great american ballparkThe Cubs go for the sweep in Cincinnati behind Jason Hammel, who would undoubtedly like to close out his season with a strong outing. It’s been an ugly second half for Hammel, who went from borderline All-Star to playoff rotation question mark. He’s got the ability and the stuff to be very, very good. We’ve seen it many times.

The lineup is a little wonky today, what with a lefty on the mound for the Reds and a day game after a night game on get-away day. The most interesting part is Kyle Schwarber behind the plate, something Joe Maddon had previously said he didn’t see Schwarber doing the rest of the way after his side injury. Good to see that he’ll get a chance back there, because it’s so valuable for the Cubs to know, going into the playoffs, that they have a freebie third catcher on the roster for emergencies (example: a Jon Lester start with David Ross behind the plate, and then later on perhaps you want to bring in Miguel Montero). Schwarber did make a very brief catching appearance last week, but a start is a whole other animal.

I love, by the way, that the Cubs can sport an “against lefty” lineup that doesn’t feature Kris Bryant or Jorge Soler, and it still looks like a decent lineup. DEPTH FTW.

Game Info

Cincinnati Reds (63-95) at Chicago Cubs (93-65), 11:35 CT on CSN, MLBN, and

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun.

The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Jason Hammel (3.86 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 3.53 xFIP; 4.18 K/BB)


John Lamb (5.40 ERA, 4.05 FIP, 3.64 xFIP; 3.25 K/BB)

Cincinnati Reds Lineup

1. Jason Bourgeois, LF

2. Joey Votto, 1B

3. Brandon Phillips, 2B

4. Jay Bruce, RF

5. Todd Frazier, 3B

6. Eugenio Suarez, SS

7. Tucker Barnhart, C

8. Tyler Holt, CF

9. John Lamb, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Austin Jackson, RF

3. Starlin Castro, 2B

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Chris Denorfia, LF

6. Javier Baez, 3B

7. Kyle Schwarber, C

8. Jason Hammel, P

9. Addison Russell, SS

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