We’re just hours away from a crucial Game 3 against the Washington Nationals.
Here’s your lineup for that contest:
- Jon Jay, CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jose Quintana, P
As you probably know by now, Max Scherzer has some pretty stark lefty/righty splits this season. So, naturally, the Cubs are cramming a ton of lefties into the order tonight. Except, sigh, it’s still Ben Zobrist in there at second base.
Don’t get me wrong: I have no problem with sitting Javy for today’s game given the matchup, but going with Zobrist, who’s not been 100% healthy for most of this season and, frankly, quite ineffective otherwise, over a slugging Ian Happ, who does well from the left-side and hits for power, or even Tommy La Stella, who handles velocity well and has hit all year long, seems like a confusing move. But maybe we shouldn’t be surprised – Maddon said he was going to go with experience and here we are.
Along the same line, the Cubs are sticking with Willson Contreras behind the plate, instead of going with the lefty Alex Avila, but I have fewer concerns about that one, given Contreras’ all-around abilities.
Hopefully, the rest of the Cubs lefties can pick up the slack and really give Scherzer fits early and often. This isn’t a must-win game, but the emotional swing of Saturday night’s contest combined with a loss this afternoon would be pretty damn devastating. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (3:08 CT).