#Cubs Lester faces Pirates in finale

Jon Lester will close the Cubs’ series against the Pirates on Sunday against Gerrit Cole. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Heyward RF

Bryant LF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist 2B

Russell SS

Baez 3B

Ross C

Lester P

The Cubs have outscored opponents, 213-103, the best run differential in the Majors. Cubs starting pitchers also have pitched through the fifth inning in 43 regular season games, dating to Sept. 27 last year.

Anthony Rizzo has 11 home runs and 33 RBI in the first 35 games. According to Elias, only five other Cubs players since 1920 have hit that many home runs and had that many RBI in the first 35 games. That list includes Hack Wilson, Billy Williams, Dave Kingman, Andre Dawson and Sammy Sosa.

*Looking ahead to Cubs at Brewers:

Tuesday: RHP Kyle Hendricks vs. RHP Chase Anderson

Wednesday: RHP John Lackey vs. RHP Jimmy Nelson

Thursday: RHP Jason Hammel vs. RHP Junior Guerra



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This is the best lineup I have seen this year. Go Cubs

Yes, looks good. Time to give Soler a rest?

Aloha Bruce- you know I have been a big supporter of Soler and thought the outfield would have looked like this: Schwarber/Heyward/Soler baring any injuries at the start of the season. Then at the last minute Fowler came back which has been a good thing. I maybe have stirred the pot a little last week in bringing up Soler and his situation. My main reason for doing so was because the Cubs are playing so well right now, what at the time might be needed in the near future? Of course “pitching” is always brought up. As hard as it was, I mentioned what if Soler and say Strope were part of a package where would they go and who could the organization get back? The other reason I even brought this up was to show that I am objective, though a big fan of Soler, as this is a business I would understand if the FO did something before the trade deadline. I was pleased to read an article that Carrie did, whereby she mentioned Maddon’s philosophy when it comes to players from other countries like Soler that also had to endure hardships while in Cuba. I have to remember he did not grow up with freedom and liberty like we have and he has only been in this country for so many years. So, they do not want to rush him as they see the potential as well. Which means all the more the importance of the Fowler 1-yr signing. I still believe that Soler can regain that patience and focus that he had against Cardinal pitching in last year’s playoffs. I also think he can get better in the outfield; we all know he has an arm. Lastly, Maddon mentioned that he is trying to put Soler into the lineup with the best chances for immediate success (against pitchers) so that he gains the confidence he needs on a daily basis. Hope you are doing well. Take care now. Mahalo!

I’d really contemplate moving Heyward out of 2 hole…. Zo or Russell are hot right now. I’d give them a shot there

Aloha Petrey- not a bad idea. I think Maddon is slowly moving Addison around the lineup (the youngest guy on the team). I think we could eventually see him as a #2 but definitely agree with you about Zo, he could be there right now. I have also wondered about Zo in the #3 spot, Rizzo in the #4 and Bryant #5, just to shake things up for opposing pitchers and like you said, when someone is hot putting them up early to make some noise. Mahalo.

We miss Schwarber`s bat just as we knew we would. Is he “killing the rehab” the way Joe predicted he would? Haven`t seen much about that subject.

Aloha jhosk- I think I read that Joe has Schwarber in the dugout doing charts on pitchers to keep him “in” the game so he is ready when he comes back! Before we all know it, it will be 2017 and he will be in the lineup! Mahalo!

Just FYI, Schwarber isn’t in the dugout. He’s watching the games from inside the clubhouse.

Aloha Carrie, thank you for that clarification. Mahalo.

This is going to be a contentious rivalry all season. Cole`s remark that he does not think the Cubs are the best team in the game is representative of that. Let`s hope it remains on a civil level, and does not rise to something similar to what you see in the AL with the Rangers and Blue Jays. That`s downright ugly. If we had to lose that game Sunday, and there needed to be an offensive hero, it`s fitting that it was Kang. This is the same infielder with whom our Chris Coghlan collided with at second base in Steeltown last September, resulting in the Pirate infielder fracturing his left leg and tearing his MCL. We agreed it was a clean slide on Chris`s part (even the Pirate tv broadcasters said so at the time. I was one of the viewers.) On Saturday Kang was drilled by an Arrieta fastball in the middle of his back, and those same Pirate broadcasters questioned if that pitch was not deliberate, given Jake normally has pinpoint control. We know Maddon defended Jake after the game, but that`s meaningless. Part of a skipper`s job description is to defend his players. I`m more inclined to place value in the views of an objective observer, someone without a dog in the hunt. Only Jake knows if that was a purpose pitch. Kang`s demeanor tells me he puts his head down and plays the game the right way and does not disrespect the game the way Bryce Harper does. If the Cubs are wanting to single out a Pirate player for punishment, I wish they would choose someone other than Kang. Did I mention it`s poetic justice that Kang excelled offensively yesterday? Do you follow me?

Arrieta was having command problems that inning, and anyone watching the game would have seen that. He did not hit Kang intentionally and to suggest that he did is absurd

I guess I did not provide clarity. II did not suggest Jake deliberately threw at Kang. I`m suggesting it`s open to interpretation. Only Jake knows what his mindset was when delivering that pitch. These incidences involving hit batters are often nebulous, and we may never know the truth. With all due respect, you are in the same category as Maddon here, meaning your job is to defend all things Cubs. You say “anyone watching would have seen that incident a certain way,” yet the two Pirate tv broadcasters saw it the opposite way from you. I concede, they are not in a position to be truly objective either. Do you see my point? We need to find intelligent baseball observers who do not have “skin in the game” to weigh-in on this matter. Peace!

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