#Cubs and Hendricks face Dodgers

Cubs manager Joe Maddon made a few tweaks to the lineup for Game 2 of the NL Championship Series. First pitch from Wrigley Field will be 7:08 p.m. CT. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist LF

Russell SS

Baez 2B

Contreras C

Heyward RF

Hendricks P

Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers. The Cubs did not face the lefty this season. Chicago did post the second best batting average against southpaws. Kris Bryant batted .314 against lefties while Javier Baez batted .311.



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Aloha Neal, first I know you are an intelligent and knowledgeable person, please feel free to share but without the bad language. Having said that, as Jenny said Montero has had some back issues as reported. The great thing is, Maddy knows he can call upon him to ph or come in late into the game. Plus, Joe needs him ready to catch Arrieta in LA. If Maddon had a great option/starter in LF you are right Zobrist is starting 2nd. I actually think Ben is more stable then Baez but that is because Ben is a vet and Baez is still growing. Lucky for Maddon that he has such a versatile player in Zobrist. Now, if it is close today and defense is needed and Baez is playing so-so, Joe can put Ben at 2nd and bring Coghlan into LF. Hang in there. Mahalo!


Did you hear that Montero is having some back problems?

The loveable losers are back and it appears they believe it. Sad Sad Sad. 69 years of waiting and they immediately blow it. With this many years of heart ache, I can no longer watch any of the games. They truly let the hype take them out of being a great ball club. I guess it is next year again. Bull Shxx. They sucked to the max tonight and that is it for them this year. Good night sweet Cubs – you lose another chance to break whatever that fantasy hex is.

Aloha Michael- Gosh I know as a Cubs fan we can be on the “pessimistic” side at times because of the “history.” But tonight was a great pitching duel and Kershaw who has not done well in the past when it came to the playoffs fought through his own “demons” as well as his past injury this year to pitch a great game. That is the end of the story, Hendricks pitched a good game and made one mistake! You cannot put the whole season on this one game. I would not have wanted the Giants/Dodgers or whoever else just to lay down and give it to the Cubs because of “destiny…” No, they have to go out their and earn it. Well, the Dodgers earned tonight’s game. There are still 5 games left; let’s take each game one by one. This is very good young that has to show it can come back from adversity and I believe they can. Hang in there now, no one said it would be easy. Mahalo!

Well then good night & hopefully we wont hear from you again.

No such luck.

So the Cubs lose to the best Pitcher in Baseball, you come on putting them down.
Do you believe that people will take you seriously or you just want to show stupidity?

You are already accomplishing that for yourself. Focus.

Michael F Hansen, you remind me of the other guy.

Yep, Michael F. Hansen, the other guy.

Aloha Folks- that was a tough game to lose but seeing how Kershaw pitched so well tonight (though I felt some calls went more his way the dodgers way), you have to give Hendricks and the bp kudos too for a well pitched game, only 3 hits for the Dodgers. Now, going forward the Cubs have to take the next game so it is insured the series comes back to Chicago. Rizzo needs to start hitting or else the Dodgers can just pitch around Bryant. I almost think if Rizzo’s woes continues that Maddon should flip them in the batting order or at least put Bryant someone where else to protect him. Lastly, I had to do the trial 1-week free subscription to SlingTv to watch tonight’s game. I think it is sad for America’s Pastime that we have to jump through hoops to watch these playoff games. But I almost would have been just as happy to have only listened to Pat Hughes and Coomer (on MLBTV app) instead of the tv announcers. I hope Miggy’s back feels good and is ready to go on Tuesday along with the rest of the team, need to pick up that game! Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., Pete Rose postgame on FS1 suggested the same thing as you; i.e. swapping Rizzo and Bryant in the order. It would mean Anthony sees more fastballs with pitchers not wanting to face Kris with a runner on base. I`m suggesting the next time Kershaw or any dominant lefty faces the Cubs, that Almora Jr. start in right field. Not Heyward with his weak contact, and not Soler with his proclivity to swing and miss, and his shaky defense, but Almora Jr. who is a slasher and who would demonstrate consistent contact if given playing time, and is stellar defensively. Pete Rose also made the comment that he is perplexed how the Cubs could have won 103 games, given their anemic offensive production this postseason. Of course, we know the answer to that. Much of the 2016 season our batters have feasted on mediocre or good pitching. In the playoffs, teams see great pitching from time to time, and that was the case tonight with Kershaw. The adage is good pitching will shut down good hitting. Great pitching will flummox a team. We will face Hill Tuesday. He`s good, but he`s no Kershaw. We have a series. Someone still needs to win three more games to earn the privilege to go to the Fall Classic. Let`s see what each club has got, and which one wants it more. It`s “gut check” time. (Pete Rose also mentioned that Addison Russell is 1 for 22.)

Should the Cubs lose this series,
Maddon will be remembered this year as very stubborn. Continue to play Heyward in RF for his defense. When as you say jhosk, Almora would be much better at the plate and just as good in RF, especially against Kershaw. Stubborn.
Refusing to juggle the lineup when Rizzo, Russell, Heyward cannot hit at all. Stubborn.
The Cubs have now went from a 7 game series, with Home Field advantage, to a 5 game series without Home Field advantage.

