Having Friday off is weird, particularly when the Cubs are about to play the White Sox, but it turned out to be a blessing after Thursday’s implosion. Even though both Chicago teams are performing below expectations, there should be a little extra motivation from the whole crosstown thing. Not that the rivalry is as real as some folks want it to be, of course.
Keegan Thompson will be making his third start of the season as the Cubs continue to find ways to solidify a rotation that needs a lot of help. The 27-year-old righty was excellent in his last start, firing five scoreless innings against the Pirates with five strikeouts and no walks. He’s been very good this season in a long relief role and the Cubs will need more of the same to hang tonight.
Christopher Morel leads off today playing center, followed by Willson Contreras catching, Ian Happ in left, and Patrick Wisdom bats cleanup playing third. Frank Schwindel is batting fifth at DH, Alfonso Rivas is at first, followed by Nico Hoerner at short, Rafael Ortega in right, and Andrelton Simmons at second.
Going for the home team is 36-year-old Johnny Cueto, who will also be making his third start of the season. He appears to have discovered the fountain of youth because he has yet to allow a run in 12 innings of work so far. In an era where starters are taking forever to ramp up and frequently throw less than five innings even when they’re stretched out, Cueto stepped in and tossed six innings in each of his first two outings.
The deceptive junk-baller has found a little more heat on the fastball, pumping it in at 92 for the first time since 2016, but it’s the slider that has become his go-to pitch in terms of usage. The four-seam and sinker are still his best pitches, though, and Cueto is not afraid to pound the zone with them early. He’ll try to get ahead with first-pitch strikes and then let his other tricks do the work.
By varying the timing of his delivery and mixing pitches, the wily veteran keeps hitters from getting too comfortable. That said, he’s probably due for a little regression.
We’ll see if the Cubs can push his ERA past 0.00 when the game gets underway at 6:15pm CT on FOX, 670 The Score, and ESPN 1000.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 28, 2022