but he is certainly cruising now. 10 of Zimmermann's starts this season have seen him go until at least the 6th inning and his last start he went 8 frames and allowed no runs. Zimmermann gives fits to anyone he faces when he takes the mound and given the Nationals recent stroke of bad luck, it seems fair to say the Nationals will have their best foot forward with the right hander on the hill. The Cubs have 124 plate appearances against Zimmermann, but they haven't done too bad against him.
Zimmermann vs. Current Cubs