Well, what do ya know? We have yet ANOTHER rubber match today, with the right-hander Tyler Mahle standing in the way of a Cubs series win. The Cubs have had a bajillion rubber matches this year, and so far most of them have not fallen their way. Here’s the lineup David Ross chose for the finale.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Ian Happ, CF
2. Kris Bryant, LF
3. Javy Baez, SS
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Matt Duffy, 3B
6. Jason Heyward, RF
7. Nico Hoerner, 2B
8. Tony Wolters, C
9. Trevor Williams, P
There are no real surprises in the Cubs lineup today, with Ian Happ remaining at leadoff, Kris Bryant staying in the outfield (because Joc Pederson is out), Tony Wolters behind the plate (because Willson Contreras is out), and Matt Duffy getting his turn to start at third base (because Bryant is in the outfield).
The only realistic alternative today would have been to get Eric Sogard’s left-handed bat in the lineup, given Mahle’s career splits …
v. LHH: .257/.358/.478 (.356 wOBA)
v. RHH: .252/.302/.392 (.298 wOBA)
… which is definitely what Joe Maddon would’ve done.
But Ross isn’t Maddon.
So Duffy and Nico Hoerner, two particularly hot bats, stay in there instead of just going for the obvious split matchup. I like the call. As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (12:10 CT).