A day after eeking out one of those victories that the best teams seem to find a way to win, the Cubs are on the verge of a sweep of the Pirates. It’d be sweet revenge for when the tables were turned earlier this month at Wrigley, and the Cubs have the lineup to ensure they don’t duplicate last night’s no-RBI win.
The top three spots remain unchanged from the standard fare, but Addison Russell once more slots into the cleanup role as Ben Zobrist sits. That means a resurgent Jason Heyward in the five-hole and Willson Contreras hitting sixth. Joe Maddon is serious about letting Javy Baez play his way out of his early struggles, which he’ll attempt to do from the seventh spot.
We’ve heard a lot about the increased bathroom capacity at Wrigley, but that’s nothing compared to how they’ve overhauled the roster. Just look at the two Jons at the bottom of the order. Hey, is that the exit right over there? Great, thanks. Oh, and could one of you log out for me after I leave? Awesome.
Pirates righty Tyler Glasnow has had a pretty inauspicious opening to this, his first full season in the majors. Well, it’s supposed to be a full season, anyway. He has yet to make it past the 5th inning in any of his starts, though the one time he even got that far came against the Cubs back on April 15. You may remember that as the game in which Kris Bryant homered twice and the Cubs held leads of 4-0 and 6-2 before capitulating both and losing by a run.
Glasnow has calmed down significantly since issuing five walks in less than two innings in his first start, but he’s still sporting a robust 7.15 BB/9 that the Cubs should be able to exploit. But the young hurler is also averaging well over a strikeout per inning (10.32 K/9) and the early homer he gave up to Bryant is the only time anyone’s taken him out of the park thus far in 2017. Might be time to skew the stats a little.
First pitch is 6:05 CT and the game will be broadcast on CSN Chicago+ as well as 670 The Score. I have to say, working on the new home has led me to listen to more of the radio broadcasts lately, and it’s really been awesome. Not that you weren’t already aware of the greatness that is Pat Hughes, but I just love the banter between all the guys in the Cubs’ booth. And that includes Mark Grote, who frequently interjects random pop culture references and humor into the mix.
Trying to stay toasty in Pittsburgh.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 26, 2017