Cubs Place Addison Russell on 10-Day Disabled List

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The Cubs (57-50) are again that risky contender, surging and back in first place in the National League Central in time to host the Nationals (63-43) at Wrigley Field for one of the season's most anticipated series - and quite possibly a National League Division Series preview.

All the damage against Hendricks was done by Nationals second baseman and Cubs nemesis Daniel Murphy, a one-man wrecking crew as he hit a two-run homer in the first inning and a solo shot in the sixth. Reliever Enny Romero (back) is the latest Nationals pitcher to go on the disabled list, and the Nationals called up Sammy Solis to take his place on the roster.

Below are three things to keep in mind when two of baseball's marquee clubs clash on the North Side this weekend.

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Cubs are -150 money line favorites versus the Nationals, who have odds of +130 to pull off the upset again in Chicago. Beyond that, at least publicly, it's unknown who will be next because as of Thursday night, Washington's starters for Saturday and Sunday were listed as TBA.

"Pitch efficiency is much better", Hendricks said.

Jackson, who hasn't pitched since Sunday, will nearly definitely get the nod one of the two days.

Roark was, however, putting men on base, six of them in those first six innings.

Baker made a decision to give Scherzer at least an extra day rather than have him pitch Sunday after the righthander exited Tuesday night's game against Florida because of neck spasms.

That's where Fedde comes in.

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Baker also performed some fancy footwork for the series finale, replacing two-time Cy Young Award victor Max Scherzer with right-hander Erick Fedde.

Manager Dusty Baker chose to give Scherzer at least an extra day rather than have him pitch Sunday after the right-hander exited Tuesday's game against Florida because of neck spasms.

"That's not been part of the issue", he said. The Nationals can afford to be cautious with the defending Cy Young Award victor, and may choose to be. Cubs board member Todd Ricketts may have announced it prematurely in June when he told President Trump "We're going to run into these guys (Nationals) in the playoffs and you'll come down and you'll see them crumble". They have made some good trades and they're a good team and have been killing it all year.

The Cubs play day games almost every Friday and Saturday.

Cubs RHP John Lackey (8-9, 4.87 ERA) looks to improve to 4-0 since the All-Star break when he starts Saturday, while RHP Edwin Jackson (2-1, 2.84) gets the ball for Washington in Gonzalez's place. Jackson scattered four hits and a pair of walks on the night.

Tanner Roark (9-7) limited the Cubs to five hits, the last a two-run homer in the seventh by Javy Baez. They scored seven runs in the three games - one in the sixth inning Monday and six in the second inning Tuesday.

Counting the postseason, Murphy is 20-for-38 with four home runs in his last 10 games at Wrigley.

After Baez cut the lead to one in the seventh with his 15th home run, Brian Kintzler got the final two outs of the inning. "It's hard to throw up that many zeros against us..." It's not saying we're not winning because of that.

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