The Chicago Cubs are looking to avoid their second sweep at Wrigley this season.
The Chicago Cubs (16-14) pitching continues to have its struggles. Because of that, the Cubs find themselves down 0-2 in this weekend series against the New York Yankees (19-9). While certain members of the Cubs offense have struggled, the Cubs scored enough to win the game in each of the first two games.
Tonight, the Chicago Cubs send Jon Lester (1-1, 3.67 ERA) to the mound to stop the bleeding. Lester has been solid so far this year, but not quite the same dominant pitcher he was in 2016. Lester has yet to pitch into the seventh inning. Instead, he has been victimized by high pitch counts and first inning runs. The Cubs have allowed an MLB-worst 40 first inning runs.
The Yankees will counter with Luis Severino (2-2, 3.86 ERA). The 23 year old righty has had some mixed results this season despite a solid ERA. The Cubs will be a tough test for him, especially as the look to avoid the sweep at home and finish .500 on the homestand.
Keys to the Game
As has been the case much of the year, Lester needs to avoid giving up first inning runs. The Cubs were able to score six runs last night, but being down 5-0 before they even batted made it hard to come back. It would also be good if the Lester can pitch deep into the ballgame. Even though the Cubs were able to save their bullpen yesterday, a deep outing by Lester will be greatly appreciated. It might even be exactly what the Cubs need to propel their rotation forward.
Anthony Rizzo has just one hit on the homestand as his average has dropped to .225 on the season. It’s not unlike Rizzo to get into these slumps during the season. Hopefully today, he breaks out of that slump and helps the Cubs to their 17th win.
The Cubs have been able to stop rookie sensation Aaron Judge in the series. If they can keep him contained for a third straight game, the Cubs have a good chance of winning.
The lineup looks a little different today, as Heyward is still nursing a sore knuckle:
The Yankees line is also a little different as well:
First pitch set for 7:05 on ESPN and 670 The Score as the Cubs get a rare two-night game weekend at Wrigley.