I used to love baseball’s crazy-loaded schedule, because it meant you didn’t have to sit with an ugly loss for too long. I’m struggling to feel that way today. Here’s the Cubs lineup after a blowout and two walk-off losses in a row.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Jason Heyward, CF
- Nicholas Castellanos, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Addison Russell, 2B
- Ian Happ, LF
- Jonathan Lucroy, C
- Jon Lester, P
With the lefty Steven Brault on the mound for the Pirates this afternoon, Joe Maddon has removed Kyle Schwarber from the starting lineup, which is probably the right call – he’s struggled against lefties all season, and especially so lately (3-21, 7Ks, 21.4% hard-hit rate since July 1).
In his place in left field, you’ll find Ian Happ, who’s actually hitting lefties (144 wRC+) better than righties (139 wRC+) this season, which is interesting because the extreme opposite was true for his career (88 wRC+ versus lefties, 120 wRC+ versus righties). I wonder if that trend will hold true. I’m going to check back in on that another time.
Other than that, as you can see, Addison Russell is also back in the starting lineup at second base, and he’s joined by another righty, Jonathan Lucroy, behind the plate. I miss Willson Contreras.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (12:35 CT).