Given the trajectory of games in the last ten days in particular, here’s hoping the Cubs can put up an extremely crooked number in the top of the first inning so that they don’t enter the second inning in yet another early hole.
Here’s the Cubs lineup that will try to pull it off:
- Kyle Schwarber, DH
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Miguel Montero, C
- Albert Almora, CF
- Jon Jay, LF
The Red Sox are tossing out knuckleballer Steven Wright, who has been very good when effective, and very bad when not (is that a redundant or self-evidencing sentence?). So far this year, it’s not so much effective, as he’s posted an 8.66 ERA and an 8.16 FIP, while batters have homered on 29.2% of their fly balls.
As is pretty much always the case with knuckleballers, when the ball is dancing, hitters will twist themselves silly and get themselves out. When it’s just not moving, it can be like batting practice. For the most part, either way, the Cubs will have to do the work, as Wright doesn’t walk many batters.
Wright doesn’t have much in the way of a career split against lefties and righties, so that’s not much of a consideration today, as he’ll face a pretty even set of each type of batter.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (3:05 CT).