The Cubs head to Pittsburgh for REVENGEANCE.
… or something like that.
Here’s the Cubs’ lineup trying to do whatever that word was:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, CF
- Miguel Montero, C
- Brett Anderson, P
- Javy Baez, 2B
Ben Zobrist is slides out to right field to accommodate Javy Baez at second base, which I never actively hate (especially with a groundball pitcher gong for the Cubs), though it would have been a good day to get Tommy La Stella a start if he were still on the roster – Pirates starter Chad Kuhl has been treated very un-Kuhl by lefties so far in his big league career, getting thumped by them to the tune of a .291/.367/.510 line. Righties, by contrast, are hitting just .222/.284/.340. Then again, if Baez is going to evolve into a full-time player, he’s going to need to start hitting tough righties – and the only way he’s going to improve on that front is with exposure and in-game reps. He’ll bat 9th this time around, so perhaps he’ll at least see slightly better pitches ahead of the top of the order.
Meanwhile, these games in PNC were targeted for mentions by Joe Maddon in the spring as possible times when you could see Kyle Schwarber swinging over to right field. Left field is large and challenging at PNC, whereas right field is much smaller. Zobrist has developed some familiarity with right field this year, though, and perhaps, overall, that was the better way to sort things in the outfield. Either way, Jason Heyward will be expected to cover a lot of ground tonight, and Brett Anderson would do well – as always – to keep the ball on the ground.
Miguel Montero starts his second game in a row, getting that extra lefty bat in there.
As usual we’ll have a full Pre-Gamin’ for you closer to game time at 6:05pm CT.
In the meantime, enjoy Addison Russell’s latest web gem, and dream on the plays he’ll make tonight.