With wins in the first two games of the series, the Cubs are on the verge of another sweep of the Cardinals just a week after being swept out of St. Louis. The bats came up big Saturday night and they should be able to do the same against a pitcher who somehow lasted eight innings despite walking seven.
Kyle Schwarber leads off in left, Kris Bryant bats second at third, Anthony Rizzo bats third, and Javy Báez cleans up. Carlos González bats fifth in right, Willson Contreras is catching, Jason Heyward is in center, and David Bote bats last at second.
Adam Wainwright’s start against the Cubs last Sunday was maddening and utterly confounding as he somehow managed to throw eight shutout innings with only two hit allowed. How the Cubs managed to push no runs across despite drawing seven walks is a riddle not even the sphinx could answer, especially when his stuff isn’t nearly as good as it once was.
The curve is Wainwright’s go-to pitch and he throws it nearly 40% of the time overall, though he dialed that back a little bit the last time out. He’s also got a sinker, cutter, four-seam, and change, but the bender is what flusters opponents. He hadn’t been getting many swings and misses early on, though he has registered 18 strikeouts in his last two starts.
Maybe the 37-year-old quaffs once more from the fountain of youth and brings the hammer down on the Cubs, or maybe he looks like the guy who gave up six earned runs when he pitched in Chicago just over a month ago. My money’s on the later, as this Cubs offense is too powerful to be shut down by Waino again.
Kyle Hendricks has faced the Cards once this season and what a start that was. His 81-pitch complete-game shutout was one of the finest pitching performances of the season and really helped the Cubs to assert themselves as contenders after their initial struggles. Hendricks was phenomenal in May and had a good outing earlier this month as his velocity ticks up just a bit.
This is yet another Sunday Night Baseball contest, so first pitch is at 6:05pm CT and will be carried by ESPN and 670 The Score.
Here is tonight's #Cubs starting lineup.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 9, 2019
Ed. note: Apologies for any errors, posting from another country.