The Chicago Cubs have lost back-to-back games and are turning to Kyle Hendricks to play stopper in Pittsburgh.
And here’s tonight’s lineup to help him:
- Jon Jay, LF
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Ian Happ, 2B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Victor Caratini, 1B
- Rene Rivera, C
- Kyle Hendricks, P
Well, that’s certainly a lineup.
Against the second-year lefty Steven Brault (who’s making his first start of the season), the Cubs are throwing a whole bunch of righties (and switch-hitters) into the order. By my count, the only natural lefty in there is Jon Jay and he’s a reverse splits guy. As expected, Brault has struggled mightily with righties throughout his career (.391 wOBA), so the matchup looks good.
After Jay is lefty-killer Albert Almora and everybody-killer Kris Bryant. Then, we get to the first two switch-hitters, Ben Zobrist, batting cleanup and playing right field, and Ian Happ, batting fifth and playing second. The biggest news of the day, however, is the guy batting behind them, Javy Baez.
After getting injured on a head first slide on Sunday night, Baez was a late scratch from the lineup yesterday, and had us all wondering when he would return. Fortunately, he needed just one day off and is back in there tonight. He’s slashing .333/.370/.631 (148 wRC+) against lefties this season, so hopefully he can do some damage tonight.
Oh, and Anthony Rizzo is getting the day in favor of the third and final switch-hitter in the Cubs lineup, Victor Caratini, while Rene Rivera takes over for the lefty Alex Avila behind the plate. The Cubs roster is deep, my friends, and they’ve played many games in a row without an off-day. Breathers are necessary.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (6:05 CT).