Chicago Cubs Lineup (8/24/21): Ortega Leads Off, Schwindel at 1B, Steele Starting
Update: Tonight’s game has been postponed and will be made up as part of a split doubleheader Wednesday at 1:20pm and 5:30pm CT.
Rafael Ortega gave the Cubs their first home win in 28 days with their first walk-off homer since July of 2019 and he’s leading off in center once again. Frank Schwindel is at first, the suddenly-hot Ian Happ is in left, and the perpetually hot Patrick Wisdom is at third. Then it’s David Bote at second, Jason Heyward in right, Austin Romine catching, and Sergio Alcántara at short.
Justin Steele is 0-2 in two MLB starts, but he’s shown flashes of brilliance and just seems to have lapses that kill his chances. Putting together a solid performance against a terrible Rockies team that plays poorly on the road might be just the confidence boost he needs.
Sprechen sie Deutsch? Stout righty Germán Márquez has probably never claimed to be a jelly doughnut, but he’s done pretty well with batters this season. Having a winning record for a terrible team is no mean feat, nor is surrendering less than one homer per nine innings while calling Coors Field home.
Márquez gets a ton of grounders, which is interesting because he doesn’t rely very much on the sinker at all. His 95 mph fastball has been very effective, though, and he locates it well to set up a slider and curve that have both been very good. Those breaking balls make up nearly half of his offerings in a given game, so hitters from both sides need to be on their toes.
Lefties do have an advantage as far as splits, hitting and reaching base at a much higher clip than their right-handed counterparts. However, righties have hit nine of the 15 homers Márquez has allowed. He generates a lot of swinging strikes, something the Cubs are probably going to help him with, but his stuff can carry out of the zone too far for many called strikes. Perhaps dialing up the patience will help tonight.
First pitch is at 7:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.
Here is tonight's #Cubs starting lineup. pic.twitter.com/0R0zlhcl2I
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 24, 2021