The Cubs have won eight consecutive games after Wednesday’s victory over Team Canada and there are encouraging signs at each turn. Even though we’re still a long way off from the results meaning something, it’s easy to see how this group could do some good things in the regular season.
Jameson Taillon will be an integral part of the Cubs exceeding expectations and he’s on the mound today. Getting up to 50 pitches or so is more important that his line, but it would still be nice to see him chewing through Reds hitters with that sweeper.
Scheduled to follow Taillon are Danis Correa, Tyler Duffey, Michael Fulmer, Brandon Hughes, Julian Merryweather, and Rowan Wick.
Nico Hoerner’s production in the leadoff spot will be another key factor, and he’s there once again as the second baseman. Ian Happ and Dansby Swanson have swapped spots, with the left fielder batting second and the shortstop third. Trey Mancini plays first as the cleanup hitter, Eric Hosmer is the DH, and Yan Gomes does the catching.
Patrick Wisdom is in right, something David Ross said might happen more often with Seiya Suzuki out, and Christopher Morel is in center. Nick Madrigal batting ninth and playing third might be the most telling sign yet that the Cubs are very serious about him getting plenty of time at the hot corner. He and Hoerner have been splitting games atop the order, so having them stacked like this with Madrigal playing third while both Morel and Wisdom are in the lineup feels like more than just a way to spread at-bats around.
First pitch from Sloan Park is set for 2:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 9, 2023