Jason Heyward leads off in center yet again, which is very good to see and should continue against righties. He’s followed by Nicholas Castellanos, the only Cub to record a hit and reach base twice last nice, in right. Then it’s Kris Bryant at third, Anthony Rizzo at first, Javy Báez at short, Kyle Schwarber in left, Willson Contreras catching, and David Bote at second.
They’ll be trying for a repeat performance against righty Zach Davies, who was on the mound for Kyle Schwarber Day in Milwaukee his last time out. The Cubs jumped all over him in that one, which was nice to see because they haven’t been able to do that very frequently in the past. Davies is a soft-tosser with a sinker/changer combo that he uses to avoid barrels, but we’ve seen what can happen when he’s off.
Given what the Cubs’ bats have done in the time since they last saw Davies, they could use another of those poor performances. The sinker (56.5%) and change (28.7%) make up nearly 90% of his total offerings, so it’s all about picking out the right pitch and doing damage. Or it could be about waiting him out if his control falters. Because of his general lack of a swing-and-miss pitch, hitters can afford to get into deep counts and see if they can find something to drive.
José Quintana was on the mound in that same game and it was lucky for him the offense stepped up. The lefty was anything but sharp and had to be pulled early after falling apart in the 5th inning. He’s done a good job of bouncing back and giving the Cubs a good game when they really need it, so perhaps he’s got another gem in him this afternoon.
First pitch is at 1:20pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago and MLB Network (out-of-market), with 670 The Score on the radio.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 2, 2019