J-Hey leads off in center, followed by Artist in left, KB at third, and Tony at first. El Mago plays short, Schwarbs is in left, Vic is catching, and Chieng is at second. That last one isn’t actually Tony Kemp’s nickname, it’s his father-in-law’s last name. Pretty cool story if you have a few moments.
They’re facing the injury-plagued Joe Ross, who’s making just sixth start in 24 appearances this season. Ross had a pair of decent seasons when he first came up with the Nats, but he’s been anything but consistent over the past three years and has looked very hittable over 46 innings so far.
There was initially a little doubt about Ross making this start after exiting early from his last outing against the Pirates following a comebacker to the leg. Assuming he’s suffering no ill effects, he’ll showcase a mid-90’s four-seam and sinker with a slider, curve, and change. The sinker is easily is best pitch and it’s the only one that has yielded decent results.
Because he’ll really ride the hard stuff in on righties, he’s done a better job against them so far. Lefties are hitting .325 with a .916 OPS against him, but that is driven by awful performances at home. Ross has put up much better numbers on the road, limiting righties to a .571 OPS and lefties to a .696 mark.
As a group, the Cubs have hit. 328 with a .906 OPS and seven walks to nine strikeout in 61 at-bats against Ross. Coming off of two pathetic offensive performances and with Stephen Strasburg scheduled for Sunday, it’d be a good idea to bust out the bats.
Lelo may not need much help the way he’s been pitching lately, so maybe just a few runs will do the trick. On second thought, best to not make Q carry the load again.
First pitch is at 1:20pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago and MLB Network (out-of-market), with 670 The Score on the radio call.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 24, 2019