Happy Independence Day, friends!
I hope you enjoy an afternoon full of hot dogs, chips, fireworks, friends, family, #America and however/whatever else you hope to celebrate.
The Cubs will be celebrating with an afternoon contest at Wrigley Field against the Reds, after a brutal four game sweep at the hands of the Mets.
Kyle Hendricks takes the ball for Chicago, after having just faced these very Reds five days ago. In that match-up, Hendricks took home the win, after allowing just two earned runs on eight hits over 6.2 innings pitched. His ERA, after the game, remained at an excellent 2.76 for the season.
With a lefty on the mound for Cincinnati (Cody Reed), Hendricks will pitch to Willson Contreras, who draws yet another start for Chicago (11 straight at one position or another). In addition, Javy Baez is leading off and playing second base for the Cubs after a blistering month and half. With those two in the lineup (over Miguel Montero and Ben Zobrist), plus Hendricks on the mound and Jeimer Candelario at third base, the Cubs lineup is pretty special:
With Montero/Zobrist sitting & Hendricks on mound, Anthony Rizzo is the oldest person in today's lineup. That's a fact. Average age of 23.8.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) July 4, 2016
It might not be the exact lineup we doodled in our notebooks back in 2012, but holy crap is that a young and exciting group to watch. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than to have a bunch of wild kids wearing blue take on the Red(coat)s at home.
Go America, Go Cubs. Let’s go.
Chicago Cubs (51-30) at Cincinnati Reds (30-53), 1:20 CT on WGN-9, 670 The Score.
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?
Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (R): 2.76 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 3.68 xFIP; 3.32 K/BB
Reds: Cody Reed (L): 9.00 ERA, 6.48 FIP, 3.27 xFIP; 4.00 K/BB
Cincinnati Reds Lineup:
1. Zack Cozart, SS
2. Eugenio Suarez, 3B
3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Jay Bruce, RF
5. Adam Duvall, LF
6. Brandon Phillips, 2B
7. Billy Hamilton, CF
8. Tucker Barnhart, C
9. Cody Reed, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Javy Baez, 2B
2. Kris Bryant, LF
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Willson Contreras, C
5. Addison Russell, SS
6. Jason Heyward, RF
7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
8. Kyle Hendricks, P
9. Albert Almora Jr., CF