Game 31 lineups: Nats at Cubs

CHICAGO - Though they've lost three straight and are in danger of getting swept out of Wrigley Field, in a strange way the Nationals are actually encouraged by the way they've played here against the Cubs. No, they haven't played perfect baseball, but they've played good baseball against a team that pretty much has been perfect through the season's first five weeks.

"It's good that we're sticking right there with them," center fielder Ben Revere said after yesterday's 8-5 loss. "To the folks back at home in D.C. and wherever, know that everything is going well for them, but we're still right there."

You'll have to decide if you're willing to accept that glass-half-full mindset or not. Just know that the sentiment coming out of the Nationals clubhouse is sincere.

As for today's series finale ... well, as if the task wasn't already tough enough, now the Nats have to try to beat the best pitcher in baseball over the last calendar year: Jake Arrieta. The Cubs ace and reigning Cy Young Award winner is merely 6-0 with an 0.84 ERA through his first six starts this season, one of them a no-hitter.

The Nationals will have to manufacture runs the way they did yesterday, then get a top-notch effort from Illinois native Tanner Roark (who should have plenty of family and friends in the stands) and their defense to pull this one out ...

Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago
Gametime: 2:20 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, XM 869,
Weather: Partly cloudy, 66 degrees, wind 5 mph out to left field

tanner-roark-red-sidebar.jpgNATIONALS (19-11)
CF Ben Revere
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
2B Daniel Murphy
LF Jayson Werth
C Wilson Ramos
SS Danny Espinosa
RHP Tanner Roark

CUBS (23-6)
CF Dexter Fowler
RF Jason Heyward
3B Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
2B Ben Zobrist
LF Jorge Soler
SS Addison Russell
C Tim Federowicz
RHP Jake Arrieta

Pregame news and notes from Wrigley Field
What happened on Gio Gonzalez's botched safety squ...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to