Just like last week, the Chicago Cubs find themselves in a rubber match with the Milwaukee Brewers. As a matter of fact, it’s their fourth straight rubber match to start the season. They won the first one (Pirates), but lost each of the next two (Brewers, Pirates).
Unfortunately, they have an extremely tough challenge ahead of them. Today’s starter, Corbin Burnes, has pitched 12.1 innings of baseball this season against the Twins and Cardinals, and, well, just look at the line: 12.1 IP, 2H, 1ER, 0BB, 20 strikeouts. That’s, uh, not too promising for a struggling offense, who strikes out a lot. But here goes nothing.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Ian Happ, CF
2. Eric Sogard, 2B
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Joc Pederson, LF
5. Javy Baez, SS
6. Jason Heyward, RF
7. David Bote, 3B
8. Austin Romine, C
9. Jake Arrieta, P
Okay, so first thing’s first … I guess Austin Romine is over his knee injury and back with the Cubs! It’s always fun to learn about roster moves via the lineup announcement (even if it throws off what I had planned to write here).
That said, I did expect to see a backup catcher in there for Willson Contreras today with a day game following a night game and Corbin Burners traditional lefty/righty splits …
v. LHH: .246/.340/.429 (.331 wOBA)
v. RHH: .211/.265/.364 (.271 wOBA)
But I just thought it would be Tony Wolters!
In any case, it’s good to have the Cubs first choice, Romine, back. Let’s hope he’s feeling good.
Beyond that, you’ll notice that David Ross has moved some of the lefties up the lineup by way of resting Contreras and Kris Bryant. That duo is – by far – the Cubs top two hitters this season (the only guys above average, as a matter of fact). But we already know why Contreras is sitting and I suppose Bryant (0-6, 3Ks) hasn’t had a ton of success against Burnes in the past.
I’d prefer to see him in there, but what are you gonna do. Everyone needs a rest, he’s had trouble against Burnes, and you can get Sogard in there at second and replace Bryant with Bote. I suppose it’s at least a “plan.” As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (12:40).
Burnes’ Statcast Corner (link):