Aloha jasper and jhosk, I think Maddon needs to get ahead of this now. Why not start Almora as jhosk brought up and put him in either the #2 slot or where Heyward is currently, can’t hurt. You can always bring Jason later for defense if you think you need to but the team needs a spark plug/hitter. I hope Russell can come back as well. It is imperative they pick up Tuesday’s game because with that outcome one can predict Roberts going to Kershaw for game 5. Let’s hope Maddon will make the necessary adjustments. Mahalo!

Best post lately j. J. The series just went to a five game series, momentum Dodgers, needs a little tweeking, can not wait for Heyward, is to late for that, not just him though, still think the Cubs win but with adjustments. Go Cubs !!!!

Not worried about the quality of my posts Kenly Cub, you have been here awhile, I am sure you know how much that affects me. Notta
Maddon is a great Manager, maybe the best, but I think a lineup change would help everyone.
Of course we all would not agree, but mine would be based on OBP & OPS. Would not affect defense. Would not affect the Pitching.
At least please put Zobrist 2nd, two SH Bats before the power, at least he will see better pitches.

a) The Cubs lost to the best pitcher in the game, a pitcher who already has 3 Cy Youngs, a MVP, and would probably get into the Hall of Fame even if he doesn’t throw a single pitch for the rest of his life.
b) The Cubs won’t have to face that pitcher again for a couple of games and no one else on the Dodgers remotely comes close to that level of talent. Sure, Rich Hill is capable of throwing a really good game, but he’s no Kershaw.
c) Rizzo has been the #3 hitter pretty much all year, so at this point you will either sink or swim with him there. Plus, it’s not like he’s never been in a slump before. And when he has been in a slump, he has shown the ability to suddenly break out of it. If he is able to flip the switch just like that, would you rather have him in the 3 hole or down in the 7 hole? And what would moving him down do to help him or the team anyway?
d) I’d be more comfortable with moving Russell down in the lineup since he hasn’t hit this high for most of the year anyway. Moving Rizzo down in the lineup would be out of character for him and a move that reeks of desperation, almost as much as the Dodgers starting Kershaw in Game 2 on short rest. Moving Russell down would be putting him in a position in the lineup that he’s more used to and allowing an emerging bat like Baez or Contreras to continue to flourish on the big stage.
e) I wouldn’t say that Maddon is stubbornly playing Heyward, as he did sit him against Bumgarner. I think Heyward was in last night because Maddon knew that it was going to be a low-scoring game and that Hendricks is not a strike out pitcher, so defense was just as important as every other phase of the game. And Almora probably wasn’t in there because he’s a rookie and it’s really tough to ask anyone to face Kershaw, much less a rookie who has never seen him before. So if their defense in RF is equal, Heyward’s overall experience was probably the tie-breaker. Now for Game 3, I would expect Soler to be in LF and Zobrist in RF against the LHP RIch Hill. While defense is still important, Arrieta is more of a strike out pitcher than Hendricks, so in this case you can sacrifice just a little defense for an offensive upgrade.

Correct they did lose against the best Pitcher in Baseball.
However Rizzo, Russell, Heyward are not hitting at all, against anyone.
So does Maddon want to go down telling himself and fans, that I did it the same way I have all year?
Or maybe shake things up a bit?
In Almoras defense, he cant do anything if he don’t get a chance, Heyward certainly is doing nothing.
Then you have Baez and Contreras doing the hitting with Bryant, why not Almora?
How much defense do you lose with Almora in RF compared to Heyward?

Aloha Doug, in “defense” of Almora, I have to say AT&T park has one of the hardest outfields to play, with RF being the hardest. Almora played very well, especially not having a lot of experience there. Dodger Stadium has an easier RF and so I think Almora would do just fine. I wish Soler’s defer were better only because it would be nice to have his bat in the lineup but I bet in the back of Joe’s mind is the NLCS last year against the Mets where the play in the OF was not the best. Also, besides Kershaw, Hill, do not forget about Urias(so?), first time around Cubs beat him handily not the second time. No matter what, these next games are crucial because you know Kershaw is a big possibility for game 5 in LA. Take care. Mahalo.

Read my post again and focus on this part: “And Almora probably wasn’t in there because he’s a rookie and it’s really tough to ask anyone to face Kershaw, much less a rookie who has never seen him before. So if their defense in RF is equal, Heyward’s overall experience was probably the tie-breaker.” And here I thought the give ’em a try and see what they can do attitude was reserved for the likes of Matt Szczur! And you realize that you are panicking with the series tied 1-1. Not down 0-2. Not down 1-2. Not down 1-3, but tied 1-1. Rizzo has hit 3 all year and other than a couple slumps has hit pretty well there. And when he did go into slumps during the year, he didn’t break out of it by hitting 6 or 7, but instead was allowed to work his way out of it in the 3-hole. And what would moving him down accomplish anyway? It’s not like he’ll be facing easier pitchers or the Dodgers pitchers will just throw batting practice pitches because it’s the bottom of the order. If your worry is Rizzo is making too many outs and moving him down will lessen his impact on the lineup, then what’s the point of playing him anyway? Why not call for them to bench him all together? Do you think that if Michael Jordan had a couple of bad shooting games in a row, the Bulls ever considered benching him? Tom Brady throws an interception or two and suddenly the Patriots are benching him for the backup? Patrick Kane doesn’t score any goals for a few games and suddenly he’s a healthy scratch? Good teams in the playoffs stick with their good players no matter what. Even if they’re not so good in a small sample size that is a playoff series or two, give them enough time and good players will find a way to be good.

