#Cubs lineup vs Reds

Jon Lester will start the Cubs home opener Monday night when they play host to the Reds at Wrigley Field. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Heyward RF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Soler LF

Russell SS

Ross C

Lester P

Prior to the game, the Cubs acquired left-handed pitcher Giovanni Soto from the Indians on Monday for a cash consideration. To make room on the 40-man roster, Kyle Schwarber was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Soto, 24, who was optioned to Triple-A Iowa, made his Major League debut with the Indians last season and threw six scoreless relief appearances, covering 3 1/3 innings pitched. He held opponents to a .231 batting average.


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A four pitch first inning? That’s embarrassing.

Aloha Mat, yes it is. I hope Lester can settle down; he had thrown a lot of pitches through 4innings. I also hope Heyward finds his rhythm at the plate. He does not need to hit dingers, just hits. Lastly, the Reds right now have played a week in cold weather, the Cubs coming from warm climate into cold. Mahalo!

The Cubs won tonight. Addison saved our bacon. It looked at one point as if Finnegan may no-hit us. That would have been embarrassing, in view of it being Opening Night and all. Lester was disappointing, but that issue is for another time. I want to discuss Jim Deshaies. You`ll recall the bottom of the sixth when Kris Bryant was at bat and Finnegan still had his no-hitter going. Bryant struck a ball along the third base line which the Reds` Suarez waved at and the ball went under his glove by a wide margin, and traveled deep into left field. I immediately said to myself “that is an error.” Jim Deschaise commented, “that has to be a close call,” meaning the official scorer is going to have a difficult decision in scoring that as a hit or error. No, Jim, it is not close to being difficult. I question if Jim Deshaies actually knows the game. This is a guy who played at the major league level, I`m told. Please! I urge you to respect your audience. We are not as dumb as you may think. {By the way, Jim changed his tune quickly when he learned the `official scorer` deemed that ball an error by the third sacker, and did so in short order.} I must add Len Kasper was not party to this nonsense. My impression was that Len viewed that ball as an error from the get-go, as did most knowledgeable observers, I would think.

Aloha jhosk- I have to say you made very profound points. We know countless examples of former players, who were not the best coaches/managers as well as other positions in the game. Then on the flip side, you have many folks who had very little to no playing time up in the “show,” that became very good coaches/managers as well as other jobs. I did not see the play you are talking about, I will have to watch it as well, though I hear you. I thought about you as you brought up correctly, 2 years ago Finnegan being the only mlb player to go from College WS participant to MLB WS in the same year (2014)! He had the Cubs guessing and as well as not capitalizing on the walks he gave up. Kudo’s to Heyward tonight, I know that was a big hit for him. I liked Russell’s approach at the plate all night from the beginning: first or second ab he hit was a long fly ball on the nose that without the wind blowing in could have been a hr on another day. Then he was patience, did not chase Finnegan’s pitches and drew a walk. So, the whole evening he was dialed in before hitting his dinger. Yes, we can talk about Lester later, suffice to say he did not look comfortable out there tonight. I also think the Reds are a better team than the Angels and better on the base path which could have added to his frustration. Hope he can work things out. You take care now. Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., Joe Maddon is an example of one of those coach/managers who never played at the major league level, and yet excelled once he found his niche. Finnegan was vey effective tonight, and yes, I recall vividly you and I discussing him in 2014 when he enjoyed that incredible success at both the college and major league levels. He flummoxed the Cubs batters for the greater part of the contest, until he didn`t. The deception in his delivery was the key, as our analysts pointed out.{That hit Brandon struck off Lester was impressive too, as it drove in the runner from third. Lester never should have surrendered the knock, but we will deal with that inconvenient truth another time.} That knock by Heyward was critical, as you suggested, and Russell`s dinger was the “coup de gras,” if you like. Don`t you and all Cubs`fans love that we are 6-1, and that our players have Tuesday to rest, before we confront these formidable Redlegs again Wednesday?

Aloha jhosk- I had to remind myself that for the beginning on the road, it would be awesome if the team could get back home with a 4-2 record. So to get back to Wrigley 5-1, then come from behind to win the home opener is tremendous. By the way, my wife coined a phrase late in the 2009/early 2010 SF Giants season(s) “torture ball.” She said with all the nail-biters, late inning rallies and close games, it was like watching torture ball but she said, to the Giants credit they never gave up, they never felt they were out of a game. So I give to Cubs Fans her phrase as I am sure there will be some moments this season where we are “feeling” it! And to your other comment about Addison. I think I mentioned before, my father was surprised that the Yankees did not go after him sooner in a trade with the A’s. I was so happy he came to the Cubs, sure I do not get see him play as much locally but that is what MLBTV is for! I have said from day one as a young person he is one of those that shows a high level of maturity that is very endearing as well as poised. I feel he is going to take on more responsibilities as a leader as he grows. Enjoy the day off, tomorrow is round two with them Reds! Mahalo!

When Kyle blew out his knee, I thought to myself this guy may very well be my favorite Cub. Now I`m thinking Addison Russell may be that guy. I do know Carrie alerted us to “look out” for Addison, and she did so in 2015 when he was still under the radar. This dude is going to be special. Did I mention we are going to miss Schwarber and his home run power and positive attitude? As the manager commented after Kyle`s unfortunate setback, “this is one of the most refreshing young talents in the game.”

I must say, I was a little anxious last night. When you look at Lester’s STATS the first two games, he is right where he needs to be. I understand opening day jitters. Watching him in Anaheim, maybe I was expecting to much.
Seven games and still no Clayton Richard appearance.
They really are Relentless as far as making the Pitcher bring the ball into the Strike Zone. We all know they walk a lot. So far this season Russell has been called out on strikes 3 times on a full count. All three times looked like he should have been heading to first with a walk. He got his revenge last night.
In fairness, Rondon’s last Pitch last night was very low and called a strike. Its nice to actually see one go your way for a change. Maddon has made two challenges in 7 games, winning both. I guess what I am saying is, I wish there was a better way to evaluate Umpires. Better yet, find a way to make them be fair to both teams. This fan has a huge problem with Umpires.
Anyway, good or bad, some of my thoughts so far this season.

Aloha jasper- funny you should bring up Rondon’s last pitch of the night. On another one of Carrie’s post, there was a person that commented what was the “value/worth” of folks like Montero-Ross and wanting to blame Maddon for Schwarber’s injury. I spoke to many key elements that are extremely valuable when it comes to a backstop because the comment seemed to only take offense into account. One of those is framing of pitches. In the sequence with Rondon in the 9th there were a couple of borderline pitches that Ross nicely framed for the ump and got the strike. That comes from experience. Now, I do feel that the Cubs: Addison and all, are more patient at the plate so far and some of the umps are not being objective with their calls. And like you, I do not want the umps leaning toward one player/team/manager over another. I just want them to do their job in a way like “Lady Justice,” blind folded so as not to be swayed one way or another but equal and fair in every opportunity that they participate in. In regard to Richard, I am surprised not to see him yet and felt that way about Warren, until he made his debut. Well, this week here in the Bay Area is the second week for our Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri), with the big parade on Sunday. So, I will have to check the scores while tending to the “teriyaki!” Take care now. Mahalo!

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