The Cubs continue to hit like the pre-Kelly Leak Bad News Bears, with only the Brewers’ own ineptitude keeping first place in the Central up for grabs. Maybe that changes tonight when they face a rookie who’s allowed nine earned runs in 6.1 innings so far.
Joc Pederson leads off in left, Kris Bryant is at first, Javier Báez is at short as long as he remembers how many outs there are, and Willson Contreras cleans up behind the plate. Patrick Wisdom is at third, Jake Marisnick is in center, Jason Heyward is in right, and Sergio Alcántara plays second.
Kyle Hendricks has won his last seven starts and it’d sure be nice if the Cubs could give him No. 8 without making him work too hard for it. This isn’t a must-win by any stretch, but it sure would be nice to head out to LA with at least a small bit of momentum.
Opposing the Cubs is 25-year-old righty Eli Morgan, who we can only hope pitches about as well as the guy wearing 49 for the home team. Morgan’s had a rough go of it in two previous starts and didn’t necessarily wow in Triple-A this season, so this is an opportunity for the Cubs to get right. Or it’s an opportunity for the young starter to make his mark.
It’s fitting that he’s facing Hendricks since the Cleveland hurler averaged under 90 mph on the fastball and likes to throw his change as well. The big differences are that Morgan throws a slider about 15% of the time and doesn’t work with a sinker. Every one of his offerings have been hammered this season, so there’s really no excuse for the Cubs to suck again in this one.
First pitch is set for 7:05pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score. Seriously, the Cubs really need to hang some crooked numbers tonight.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 22, 2021