The Cubs managed to sneak out a win last night despite scoring just two runs, giving them their second 2-1 win in the last five days. It sure would be nice if they could manage some crooked innings tonight, though the lineup doesn’t really indicate the ability to do that.
Esteban Quiroz gets a shot to lead off in his fourth game in the bigs after going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles on Tuesday. He’ll be playing second base. Third baseman David Bote supplied the offense in the win and he moves up to the No. 2 spot, followed by Ian Happ in left and Franmil Reyes at DH. Yan Gomes is the catcher, Patrick Wisdom is in right, P.J. Higgins is at first, Zach McKinstry is the shortstop, and Christopher Morel is in center.
Marcus Stroman was money in his last start back at Wrigley, where he’s pitched pretty poorly overall this season. The righty has been incredible on the road though, putting up a 1.84 ERA and limiting opponents to a .251 wOBA.
The Marlins will counter with lefty Jesús Luzardo, who is pitching much better than his 3-7 record indicates. Still just 24 years old, he has already pitched in parts of four MLB seasons and could end up being really good if he can stay healthy. Luzardo’s fastball sits around 97 mph and his sinker is just a tick slower. He actually throws the slider more than any other pitch, around 31%, but his change has been his best offering by far.
That’s why he’s pitching to reverse splits, holding right-handed hitters to a .190 average and .272 wOBA. Left-handed hitters are only about 20 wOBA points higher, so it’s not like we’re talking about a big difference. Luzardo doesn’t get an inordinate number of called or swinging strikes, though he does get a good deal of strikeouts and doesn’t give up many homers.
This is a tough matchup for this Cubs lineup and they may need Stroman and the rest of the staff to carry them tonight. First pitch is once again at 5:40pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 21, 2022