The Cubs may not have been able to beat the Cardinals when it really mattered last week, but it appears they’ve managed to scrape together what’s left of their pride in order to go down swinging. Perhaps there’s still enough in the tank to impact the playoff race they slumped themselves right out of.
Tony Kemp is leading off in right, followed by Nico Hoerner at second base and Kyle Schwarber in left. Ian Happ is in center, Jonathan Lucroy is catching, Victor Caratini is at first, Addison russell is at short, and David Bote plays third.
They’re facing Adam Wainwright, who’s actually been pitching really well lately and has a perfectly solid 3.98 ERA on the season. Before he gave up five earned runs to the D-backs in his last start, Waino had allowed only three total earned runs in his five previous starts combined. His control isn’t great and he’s prone to walking multiple batters, as the Cubs have seen this season, but he still gets a lot of grounders and limits the homers.
Really nothing much more you need to know in this one, since Wainwright is such a familiar face by now. It’ll just be a matter of the Cubs staying patient and not chasing against a guy who throws a lot of pitcher’s strikes. The 38-year-old has been using the curve a little bit more of late, so that’s something to watch for as well.
Cole Hamels in on the bump in what figures to be his final start in a Cubs uniform, though maybe he’d be willing to take a heavily discounted salary to return. All that matters for now is this start, which could go a long way toward setting his value in free agency. The 35-year-old southpaw has not looked very good since coming back from an oblique injury and Joe Maddon has had to use a really quick hook with him.
Given all that, it’s a little odd that he’s out there at all with nothing at stake and the Cards fighting to lock down the division. Perhaps it’s a personal pride thing or a chance for Hamels to prove himself again, which could either pay off or blow up in his face. For the Cubs’ sake, let’s hope it’s the former.
First pitch is at 6:15pm CT on FOX and 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 28, 2019