The bats fell silent last night, as the Cubs dropped the opener to the Cardinals in St. Louis, despite a strong effort by Yu Darvish and the bullpen. Hopefully they can reignite things tonight.
Here’s the group Joe Maddon has chosen to face right-hander Jack Flaherty.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Addison Russell, SS
- David Bote, 2B
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Jose Quintana, P
Jack Flaherty has technically been tougher on righties than lefties for his career, but mostly he’s just been good against everyone. The one big difference is that lefties do seem to draw more than their fair share of walks (11.2%), so maybe the Cubs can get a few free base runners tonight out of their southpaws.
Otherwise, this isn’t the most ideal matchup for the Cubs. Willson Contreras has gotten a nice two-day break, but has 3Ks in 7 ABs against Flaherty, Jason Heyward has 3Ks in 6 at-bats against him, and Javy Baez has SIX strikeouts in 7 at-bats against the Cardinals starter with just one walk to his name. The only guy with any real success against Flaherty in the past is Anthony Rizzo, whom I’ve photoshopped because it’s Saturday and why not:
Anthony Rizzo is 5-9 with a 2B, a HR, and 2BBs against today's Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) June 1, 2019
Perhaps it’s Anthony Rizzo’s time to be a captain and lead this Cubs offense out of the slump they’ve dug for themselves.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (6:15 CT).
UPDATE: Javy Baez has been scratched due to the right heel contusion he suffered last week. He hasn’t quite looked like himself at the plate lately, so this isn’t entirely out of nowhere, but it is disappointing. Addison Russell will play short.