The Chicago Cubs are kicking off their second-half at Wrigley Field later this afternoon. Here’s their lineup for Game 1 against Chris Archer and the Pirates.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Victor Caratini, C
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Robel Garcia, 2B
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Yu Darvish, P
I can imagine the general lack of Willson Contreras in that lineup being the first thing you noticed – it was for me – but I think it’s pretty smart. As the starting NL catcher in the All-Star game, Contreras didn’t really get much of a break at all this past week, so Joe Maddon has extended the break for him.
That would have been enough of a reason to keep him out today on its own, but I’ll add that aligning the rotation for Yu Darvish, caught most often and most successfully (I think) by Victor Caratini, makes it even better. I didn’t see this coming through the planning, but I probably should have. Seems obvious now.
Oh, there’s also this: Contreras is 2-10 with 4Ks against Archer.
Other than that, you’ll find Robel Garcia back in there at second base right out of the gate, which I love to see. You just have to give him a shot to prove that he can actually make an impact. And, hey, even if he helps them only in the short-term, it’s a win.
I wouldn’t put the odds especially high that he’s the starting second baseman the rest of the season, but, boy, wouldn’t that be nice. As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (1:20 CT).