The Cubs lost a bit of a heart-breaker (or is it a dong punch?) against the Phillies last night, which means they need to win tonight to keep the hopes of a series victory alive. Here’s the lineup.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Daniel Desclaso, 2B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jose Quintana, P
Although I’m happy to see Willson Contreras back in the lineup tonight (not that I don’t love what Victor Caratini has been doing both at and behind the plate), this group just doesn’t look the same without Javier Baez batting cleanup.
There’s still a ton of star-power spread between Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Willson Contreras, of course, but Baez was the Paul of this particular group and things just aren’t the same without him.
Sure, Heyward and Almora have both been a little hot lately too, but I’d just be a lot happier if they weren’t batting fifth and sixth right now. Indeed, some of that lineup height is because Kyle Schwarber is up top again (and that’s because Ben Zobrist is out and Daniel Descalso has been slumping), but it doesn’t change the fact that the Cubs “hot-streak” lineup just feels all out of whack.
With that said, Zach Eflin has been particularly susceptible to left-handers throughout his career, so maybe tonight can be a big night for guys like Schwarber, Heyward, and Descalso. Speaking of which, Schwarber has not been a hit-machine lately, but he does have at least one knock in each of his last four games and 5 of his last six, a stretch during which he’s also walked 5 times.
Come back soon, Javy. And, as usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (6:05)