Whew! I know we were told not to worry about Ian Happ’s knee after the nasty HBP on Saturday, but I am very glad to see him back in the starting lineup today. With a lefty on the mound, it would’ve been a pretty easy day to rest Happ if he was even borderline, so his presence is likely very good news on the health front.
Here’s a look at the full Cubs lineup for Game 1 (of 2) against Jose Quintana and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Clint Frazier, DH
2. Willson Contreras, C
3. Patrick Wisdom, 3B
4. Frank Schwindel, 1B
5. Seiya Suzuki, RF
6. Nick Madrigal, 2B
7. Michael Hermosillo, CF
8. Ian Happ, LF
9. Nico Hoerner, SS
If the Cubs have anything this season, it’s right-handed hitters. So their lineups against lefties like Quintana are going to be strong when the right personnel decisions are made. Fortunately, today, David Ross made the right personnel decisions.
Instead of rolling with Rafael Ortega at DH and Jason Heyward in center, Clint Frazier is getting his first start as the lead off hitter, and Michael Hermosillo is in there, as well. Ross also moved Contreras, Wisdom, Schwindel, and Suzuki up in the lineup, moving Nick Madrigal and Ian Happ down.
Among the early trends? The leadoff/DH duties may be a back-and-forth between Ortega and Frazier until (1) Jason Heyward stops starting or (2) Willson Contreras takes some days at DH. Also, Nico Hoerner seems firmly planted in that second leadoff roll, always at least a couple spots away from Madrigal.
Overall, I like this group and order against the lefty. Let’s see if the Cubs can keep the good times rolling.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time.