The Cubs are using the same lineup for the second game in a row, starting with Robel Garcia at second base. Willson Contreras bats second, followed by Kris Bryant batting and playing third, Anthony Rizzo at first, and Javy Báez at short.
Jason Heyward is in right, Ian Happ is in center, and Kyle Schwarber is in left. This lineup bangs, no doubt, but it’ll need to do so to a much greater degree than in the last two games.
They’ll be trying to get theirs against slight righty Zach Davies, with whom they should be very familiar from 15 previous starts. He’s the same pitcher the Cubs have seen over the past few years, a soft-tosser with a sinker/changer combo that he uses to avoid barrels. He’s not going to strike out many batters and he may walk a few as he nibbles at the zone, but he just hasn’t given up many big hits this year.
That has to change this afternoon if the Cubs want to have a shot at avoiding the sweep. The sinker (56.5%) and change (28.7%) make up nearly 90% of his total offerings, so it’s all about picking out the right pitch and doing damage. Or it could simply be a matter of patiently waiting him out if his control falters. Because of his general lack of a swing-and-miss pitch, hitters can afford to get into deep counts and see if they can find something to drive.
After scoring just two runs in each of the previous two games and watching the Brewers surge late, there will be no excuses for another weak offensive performance. The only saving grace here is that the division is still bunched at the top, but it’s clear the Cubs need help in both the ‘pen and the lineup.
On the mound for the Cubs is José Quintana, who’s riding a four-game win streak despite giving up 11 runs over the last three. Gee, it’s funny what can happen when the offense puts up runs on the other side. Part of the issue in his last start was a heavy wind that blew a few balls over the wall, though Q wasn’t completely on point.
He’s been sharp against the Brewers over the course of his career, pitching to a 2.63 ERA and 0.963 WHIP over 13 starts. One blemish on that is Ryan Bleeping Braun, who has a .901 OPS with four homers against Quintana. Mike Moustakas has three dingers, which means those two players have hit all but two of the taters Q has surrendered to the current roster.
First pitch is at 1:10pm CT on ABC-7 and 670 The Score.
Thank you for your interest in today’s #Cubs lineup.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 28, 2019