Anthony Rizzo leads off, followed by Nicholas Castellanos in right, Kris Bryant at third, and Kyle Schwarber in left. Ben Zobrist plays second, Victor Caratini is catching, Jason Heyward is in center, and Nico Hoerner is at short.
On the mound for the Cardinals is righty Dakota Hudson, who faced the Cubs twice in relief last season but has not faced them in 30 starts this season. Weird, right? The 25-year-old is a sinker-baller, throwing the two-seam nearly half the time. The cutter makes up about a quarter of his pitches, with the four-seam and slider comprising the remainder. Oh, he’s also got an occasional change.
The slider is his only real weapon and his 3.35 ERA is deceptively low, as evidenced by a 4.99 FIP. Hudson isn’t a big strikeout pitcher and he walks a lot of batters, but he gets out of jams because he stays low in the zone and generates a lot of grounders. That’s not good news for the Cubs, folks.
José Quintana will try to keep his team in this one, though it won’t matter if the offense doesn’t wake the hell up. We’re well past the time to be discussing must-win games, so it’s really about pride at this point. Do the Cubs want to just quit and let other teams continue to distance themselves, or will they go down swinging?
We’ll find out at 1:20pm CT in what will be WGN’s final broadcast from Wrigley Field. Maybe the Cubs can send their longtime partner out on a high note.
Here is today's #Cubs starting lineup.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 21, 2019
— WGNTV (@WGNTV) September 19, 2019