#Cubs Game 1 lineup vs Padres

Kyle Hendricks will start the first game of the Cubs doubleheader against the Padres on Wednesday. Ben Zobrist leads off. Here’s the lineup:

Zobrist 2B

Heyward CF

Bryant RF

Rizzo 1B

Soler LF

Baez 3B

Russell SS

Federowicz C

Hendricks P

*If you’re looking ahead to the Cubs vs. Pirates, here are  the pitching matchups:

Friday: RHP Jason Hammel (4-0, 1.85) vs. LHP Francisco Liriano (3-1, 3.60)
Saturday: RHP Jake Arrieta (6-0, 1.13) vs. LHP Jeff Locke (1-2, 4.68)
Sunday: LHP Jon Lester (4-1, 1.96) vs. RHP Gerrit Cole (3-3, 3.78)



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I think Maddon was wrong in not pinch hitting for Soler with the bases loaded late in game 2 on Wednesday. Soler had already struck out 3 times and looked bad doing it. Maddon was hired to win games…….not pacify his players ego by letting him continue his bad day at the plate. Russell should have pinched hit for Soler. He couldn’t do any worse than what Soler did. Every game is important…….and a loss now is just as bad as a loss in September. This loss may have been prevented if Maddon pinched hit for Soler.

If you think Maddon didn’t pinch hit for Soler in order to “pacify his ego” then you really haven’t been paying attention to anything that has gone on since Opening Day last season. Maddon has demonstrated since joining the Cubs (and before that with Tampa Bay) that he is not afraid to make a move when necessary, even if it doesn’t make his player(s) happy. Do you think Jason Hammel was happy about being given a short leash when he was struggling at the end of last season? He wasn’t, yet here he is off to a great start this season. Do you think Starlin Castro liked being benched in the middle of last season? Of course not, but he eventually came back and was one of the hottest hitters in the game last September. How about early last season when he removed Hector Rondon as the closer for being inconsistent? Rondon probably didn’t like that, but he came back and is now one of the top closers in the game.
The thing that makes Maddon such a great manager is that he not only knows exactly when it’s necessary to put someone in the dog house, but he knows how to see the situation through and give the player a chance at redemption. Any old fat guy can get all angry at Soler and pull him from the game in a key situation. But it takes a truly great manager to know when to do that, to handle any backlash he gets from that player, and to make sure the player does what they need to do to get back to where he needs to be.
And lastly, while a win in early-May counts as much as a win in September as far as the total number of wins in the standings go. However, to think that you need to go all out to win a game in May like it’s a Game 163 is ridiculous. Again, good managers know when they need to go all out for a win and when they need to let their players play and work it out on their own. Sure, pinch hitting for Soler in that situation might have resulted in something better than a K. But pinch hitting for Soler would have also destroyed his confidence and you’ve got 129 more games where you need a confident and reliable Jorge Soler on your roster. Maddon knows this, and he knows that losing a 1-0 game to San Diego in May is nothing compared to having a player on his 25-man who has lost all confidence in himself. Maddon gave Soler a chance, he failed this time, he’ll probably get some extra work on the side with the hitting coach and maybe lose a start or two in the next series, but there’s still a chance that he can get himself back on track and contribute to this season. I’d rather have that going forward this season than a main player on the roster with destroyed confidence.
Plus, and let’s not forget, the Cubs have played really really really well this season. They’re going to have a few duds like yesterday, but let’s not get in the habbit of nitpicking every loss and second-guessing Maddon in every one-run game. Because when push comes to shove, this is a really good team and Maddon has proven himself to be a really good manager, both on the field and off the field. As k.g. said, Maddon will make some mistakes, but I’d much rather have him out there making the calls than anyone else managing in the game today!

Thank you, Doug

Aloha Gr8Horned1, first welcome to Carrie’s blog, I hope you keep the comments coming. I commend you because it is not easy critiquing a manager, especially a popular one like Maddon. My father was a collegiate bb coach and often said it came down to calls he made, the coaches and management. Having said that I have been a big supporter of Soler for a while. He has a lot of tools for the game but this is merit based job. We can all say a player needs to do their job but you are also correct to say so does a manager. Joe is not perfect and will make mistakes too. I will give Madden this though, he allowed Soler a lot of “rope” if you will yesterday in starting both games of the dh. Soler cannot say that “coach” has not given him opportunities. Szczur and LaStella have jumped all over the chance to play. When Soler gets to start again, if another scenario comes up like the one you mentioned and Soler has not done well at the plate, I bet we see Maddon pull him. Part of this is a mind game and Soler needs to fight, to become hungry, want it. Let us hope they all come out hungry against them Pirates! You take care now. Mahalo!

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