The Chicago Cubs are looking to bounce back from yesterday’s series-opening loss to the Cincinnati Reds, a game that saw Keegan Thompson pitch well enough to win if not for Rowan Wick giving up a three-run home run in relief.
Justin Steele (2-5, 4.59 ERA) will take the mound tonight for the Cubs, hoping to rebound from a six-run outing against the Pirates back on June 23. Prior to that game, Steele had given up just seven earned runs over his prior four outings spanning 24 innings. Steele got shelled for seven runs in two innings pitched in his last meeting against the Reds at Cincinnati on May 26. Suffice to say, he’s looking to improve on that.
Rafael Ortega, whose playing left, finds himself back in the leadoff spot tonight, a position that’s been reserved for Christopher Morel lately. Morel’s been struggling at the plate recently, however, hitting just .218 with a 41.7% K rate over the past three weeks. David Ross has moved him to the bottom of the order hoping to shake things up a bit, no doubt.
Willson Contreras bats second tonight and is catching, Ian Happ is DH, Patrick Wisdom is at third, and Nico Hoerner is at short. Nelson Velazquez is in right, Alfonso Rivas at first, David Bote at second, and the aforementioned Morel is in center.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm CT and the game will be broadcast on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 29, 2022