Chicago Cubs Lineup: Game #161 and It Still Matters

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Chicago Cubs Lineup: Game #161 and It Still Matters

Chicago Cubs

Okay, game #161 and the Cubs could *really* use a win. You guys ready?

Chicago Cubs Lineup: 

  1. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  2. Ben Zobrist, RF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Javy Baez, SS
  5. Jason Heyward, CF
  6. Kris Bryant, 3B
  7. Ian Happ, LF
  8. Victor Caratini, C
  9. Cole Hamels, P

Starting with the big stuff, Willson Contreras is sitting out today in favor of Victor Caratini like he has for many of Cole Hamels starts this season. Yes, Caratini’s switch-hitting abilities provides an opportunity for the platoon advantage against Miles Mikolas (a righty who does carry traditional splits), but I think either Hamels or Maddon just likes how Caratini catches the veteran left-hander.

Speaking of that platoon advantage, though, I’m surprised and concerned to see the continued absence of Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber had begun hitting a bit better lately, but sat out against a righty yesterday and is doing so again today. You can always explain away one start of rest, but two is a little more difficult. I hope his back isn’t acting up again, but I won’t be surprised to hear it if it is. In any case, that just makes it all the more important to clinch the division ASAP and get some rest in before the NLDS.

With that said, at least his replacement for the day, Ian Happ, is 3-5 with two doubles of Mikolas for his career. The Cubs could use all the hot bats they can get today, because Mikolas has been very good this season. As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (12:05 CT).

Author: Michael Cerami

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