The Cubs have won four straight games and back-to-back series, but I’m greedy. I want the sweep. Go get ’em, Cubs. And watch out for Sharks.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Jason Heyward, CF
- Nicholas Castellanos, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Ian Happ, 2B
- Victor Caratini, C
- Kyle Hendricks, P
Former Cub Jeff Samardzija is taking the mound this afternoon, and he’s been on some kind of a tear since July 1st (2.09 ERA). And while all opposing hitters are slashing just .182/.235/.338 against him overall, righties have been especially squashed with just a .158/.215/.233 (.199 wOBA) slash line during this stretch.
Sure, lefties haven’t been particularly *good* against him, but they have been a heck of a lot better (.313 wOBA with a .500 SLG), which is why I’m happy with today’s lineup in one very specific way: Victor Caratini.
Usually, when a day game follows a night game, the backup catcher enters the starting lineup. And with Yu Darvish on the mound last night, starting catcher Victor Caratini was already behind the plate late and long, which means I was expecting to see Jonathan Lucroy today. But nope. Joe Maddon is going for it.
Caratini might be tired this afternoon, but his switch-hitting bat is such a better fit against Samardzija than Lucroy (who, to be fair, has been good, himself, in short doses). But this just feels like Joe Maddon actually pressing the gas pedal down and keeping it there, which is both necessary and awesome. I love it. Go score another bajillion runs. Go Cubs.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (1:20 CT).