Nihilists rejoice, this game means nothing. The Cubs were officially eliminated from playoff contention last night, so pride is the only thing on the line as they play out the string. But with eight straight losses coming into tonight, even those personal stakes have to be pretty low.
There’s no need to field a strong lineup at this point, so Tony Kemp is leading off in left field. Ian Happ is in right, Rebel Garcia is at second base, Victor Caratini is at first, and Jonathan Lucroy is catching. David Bote is at third, Addison Russell is at short, and Albert Almora Jr. is in center.
So that’s fun.
The Cubs are facing Joe Musgrove, who has thoroughly dominated them in three previous outings this season. How a dude with a 4.49 ERA has limited them to two earned runs over 17.2 innings is anyone’s guess, but maybe that changes tonight. Then again, maybe it doesn’t. It’d be quite fitting for this split-squad group to finally get a W.
Musgrove doesn’t do anything particularly well and he isn’t overpowering despite his big stature, he’s just had the Cubs’ number. Not that that’s much of an accomplishment, since pretty much everyone with a 90 mph fastball and middling secondaries can make that same claim. It’s all been a wonderful marketing ploy for the new Marquee Network, that’s for sure.
José Quintana is on the mound for the visitors and it’ll be at least mildly interesting to see how he handles a start with zero pressure. He tends to step up in big games, then sort of fall flat when nothing is riding on it. I have zero statistical evidence to support that idea, just a sense.
First pitch is at 6:05pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago and MLB Network, with 670 The Score on the radio coverage.
Here is tonight's #Cubs starting lineup.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 26, 2019