I am betting Almora will be in the lineup tonight, better Bat and defense will be just as good.
We speak of Heywards defense, but out of the games played in playoffs so far, where has that defense come into play?
Scoring Runs is the problem right now, not saving them.

Aloha Doug, yes I see that point about Almora and being a rookie, that could figure into the mix. I am not panicking, I am just making a point with the offense lacking at times. Maddon is blessed to have an option like Almora who plays very good defense and has a better bat at this moment compared to Heyward. Take care. Mahalo.

Was not being negative j.J. WHAT A JERK! Kenly Cub in Exile! P. S. I think Bochy is a better manager, love Maddon but if I may have an opinion here I believe Bochy is better. Go Cubs!!!

Aloha Kenly, I really like Maddon too and at this point would put Bochy a little higher up too. Though, my father a former coach, was beside himself that Bruce did not either keep Moore in to finish the game or go with the hard throwing Strickland. Even great managers make questionable calls too, including Maddon. Go Cubs!

Do y`all agree with the boys on the MLB Network, Harold Reynolds in particular, that the Cubs would be well served if the batting order were modified? I do. Harold recommends Baez in the two hole and Rizzo third and KB fourth. Since Javy is our best offensive weapon these days, I absolutely want him moved up in the lineup. The more ab`s he gets, the better. When Maddon was manager of the Rays, it was common for him to change his batting order, often from day to day, with the only constant being Longoria. Joe has pretty much abandoned that strategy since coming to the Cubs, and appears married to a set lineup. This is another example of the manager`s stubborness, as jasper has pointed out Maddon sometimes is.

Aloha jhosk- It has been interesting on the “Blogosphere” to read others commenting on the lineup and possible changes. I want to give Maddon the benefit of being the manager/coach and seeing that his folks just are not producing and it will be of huge importance for these 3 games in LA. One would be to move Russell down in the order, just to take pressure off of him, like Maddon did last year. I agree with flipping Rizzo/Bryant because you do not want to have the Dodgers pitch around Bryant, meaning he does not see good pitches to hit. I had speculated with yours and jasper’s suggestion about Almora that he might be good in the #2 slot but if Maddon does not start him in RT, I could see your point in having Baez at #2 followed by Rizzo/Bryant/Zobrist…If Almora did start you could still go with the above and put him after Zobrist then Miggy/Addison/Arrieta. Dodger Stadium is an “easier” outfield to play overall then AT&T/Giants. So we could see Soler to begin the game hoping his bat comes alive like last year’s playoffs, then switch him out for defense later on if a very close game. The other subject is Heyward. Let me say for the record, I hope he bounces back next year because I would not want in the future for folks to say he is the “184mil bust…” Having said that, you may recall earlier in the season I made a posting that gave some numbers about Heyward’s 2015 season and how Matheny dropped Jason early on to way down to the 7/8 slots and let him work things out. By the end of the season, Jason was back at the top of the order and finished up hitting .293. This is where Maddon could be perceived as “stubborn” when it comes to Heyward as it took a long time for him to make the decision to bench him on that road trip in the second half of the season that began with Colorado then moved to LA. It is one thing to say you are down 2 guys at the moment in your lineup: Rizzo and Addison. But to be down 3 is 1/3 of your lineup and gives the opposing team a lot more options knowing your guys are not hitting. By taking Heyward out you at least create more what-ifs for the other team. I leave you with this, I read another suggestion about resting Addison too and having Baez at SS, Zobrist back at 2nd. Then in the outfield putting a combination of Soler/Almora/Coghlan to go with Fowler. Again, creating what-ifs for the other team and trying to jump-start the offense. Take care now! Mahalo!

Yes, sir. It did occur to me to sit Addison for a game, but did not dare mention it here, to avoid being attacked. Looks as though Soler will start today in left, and Zo in right. Urias is expected to start game 4, assuming Hill does not exit early today. Does that mean Heyward could be benched for two straight games? Hill is a curve ball pitcher, and the Cubs statistically rank low among NL clubs in batting average against curve balls. One can look it up. It should be interesting. (We could learn who the AL entry in the WS will be today even before the Cubs/Dodgers commence. Did you see last night the Indians` starter`s pinky bleeding profusely while on the mound in Toronto before even completing the first inning? How in the world could the medical staff have permitted such a thing, given the young man had received 10 sutures in the finger? Another example of common sense being suspended.)

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