#Cubs lineup vs Rockies; Baez back

It’s day baseball at Wrigley Field. Kyle Hendricks takes the mound Friday when the Cubs open a three-game series against the Rockies. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet and also 670 AM The Score. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF
Heyward RF
Zobrist 2B
Rizzo 1B
Bryant 3B
Soler LF
Montero C
Russell SS
Hendricks P

Note: Javier Baez was activated from the disabled list, and Munenori Kawasaki was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Baez was sidelined with a bruised left thumb injured when he slid head first into first base.


The MLB Network is also telecasting today`s game. This is often true on Fridays when the Cubs are at home. That`s because every other major league game on the schedule will be played at night. The Cubs have a captive audience, if you like.

We were way off base when we predicted the Reds would be competitive in that series. They are looking like the bottom feeders most knowledgeable baseball observers predicted they`d be. The Reds are tanking the same way the Cubs did so for the first three years of Theo Epstein`s reign. The Cubs will not publicly admit to that, but it is what transpired. It was a necessary evil in order to stockpile talent for the future. It worked, and the Reds and Phillies, and perhaps some other organizations are wanting that same strategy to work for them.

Aloha jhosk- I surprised by the Reds, as they have some pretty good hitters on that team. But this was the first series for them to see better pitching (imo) then their previous series. Also, the announcers kept saying that the Reds were “low” on pitching during the series, maybe meaning rest in between outings? I must say I do like their pitcher Iglesias. Too bad he cannot work with Bosio, would be neat to see how he would do! I hope Hendricks has another dominating performance today and keeps the ball in the yard from them Rockies! Mahalo!

Aloha again jhosk- I am happy for Baez return and sad to see Kawasaki go for now but am sure we will see him up again soon! By the way, this is our second weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival in SF’s Japan-town or what is called Sakura Matsuri. So, thank God I figured out how to get the MLB app on the phone so I can listen to the game while I cook the teriyaki! The big parade is on Sunday. I know this is “Giants” territory where I am located but I wish when the team comes out in May that there would be a way for a few of the players to come to our senior center! I am not sure where the team stays, maybe Carrie could enlighten us. A friend of mine that was with the Giants said many visiting teams would not stay in SF but rather Oakland because charter flights go in and out of a field/airport next to Oakland’s International Airport and there are a lot of accommodations out that way. Well, today’s game first! Mahalo!

Did not see today`s game, k.g., and the little I`ve read about the contest, it sounds as if it was a good `miss.` Four errors? That is not the Cubs` team I thought I knew. Speaking of the Giants, I see it`s a Kershaw/MadBum matchup tonight. Isn`t that deja vu all over again? It feels as if I saw those two lefty aces go head to head less than a week ago in the Bay Area. Today`s “USA Today” reveals that the MLB Network is going to broadcast two games in that late time slot tonight, Arizona/San Diego, and Dodgers/Giants. Guess which one I am hoping to receive. By the way, recall when I mentioned Vin Scully being profiled in Tuesday`s “USA Today.” Vin commented in that piece about two Cubs-related matters. Vin expressed his sadness over reading the news of Schwarber`s injury and his being lost for the season, and Vin marveled about the fact that Joe Maddon came to his booth in full uniform in Dodgers` Stadium last August for a pre-game visit. {Keep in mind, Maddon had never met Mr. Scully before, and that was the purpose of the gesture. They visited for twenty minutes, and it`s my impression Vin was more impressed with Joe Maddon than the other way around.}

Did Maddon abandon the pitcher batting eighth? Why?

Aloha Shawn- That is a good question. I am only going to give you my opinion and that is, this team has matured compared to last season. One reason he had the pitcher in the 8th slot last year was to take pressure off of a rookie, mainly Russell (who is still young and learning). Also, with the type of bats in the lineup now (more patient, willing to take walks), Maddon wants to get as many runners on base early in a game, so Addison or whoever is in that slot most likely has a better chance as opposed to a pitcher. I would not rule out seeing the pitcher in the 8th slot again. You take care now. Mahalo!

Maddon batted the pitcher eighth last year to help Russell’s development. Says doesn’t feel need to do that this year

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