Chicago Cubs Lineup: Early-Season Rest Is Saving the Cubs Down the Stretch

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Chicago Cubs Lineup: Early-Season Rest Is Saving the Cubs Down the Stretch

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs held onto a tight one yesterday, and the series is now evened up heading into the final two games. Here’s the lineup for Game 3.

Chicago Cubs Lineup: 

  1. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  2. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  3. Jason Heyward, RF
  4. Javy Baez, 3B
  5. Kyle Schwarber, LF
  6. Ian Happ, CF
  7. Willson Contreras, C
  8. Kyle Hendricks, P
  9. Addison Russell, SS

At the beginning of the season, Ben Zobrist was getting a lot more rest than he or his fans are probably used to seeing. Of course, that was entirely by design. A few extra days off here and there were meant to better preserve his health throughout the season and possibly keep him fresher/more productive down the stretch – and obviously as other players around him improved (both in the infield and outfield) it because easier to justify more time off.

But how smart is that extra rest looking now?

With Kris Bryant out for a while, Zobrist has been playing a LOT more lately, and, at least publicly, he’s felt good enough to do it. On top of that, he’s playing better than he has in arguably half a decade. It’s not all because of the rest in April/May/June, but if he were used more often earlier in the season and then Kris Bryant went out, the Cubs could’ve been in a tough spot if Zobrist got hurt, himself, or simply wasn’t productive. Good risk management there if you ask me.

With Zobrist at second base, Javy Baez covers third and Addison Russell returns to short. Ian Happ continues to draw some starts from a struggling Albert Almora in center, and Jason Heyward/Kyle Schwarber flank him in the corners.

We’ll get into today’s starter, Walter Lockett, a bit more later on, but for now, just know that this’ll be his second ever Major League start and third appearance overall. Let’s hope the pressure at Wrigley doesn’t get to him. 

As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (1:20 CT).

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami