If the Cubs manage to win today’s contest, they’ll have secured five consecutive series victories in the second-half of the season. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Let’s see if these guys can get it done (and without Anthony Rizzo, to boot):
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Jon Jay, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Victor Caratini, 1B
- John Lackey, P
According to multiple reports on Twitter, Anthony Rizzo is out of the Cubs lineup today, because of back soreness. And before any of you break out your most extreme tinfoil hats, note that Rizzo has dealt with back issues here and there over the past few years, so this is nothing new.
We obviously don’t know how long he’ll be out this time around, but in the past it’s sometimes been as short as just a single game. With a late game last night, an early game today, and an off-day tomorrow, I’m fairly confident that Rizzo will be honky dory come Tuesday (remember Maddon always likes to give guys a day off the day before an off-day, so it’s a nice long break).
In his place you’ll find Victor Caratini, the Cubs primary back-up catcher, not Javy Baez (who could’ve covered first, or third, pushing Kris Bryant to first). Perhaps Caratini is going back to the Minors soon and Joe Maddon wanted to get him one more start before that happens. Ian Happ is also out of today’s lineup, as Albert Almora starts his second game of this series.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (1:10 CT).