The first game of today’s doubleheader didn’t work out well for the Cubs, who got out to a 4-2 lead before letting the Brewers come back in the later innings. Matt Swarmer did pretty well in his MLB debut, allowing just one earned run (four total) with six strikeouts and a walk in his start. Nelson Velázquez picked up his first career hit as well.
Rookies will again be highlighted in the nightcap as Christopher Morel gets things started at second base. Willson Contreras is the catcher, followed by Ian Happ in center and Frank Schwindel at DH. Patrick Wisdom is at third, Velázquez is in right, and Clint Frazier is in left. Alfonso Rivas handles first base and Andrelton Simmons rounds out the order as the shortstop.
Drew Smyly (2-5, 4.08 ERA) takes the mound for the Cubs tonight and he’s certainly due for a get-right game. He’s given up two or more runs in six straight outings, none of which lasted past the 6th inning. That’s after starting the season with two games in which he allowed no runs. He hasn’t had any particularly awful games, but his recent history of giving up crooked numbers suggests the Cubs will need to bang out more than a few runs to have a chance tonight.
They’ll try to do so against 24-year-old southpaw Aaron Ashby, who made his first appearance of the season against the Cubs and actually made his MLB debut against them last season. He allowed a run on three hits and struck out one while walking another back on Opening Day and his performance has been very solid since. With the exception of one terrible start against the Braves, he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs.
Ashby probably won’t go very deep in this one due to his role as a swingman and also his propensity for walks. The southpaw has walked three or more batters four times in 10 total appearances and he’s walked 20 in 34 innings. His saving grace is a 65.9% groundball rate that wipes runners off the board with incredible frequency. Allowing only two homers has helped.
It’s a little strange that opposing managers haven’t tried to stack more left-handed hitters against him because Ashby has pitched to massive reverse splits. He gave up an .875 OPS to lefty batters last year and is at .745 this year, but righties put up just .568 and .558, respectively.
Getting a win tonight is kind of big since losing four games in three days would not be a very good idea. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40pm CT and the game will be broadcast on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 30, 2022