The Cubs have lost four games in a row and they haven’t looked particularly competitive in any of them. Nico Hoerner is still on the IL and Cody Bellinger is still resting the left knee he tweaked in the first game of the series, so David Ross has been running out meatloaf lineups without the benefit of having two wins in his pocket.
That continues on Wednesday with Christopher Morel leading off in center, followed by Dansby Swanson at short and Ian Happ in left. Seiya Suzuki cleans up in right, Patrick Wisdom is at third, and Matt Mervis moves up to sixth after his first homer last night. Trey Mancini is the DH, Yan Gomes is catching, and Miles Mastrobuoni is at second.
Drew Smyly has been really good this season, but he’s not the guy you’d ideally ask to play stopper. Houston will counter with J.P. France and his sweet mustache. The 28-year-old righty is making just his third career start, the first two of which have seen him allow just one run on six hits. He’s struck out eight with two walks behind a varied repertoire that includes a 94 mph fastball, a cutter, slider, curve, and change.
That’s all the intel I’m able to offer for now since I’m on the road, but the only thing you really need to know is that the Cubs just have to hit. They could really use an offensive explosion to get off the schneid and head into the off day with some momentum.
First pitch is at 7:10pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.
Here is tonight's #Cubs starting lineup!
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 17, 2023