After a late loss and a pair of walk-off wins, the Cubs could use a nice blowout of the Marlins to close this series out. Jason Heyward, last night’s hero, is once again leading off in right as Kris Bryant, Tuesday’s hero, handles third base. Anthony Rizzo is at first and Javy Báez is at short as always.
Kyle Schwarber moves up to bat fifth in left field, Albert Almora Jr. handles center, David Bote is at second, and Taylor Davis is catching. This appears to be the spot for ol’ Beanz, as he’s established a rapport with Yu Darvish and can spell Willson Contreras on a regular basis.
They’ll be facing 25-year-old righty Trevor Richards for the second time and should be looking for another handful of runs. Richards isn’t a power pitcher in the least, but he can miss a bat or two with his changeup. That is easily his biggest weapon and he throws it nearly as much as his low-90’s fastball. He’ll work in a cutter and curve for good measure, but he’s primarily going to throw a four-seam/change combo all day.
And as you might have guessed, he is comfortable rolling the change in there against hitters on both sides of the plate. It’s got tumbling movement to righties, but he’ll put a little more tailing action on it to keep it away from lefties. Richards’ 34 strikeouts in 37.1 innings this season are offset by 21 walks, the latter of which have really been his demise.
He gives up a lot of hard contact in the air, so the thing to watch in this one is whether the Cubs are able to time him up and wait back on the soft(er) stuff. If they can do that, they should be able to put up some runs for their starter.
The enigmatic Darvish gets the nod in this one following a rough start against St. Louis that saw the Cubs come back in dramatic fashion. Here’s to hoping his teammates will have his back early rather than late, at least to the extent that the Cubs can put this away without needing more walk-off action.
First pitch of this matinee affair is at 1:20pm CT and can be seen on NBC Sports Chicago or heard on 670 The Score.
Here is today's #Cubs starting lineup.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 9, 2019