The Chicago Cubs have gotten last years Kyle Hendricks’ in his last five starts (2-1, 1.82 ERA) as they look for their second straight over the San Francisco Giants.
The Chicago Cubs have crept within a game of first-place, and Jon Lester things it’s because everyone is starting to have fun again. After going the distance against the San Francisco Giants in last night’s win, he feels the “tightness” is starting to fade, and the Cubs are playing like they did last year. They’ll go up against the Giants’ Matt Moore who pitched well in Game 4 of the NLDS but didn’t get the win.
The Cubs (23-21) have started playing better at home, and Hendricks (3-2, 3.35) has looked sharp as of late, including an outing in Colorado and one against the Reds at Wrigley with the wind blowing out. The lack of velocity that seemed to plague him to start the year is slowly dissipating as his fastball velocity has seen an uptick in recent games.
Offense starting to click
Cause or coincidence, Ian Happ has been part of the Cubs’ resurgence. His .323 average (10-for-31) has been at the heart of the Cubs’ improved offense. The return of Jason Heyward has given Joe Maddon even more options in the lineup–including moving Kyle Schwarber to the No. 2 spot–where he’s thrived and allowed him to be the run-producer he can be.
For the Giants (20-27), the starter Moore (2-4, 5.37) will need to improve on the road. He’s 0-3 with an 8.63 ERA, and he’s running into a Cubs team that is playing much better. For the offense, it’s been Brandon Belt and Buster Posey leading the way for the Giants. Belt has hit nine home runs and driven in 20 while Posey is batting .361 with seven home runs and 11 RBIs.
With Ben Zobrist having the night off, Javier Baez will get the chance to lead off for the Cubs. Zobrist had taken to the role well, but with him and Schwarber out of the lineup, it’ll be a chance for Baez.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s action:
First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. CT at Wrigley Field. CSN-C will have the television coverage while 670 The Score will have the radio broadcast. Be sure to check back for more coverage during the game as well as the post-game coverage following the final out.