Chicago Cubs Lineup (5/24/19): Schwarber Leads Off, Caratini Catching, Hendricks Pitching
The Cubs’ only series loss in recent memory came against the Reds in Cincy, so I guess this is what the kids might call #RevengeSZN. Or #RevengeWKD. Either way, the Cubs could really use big series against what might be the best last-place team in baseball.
Kyle Schwarber is really starting to feel it as a leadoff hitter and he’ll be setting the table once again for Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. Javy Báez is playing short and remains a babyface despite his brief heel turn, Jason Heyward is in right, and Victor Caratini is catching.
That’s a little ahead of schedule and could mean Joe Maddon is looking to give Willson Contreras more frequent rest. Or it could be that the manager is looking to pair WillCo with Yu Darvish, who is slated to start Saturday.
Daniel Descalso is at second base in this one and looking to get off the schneid that he’s been on ever since we were all convinced that he was the greatest clutch hitter ever. All I know is that the Cubs probably need to find a way to have him bat every time with two outs and runners on. Albert Almora Jr. rounds out the lineup as he continues to get everyday time in center.
Anthony DeSclafani comes into this game with the kind of profile that should have Cubs hitters licking their chops. He’s capable of getting strikeouts with his big fastball and wipeout slider, but he’s made plenty of mistakes over the plate this season and has given up a ton of hard contact in the air.
DeSclafani has allowed 10 home runs in 45 innings, but the cool, heavy air may keep the ball from flying out of the yard. Or maybe it’ll just keep Rizzo from knocking out more lights in the Budweiser sign. Lefties are absolutely terrorizing the 29-year-old Reds righty, posting a 1.034 OPS with a .421 wOBA across 94 batters. Yeesh.
That success has come because DeSclafani is so much heavier on the fastball to lefties, using his subpar curve as his big secondary. Righties face a more varied and balanced array of pitches and have been stifled for the most part. The numbers are no guarantee of anything, but this smells like a chance for Rizzo and Schwarber to go off.
Maybe Almora gets in on the party too, though, since he’s been hammering righties this season.
Kyle Hendricks is going for the Cubs after a rough outing in Washington that saw him give up four runs over just 5.2 innings. He seemed to have lost command of his secondaries at one point and stopped throwing anything but sinkers. But he dominated the Reds in Cincy recently and has the chance to repeat that performance against a poor offensive unit.
First pitch from Wrigley is at 1:20pm ET and can be seen on NBC Sports Chicago and MLB Network (out-of-market) or heard on 670 The Score.
Here is today's #Cubs starting lineup.
Stream on @NBCSChicago: https://t.co/rGCuW1XI7C pic.twitter.com/kqYxsUkoYZ
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 24, 2019