#Cubs and Lackey face Mets

John Lackey gets the start Thursday night when the Cubs face the Mets in the first of a four-game series. Here’s the lineup:

Zobrist RF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Contreras C

Baez 2B

Szczur LF

Russell SS

Lackey P

Almora Jr. CF

Jason Heyward is not starting for the second straight game. He’s batting .238 vs. left-handed pitchers.

Anthony Rizzo is batting .444 (16-36 AB) with four doubles, four homers, and nine RBI during his current 10-game hitting streak.

Over his last 21 games, Kris Bryant is slashing .295/.406/.705 with eight homers, 18 RBI, and 21 runs scored.


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Should it work or not, you have to respect the fact that Heyward is not in the lineup tonight.
I may be mistaken but I think this is Szczur’s third start in a row? This will begin to answer matt b’s questions as long as some of the rest of us. With as many OF’s or guys that can play the OF, it is possible the Cubs are hoping Szczur has a couple good games as trading time is definitely here.
Very awesome to see the confidence placed in Contreras hitting in the cleanup spot and Catching Lackey.

Aloha jasper, you beat me to the punch! But I think it was you (or jhosk) that brought up not starting Heyward against the Mets possibly for the first two games. I also wonder when he is back in the lineup if he is placed in the 7/8th slot? Another big road series and frankly with what happened against St. Louis and Miami, they need to play this as if they are going for a sweep, that is the mindset needed. Go Cubs! Mahalo!

Aloha Jasper, well poorly executed game. Errors are really costing this team games. Sure Lackey ran out of gas, maybe Maddon should have pulled him after a 3-1 lead but was probably concerned because of the bullpen. Doesn’t matter that with two on in scoring position no outs they could even being one in. I still look back at the inning they gave up 3 runs. This team right now against better teams is unable to win close games and ones they have a lead in. If they do not turn this around, there is no WS this year. I know this is hard to say but these are the games that have to be won. I hope Fowler and LaStella come back soon. Take care. Mahalo.

K.g., with all due respect, I don’t think it was the Baez error that cost the game.
Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd on a single, allowed the winning run into scoring position.
Another mistake by Almora cost the game in my opinion. That two thus far, I don’t think he is ready. Cant wait for the return of Fowler.

Aloha jasper, good points about Almora, I totally forgot about that play. Still want Baez to have his head in the game be it approach at plate or on defense but yes, that attributed to that meltdown in that inning. The team is not doing well against teams above .500, I mean within the past 3weeks, so they need to rise to the occasion. Yes, lookit forward to Fowler’s return. Mahalo.

Yeah, it’s been nice to see Szczur get a few starts in a row. It’s really all I wanted to see. Too bad he’s not as hot as he was earlier in the season. It did become a 3 game hitting steak though. Unfortunately he had only 1 hit in the first game, in which he got SEVEN at bats. That didn’t help his average at all.

I think even giving his starts, Doug was right the whole time. Szczur is excellent off the bench. He is good on defense, a very good pinch runner, he can come through with that Pinch Hit at times.
I also feel with the OF’s on this team, plus the guys that can play outfield, his stay is short. Fowler, Soler will be back, plus Schwarber next year and Szczur is out of options. He has to be traded.

Did not see this game and heard very little of the radio broadcast. I did see Lackey interviewed afterward, and there is no mistaking that he feels he should not have been lifted in the seventh, and he said it`s one thing to lose a game, but it`s another matter to give a game away, and there`s no doubt the latter is what Lackey feels transpired tonight. We praise the manager when he makes intelligent decisions, but this is one of those games when his moves proved costly. (I won`t permit this Cubs` loss to rain on my parade, however. Coastal Carolina won the CWS championship today in Omaha. This is a team whose games I see on a regular basis from mid February each season until April. The school won the championship its very first time it`s ever been to the CWS. That is remarkable, and something which has not been accomplished since 1956.} Did I ever mention the Cubs need to upgrade their bullpen? They need to play better defense also.

Aloha jhosk- thank for that CWS update! Very happy for Coastal! I have to say, I almost did not want to post my last statement but then thought how awesome it was to have a coach that could point out the goods taking place but also being honest about the areas that needed work. I knew last year and this year that the hitting would be a work in progress. But I thought this year would be better defensively than the previous year, not saying the beginning of season was not good but the past 3+ weeks have been hard to watch. Baez is gifted, we all know this but it is time for less “flash” and more regularity. Also, someone needs to have a heart felt talk with him to help him understand this is a team sport and your actions affect others. I was so impressed with Bryant the day he hit 3hrs & 2dbls, no “show-boating.” And when fans wanted a curtain call he made a very wise and mature decision not to do it at another team’s park. I want that for Baez and all the players on the team. And as you mentioned, the coach/manager gets a lot of praise when things are going well but needs to step up and show he can deal with adversity and bring his team through this period as it will build character. Take care now and go Cubs! Mahalo! PS: interesting to hear Lackey’s take on the game, he is a competitor!

That`s an excellent point you make regarding Bryant`s refusal to take a curtain call at the opponent`s stadium. That would have been bad form, for sure. Bryant has far more common sense than Jason Heyward, who vociferously attempted to push KB out on to the field from the dugout. Why would you want to “show up” the opponent? This Mets team seems to have our number. Friday`s starting pitching matchup favors the Mets, in my view. Jacob deGrom is not as dominant as he was in 2015, but he`s still plenty good. We need to demonstrate we can defeat this team.

Aloha jhosk- well you called this one, though I am sure you did not want to be right, deGrom throwing a 1-hitter until the 6th. I think this is one of those weird games because you have a Mets team that has an overall lower batting average then the Cubs and tonight they just hit the “snot” out of the ball! I feel bad for Hammel, curious as to why Maddon did not pull him but he probably felt too, this is one of them games that happens from time to time, that as you said jhosk deGrom’s record is deceiving as he is a very good pitcher and shut down a good lineup. Question is, can this team win the next 2 games to finish out this road series over .500? Will be curious to see who gets traded to sure up the pitching/bullpen. Because if the FO can get an elite starter or elite reliever like a Miller with control for so many years, the Cubs are going to have to give something up. This might be that time when they have all these young players both in the show and in the farm system because pitching will always be needed. Let’s hope for a “better tomorrow!” Mahalo!

jhosk,do you think there is going to be a little partying going on in Myrtle Beach this weekend, an amazing run, folks around here in the Raleigh area feel cheated because the Wolfpack lost a deciding game to C.C. due to a rainout or something, this is one of the times that you have to tip your hat to the better team, will be at Fleming Stadium watching the Wilson Tobs play on the 4th, who by the way I did not know a skinny righthanded pitcher was part of the 20th anniversary Tobs team, Justin Verlander, celebrated at a game last Saturday Night. Go Cubs!

Yes, Kenly Cub. N.C. State played CCU in an elimination game that first weekend of the tournament, June 6. The Wolfpack led 5-3 in the top ninth, and CCU had bases loaded when game was halted by rain. It resumed 14 hours later June 7. At one point the score was 5-4 and two outs and the Coastal batter found himself in an 0-2 count.{The broadcasters in Omaha referenced this many times this past many days, meaning how the Chanticleers were within one strike of being eliminated early in the tournament.} That Coastal batter was hit by the next pitch, and the Chanticleers went on to rally for three more runs and win 7-5. Verlander`s had a heckuva career. Enjoy that game at Fleming Stadium on the holiday. I found the North Carolina Baseball Museum visit valuable. Thanks for recommending it. (Did you know Darwin Barney pitched in the 19th inning of today`s marathon between the Blue Jays and Indians?) Let`s see the Cubs take down the Mets tonight.

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