The Cubs’ bats came around too late to win last night, although they did hit the ball fairly well throughout. Perhaps that “hitting the ball well” thing has informed tonight’s lineup? Some of the recent changes have stuck for another day at least.
Here’s the lineup for that contest:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ian Happ, CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jon Lester, P
There it is, a lineup against a righty starter, with Ben Zobrist leading off and Kyle Schwarber batting second. Johnny Cueto historically is pretty split neutral, so there’s no funky reason there to explain away the top of the order as a one-off thing. Instead, this looks like a new top of the order. For now.
In the middle, Ian Happ returns after getting the night off last night (well, he didn’t start, anyway), and here’s hoping his bat once again sparks some offense.
Willson Contreras starts behind the plate, as he does for Jon Lester, and interestingly, it’s Ben Zobrist at second base. I believe that’s the first time anyone other than Javy Baez has started at second for Lester this year, though maybe I missed one or two. Baez’s tagging ability and sublime infield defense were good reasons to have him in, but if you want Happ and Jason Heyward in the lineup, then you pretty much have to choose between Baez and Zobrist. Given the way Zobrist is swinging the bat (more on that later), you can’t take him out right now.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (6:05pm CT). In the meantime, maybe a little treat-yo-self situation, as there’s a 20% off sale at the Official MLB Shop: