The Chicago Cubs are fighting to avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of the Pirates and move into a tie in the loss column. That would be … not great. Here’s the lineup Joe Maddon has chosen to support Jose Quintana.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Kris Bryant, RF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Robel Garcia, 2B
- David Bote, 3B
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Jose Quintana, P
First, and most importantly … IT’S ROBEL SZN, BABY.
The Cubs 26-year-old Triple-A masher is finally getting a shot to prove that he’s capable of doing to big league baseballs what he’s been doing to Minor League baseballs all summer: crush the snot out of them. The offense hasn’t been the Cubs only or exclusive problem this season, but a little extra jolt could be just what they need. As for everything else …
The Pirates are starting righty Jordan Lyles on the mound today, and he’s got some of the most significant splits we’ve seen of any Cubs opponent this season …
Jordan Lyles 2019 Splits:
Versus Lefties: .284/.366/.532 (.376 wOBA)
Versus Righties: .190/.251/.294 (.236 wOBA)
But his history against the Cubs lefties is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, four out of five left-handed hitters have notched an extra base hit against Lyles in relatively small samples (including three homers), but on the other hand, they have a combined 9 strikeouts and not many hits or walks.
Daniel Desclaso: 2-13, HR, BB, K
Anthony Rizzo: 2-14, 2B, 4Ks
Kyle Schwarber: 1-3, HR, 2K
Jason Heyward: 3-7, HR, 2Ks
Victor Caratini: 1-1
Not to mention, Descalso, Caratini, and Heyward are not even in the lineup today.
Speaking of which, while the first two don’t surprise me, the latter is a bit unnerving. Jason Heyward has been the Cubs hottest hitter for about a month, but sat out yesterday because he was “banged up.” Hopefully, he’s okay. Relatedly, Kris Bryant sat out for similar reasons yesterday, but is back in the lineup this afternoon.
Go Cubs. Happy Fourth. Please win.