Since sweeping the Padres last week, the Chicago Cubs have won just one of their last five games. So, yeah, they could really use at LEAST one more win on this road trip before heading home to face the Cardinals this weekend, and I’m hoping the first of two wins comes tonight.
The game doesn’t start until 9:10, but I’m planning to go the distance. I’m drinking a coffee right now and checking out David Ross’ lineup for Game 2 in San Diego. Let’s go.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Joc Pederson, LF
2. Kris Bryant, CF
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Willson Contreras, C
5. Patrick Wisdom, 3B
6. Jason Heyward, RF
7. Sergio Alcantara, SS
8. Eric Sogard, 2B
9. Zach Davies
When Dinelson Lamet last pitched, it was against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. And while he lasted only 4.0 innings (he’s being built up slowly after a late-season injury last year), he was pretty effective: 4H, 1ER, 1BB, 6Ks. The Cubs are going to have to figure out how to hit him better this time around, especially with a talented Padres bullpen waiting in the wings. I mentioned this last time, but as a reminder Lamet is much tougher on righties than lefties, particularly this season, when lefties have hit .333/.371/.455 off him.
And that leads right into some of our lineup decisions tonight. As you’ll immediately notice, Javy Baez isn’t in the lineup tonight (that’s probably why this lineup announcement arrived so late – the Cubs were probably waiting as long as they could to make the call). But the switch-hitting Sergio Alcantara is in to replace him, so the Cubs get an extra lefty bat against Lamet with Eric Sogard once again at second base. But this remains far less than ideal. For what it’s worth, Lamet struck Baez out twice last time they met.
At least Joc Pederson is back in the starting lineup and leading off after missing a few days. We figured he’d be back tonight after pinch hitting yesterday, but you never know. Along these lines, the Cubs have another extra lefty bat this time around, Jason Heyward. And lastly, David Ross chose Patrick Wisdom (3B) over Ian Happ (bench), by way of starting Kris Bryant in center field. That could have been ANOTHER lefty bat against Lamet, which tells you where Wisdom is on Ross’ call sheet right now.
As usual, we’ll have your Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (9:10 CT).