I’m a little jaded after last night, I’ll admit it. While Giants fans are certainly a passionate bunch, they’re not exactly always the most friendly, especially in a game like last night. I’ll leave it at that and say that I hope the Cubs kick the snot out of the Giants tonight in blowout fashion.
Leading the charge for Chicago will be John Lackey (11-8, 3.35 ERA) and you can bet he will be amped and ready to go. The status of the bullpen will be up in the air after last night’s 13 inning marathon. That means that the Cubs will really need Lackey to go deep in this game. The only reliever they didn’t use last night was Carl Edwards so I’d count on seeing him, possibly even in a closer roll if necessary.
To recap, the Cubs ended up using six of their seven bullpen pitchers last night but three of them – Strop, Rondon and Grimm – threw under 10 pitches. So that will ease the burden on Lackey and Edwards because those three will be available to go again tonight. After seeing Aroldis Chapman get hit around – throwing 21 pitches – I won’t be surprised if Joe opts to keep him on the bench.
With another lefty, Matt Moore (13-12, 4.08 ERA), pitching for the Giants tonight Joe Maddon has opted for a more regular line-up for the Cubs.
Ben Zobrist gets the start in the outfield – left – for the fourth straight game. Jason Heyward is back in the lineup tonight to cover the wicked, nasty right field at AT&T Park. And Joe is going for veteran leadership behind the plate to call the game tonight in David Ross.
Expect this game to be nuts (again) but hey, this is playoff baseball, man, and don’t you just LOVE it!
Here’s the rest of the Chicago Cubs lineup: