Happy Mother’s Day! Also, happy rubber match against the Brewers. Here’s the Cubs lineup for tonight’s finale at Wrigley Field.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Kris Bryant, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Willson Contreras, C
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- David Bote, 3B
- Daniel Descalso, 2B
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Jon Lester, P
Okay, so there are a few notable bits here. The first and most obvious thing is the absence of Anthony Rizzo. Although Rizzo has basically taken no days off this year, I can’t really imagine Joe Maddon planning on today as the scheduled day off (against the Brewers at home). And now that it’s a rubber match and a mini-battle for first place, a last-minute breather feels wrong, too. The Cubs did play a long, cold, 15-inning game yesterday and Rizzo has dealt with back issues early in each of the last few seasons, but at this point I’m just speculating. I guess I hope it’s just a scheduled day off, but I also hate that idea given how important this game is (for May).
UPDATE: It is, indeed, his back:
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo won't start on Sunday as his back has tightened up, Its a once or twice a year occurrence for him as the Cubs have played a lot of games in cold weather, and after 15 innings on his feet yesterday, Joe Maddon isn't… https://t.co/hDvMQMy4nL
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) May 12, 2019
By contrast, can you believe Willson Contreras is in there again? I both can totally believe it and think it’s nuts. He caught 15 innings yesterday and took 7 plate appearances, but here he is: right back in the starting lineup. He’s an animal. He’s also very good and his presence helps mitigate against the day off for Rizzo.
In Rizzo’s place at first, you’ll find Kris Bryant, who vacates third in favor of David Bote. And that brings us to the final big point of interest: Daniel Descalso’s (ankle) return to the starting lineup. Descalso has appeared in a pinch over the last week or so, but hasn’t been in the starting lineup for a while. It’s good to see him back.
And as usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (6:05 CT).