Update: First pitch will now be 8:05pm CT.
Cubs Lineup — The Cubs (78-72) have only 12 games left this season. I think they should just try to win all 12, making themselves a 90-win club. But that’s just one man’s opinion. Here’s a look at the Cubs lineup for Game 1 against the Pirates at Wrigley Field.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Nico Hoerner, 2B
- Dansby Swanson, SS
- Cody Bellinger, CF
- Seiya Suzuki, RF
- Yan Gomes, C
- Ian Happ, LF
- Christopher Morel, 3B
- Patrick Wisdom, 1B
- Alexander Canario, DH
Okay, there’s a lot to unpack here, but let’s start with the big one: Alexander Canario is FINALLY getting his first start. All it took was a five-game losing streak, weak(er) offensive production from Mike Tauchman, a couple of high-profile misplays in center field, and injuries to Jeimer Candelario and Nick Madrigal! That’s it!
Canario is getting into this one as the DH against the left-handed Bailey Falter, who (naturally) has extremely significant REVERSE splits this season (and for his career):
vsLHP: .365/.394/.683 (.451 wOBA)
vsRHP: .250/.291/.402 (.299 wOBA)
They’re less pronounced over his fill career, but it’s the same story.
Canario has taken exactly one plate appearance since being called up to the Cubs, and that was back on September 6. He hasn’t started a game (big leagues or minors) since August 30. Probably going to be pretty cold. Probably should’ve gotten a few chances to stay fresh before he was needed, eh?
Anyway, David Ross is rolling with his regular vs lefties lineup, which includes Nico Hoerner up top, Ian happ down at sixth, Yan Gomes behind the plate, and Patrick Wisdom included.
Of course, with Cody Bellinger in center field, and Jeimer Candelario on the IL, Wisdom has to shift over to play first base, which leaves third base open for Chris Morel (where he hasn’t look great defensively this season). That said, neither was Wisdom, so I’m not really sure what you do when you’re missing your two preferred third basemen.
Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup:
- Ji-Hwan Bae, 2B
- Bryan Reynolds, LF
- Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B
- Jack Suwinski, CF
- Joshua Palacios, DH
- Endy Rodriguez, C
- Henry Davis, RF
- Alfonso Rivas, 1B
- Liover Peguero, SS
Chicago Cubs: Javier Assad, RHP
Javier Assad had been ROLLING until about two starts ago against Arizona. He still got results against the Diamondbacks, allowing only three earned runs over his 5.1 IP (perfectly fine for a back-end starter). But the cracks were just beginning to show. Assad allowed two homers in that one and struck out ZERO. And then, in his most recent start, the Rockies chased him from the game after just 3.1 IP (four earned runs on five hits, four walks, and four strikeouts).
Your hope? That the D-Backs are just a hot team and pitching in Colorado is difficult for everyone. But your reality? Assad is approaching 100 innings for the first time since 2019, and he’s been asked to do a lot this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was starting to wear down. That’s just what happens. On the bright side, the Pirates (88 wRC+) have been pretty bad against right-handed pitching this season. And Assad did handle them just fine back at the end of August: 7.0 IP, 3H, 1ER, 2BB, 7K.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Bailey Falter, LHP
Chicago Cubs (78-72) vs Pittsburgh Pirates (70-80) at 6:40 pm CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
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