The Cubs hammered Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers in game one of today’s double-header, and now they’ll get a chance to beat another Cy Young winner, Trevor Bauer, in game two. Here’s the Cubs second lineup of the day, featuring the return of Joc Pederson and that center field start for Kris Bryant we didn’t get to see yesterday.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Joc Pederson, LF
2. Kris Bryant, CF
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. David Bote, 3B
5. Jason Heyward, RF
6. Ildemaro Vargas, 2B
7. Eric Sogard, SS
8. Tony Wolters, C
9. Keegan Thompson, P
Again, the most immediately notable points here include Kris Bryant getting his first start in center field since the seventh game of his rookie season (2015)* and Joc Pederson returning to the Cubs lineup and leading off. With a righty on the mound with some velocity, I’m particularly happy to have Pederson back, and I’m hoping the time off has done his wrist well. We all saw how well he could hit this spring (and throughout most of his career, really) and the Cubs could use some of that tonight.
Beyond that, you’ll notice a break for Javy Baez, who, without Nico Hoerner, is replaced by Eric Sogard at shortstop. We’ll have to just see how that goes. He’s the third option at shortstop on the roster for a reason. You’ll also notice that Ian Happ is still out, which is not surprising, but I was holding out hope that he could return against Bauer. He’s apparently quite sore (ribs), so staying on the bench won’t catch anyone offguard.
Finally, Tony Wolters comes in to catch, Vargas covers second, and David Bote kicks out to third. This lineup is missing a LOT of the Cubs primary offensive weapons, so hopefully Keegan Thompson is ready to bring it against Bauer and the Dodgers.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time.
*Joc Pederson and Jason Heyward both have experience in center field, plus Jake Marisnick, who just had a very nice game, is on the bench and is a plus glove in center field. The Cubs could have easily stashed Bryant in left (Joc in center), right (Heyward in center), or third (with Bote or Vargas on the bench and Marisnick in center). I really don’t get it.