Chicago Cubs Lineup (8/4/19): Heyward Leads Off, Bote at 3B, Bryant Rests, Darvish Pitching
Jason Heyward leads off in center with Nicholas Castellanos in right and Anthony Rizzo at first. Javy Báez is at short, followed by Kyle Schwarber in left, Victor Caratini catching, Tony Kemp at second, and David Bote at third.
Kris Bryant is getting the day off and Willson Contreras, who would be out anyway because it’s Caratini’s day to start, will be getting an MRI on his hamstring Monday.
The Brewers are sending 26-year-old righty Adrian Houser to the mound for his eighth start of the season as they continue to struggle with their rotation. He’s appeared in three previous games against the Cubs as a reliever and has racked up three strikeouts with one walk while allowing a homer to Bryant back in May.
Houser hasn’t pitched nearly as well as a starter, perhaps because he doesn’t have the stamina to keep throwing his mid-90’s fastball and sinker with the same zip as the game wears on. The sinker is easily his best pitch, so it makes sense that he’d struggle as he runs out of gas and isn’t able to set up his slider, curve, and change as well.
Lefties have absolutely pounded Houser this season, posting a .947 OPS and .392 wOBA, so that should be fun to watch over several innings. He’s been able to get a lot of grounders by keeping the ball down, but mistakes can and will be punished.
Yu Darvish is on the mound for the Cubs coming off of an effort in St. Louis that should have earned him a win. His fastball command has improved immensely as the season has gone on, so now it’s just a matter of the bats helping him out.
First pitch is at 1:20pm CT on WGN and TBS (out-of-network), with 670 The Score on the radio coverage.