The Chicago Cubs have already lost this series, which wouldn’t have been as big of a deal (hey, playing the Astros at their park isn’t easy, right?) if the Astros weren’t playing with, like, half of their lineup. But maybe they can salvage the series with a win tonight.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, DH
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, 3B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Addison Russell, SS
- David Bote, 2B
Alright. There’s a lot of moving parts tonight, but the good and most important news is very obvious: KRIS BRYANT IS BACK.
Bryant missed a few games after colliding with Jason Heyward in the outfield, but is making his triumphant return to the lineup tonight as the DH. With an off-day tomorrow and no time in the field tonight, he’ll hopefully feel well-rested and ready to get back on the field against the Cardinals this Friday.
But here’s where things get interesting.
The Cubs – no doubt – wanted to keep the hot bats of David Bote and Addison Russell in the lineup, which is more than understandable, but took a weird route to get there. Instead of playing Russell and Baez up the middle (in whatever order), David Bote is Russell’s double-play partner at second and Baez is at third, with Russell at short. Russell is obviously a great defensive shortstop, but when both he and Baez are both in the lineup, usually Baez keeps his spot at short. And if he’s not at short, you’d think second is the next best spot.
The best I can offer right now is that Baez will have to deal with less movement at third base (perhaps his heel is still bothering him) than up the middle, and his arm obviously plays well there, too.
UPDATE: Sure enough …
We'll ask, but yesterday Maddon was talking about how lateral movement was still bothering him. A lot less range needed to play third than the MIF spots.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) May 29, 2019
In any case, I’m just happy to see Bryant and Baez back in the lineup and healthy(ish), and, as usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (7:10