— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 7, 2018
After using the same lineup two days in a row, Joe Maddon gives us a different look Thursday afternoon following Wednesday’s walk-off grand slam win. Last night’s hero, Jason Heyward, gets a well-deserved rest today, with Ben Zobrist and Willson Contreras also out of the lineup.
Albert Almora returns to the leadoff spot with Tommy La Stella taking over the 2-hole duties. Bryzzo, Javier Baez, and Kyle Schwarber make up the meat of the order as usual. They’ll be followed by Ian Happ, who subs in for Heyward in right field, and Chris Gimenez who spells Contreras. The Cubs will give the ball to Tyler Chatwood in hopes that he can guide them to a series victory over the visiting Phillies.
It’s no secret that walks have been a major issue for Chatwood during his short time with the Cubs. He currently sports an 8.22 BB/9 which is higher than his 7.88 K/9. That’s…uh…not good. Chatwood was better in his last outing against the Mets, allowing two runs over 5.1 innings. That was an improvement over the two previous outings that saw him fail to get out of the third inning. Chatwood’s overall numbers (4.02 ERA/4.94 FIP) are far from outlandish, but walking four or more batters in 8-of-11 starts is dangerous.
Opposing Chatwood will be 25 year-old righty Nick Pivetta. Pivetta’s 4-4 record doesn’t accurately reflect his strong overall numbers. With a 3.48 ERA, 2.87 FIP, 10.16 K/9, and 2.47 BB/9, it’s been a solid start to the 2018 campaign for Pivetta. He’s been tougher on righties, who have posted a .211 batting average and .257 wOBA this season. Pivetta got the win over the Cubs last August in Philadelphia, allowing two earned runs and six hits over five innings with five strikeouts and four walks.