I had a dream last night that I’d stepped in two fresh, steaming dog turds and tracked the mess all over my house. Turns out I was just stewing over the way the Cubs have dropped two very frustrating contests to the Cardinals. As a staunch defender of David Ross over the past few seasons, I find the foundation of my counterarguments to questions of managerial fitness eroding a little more all the time.
While it’s true that a manager is only as good as the players he’s given and that those players need to execute, Ross has made some very questionable choices that aren’t just being scrutinized in hindsight. I’m not at all advocating for him to be fired because I don’t think a change necessarily makes the Cubs better, it’s just been a frustrating few days. Maybe the Cubs can pick their skipper up tonight.
Justin Steele is the right man to have on the mound and he can run his record to 6-0 with a win. Of course, the offense needs to do something to make even an ace-level outing stand up.
Nick Madrigal is back in the leadoff spot and he’ll be playing second base tonight. Dansby Swanson is at short, Ian Happ is in left, and Seiya Suzuki is in right, then it’s Patrick Wisdom at third and Cody Bellinger in center. Trey Mancini is at first, Yan Gomes is catching after being activated from the ILbeing activated from the IL, and Christopher Morel is the DH.
Going for St. Louis is lefty Jordan Montgomery, a former Yankee who’s putting up some of the best numbers in his career to this point. Don’t let the 2-4 record fool you, this guy has been pretty good. With the exception of one bad start, Montgomery has proven capable of keeping the Cards in it by missing bats and keeping the ball in the yard.
Armed with a sinker that sits 93-94 mph and makes up about 40% of his repertoire, Montgomery’s curve and change are a little over 20% apiece. He’s also got a four-seam and will toss an occasional cutter, but the sinker is the only pitch with positive value this season.
He’s been really tough on left-handed hitters, which is why Bellinger is hitting lower in the order and Matt Mervis is out. Of course, it’s not like the Cubs are getting enough from hitters on either side of the plate lately anyway. They just need to come out swinging and find a way to post crooked numbers.
First pitch is at 6:40pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.
Here is tonight's #Cubs starting lineup for the series finale vs. St. Louis.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 10, 2023