Chicago Cubs take on Reds, newly called-up Jackson Stephens

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs hope to bounce back against the Cincinnati Reds in the second game of their three-game series. Eddie Butler will take the mound for the Cubs, coming off of two strong starts.

The Chicago Cubs will face the Cincinnati Reds and their most recent call-up, Jackson Stephens. Stephens was called up earlier this year but never appeared in a game. The Cubs haven’t had great success against pitchers they see for the first time, which could be a concern for a team struggling to hit the ball consistently.

The Cubs (40-40) have fallen back to .500, a place they’ve spent most of the season. They’re never been more than two games under, or more than four games over. Without a doubt, you can call this team a .500 ball club. The Reds (34-45) took the first game of the series, but it was just one win of six in the last 29 played between the two clubs.

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Eddie Butler (4-2, 3.71) will take the ball for the Cubs as he comes off a solid outing against the Nationals. Butler allowed just four hits in five innings of shutout baseball. This will be his first appearance against the Reds for the Cubs but was 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA while with the Rockies.

There is good news for the Cubs on the offensive front. Kris Bryant will join the lineup again after missing time after rolling his ankle against the Nats. Jon Jay seems to have quietly assumed the leadoff duties as Anthony Rizzo has fallen back into the third spot behind Bryant.

Joe Maddon has been criticized for “changing the lineup” so often, but it’s been more out of necessity than anything. With so many inexperienced players, he has to find a way to make them comfortable and build confidence in them–all while not costing the Cubs at the plate. Easier said than done.

Here are the lineups for today’s game:

First pitch is at 3:10 p.m. CT at Great American Ballpark. CSN Chicago will have the television coverage while 670 The Score will have the radio broadcast. Be sure to check back throughout the evening for more Cubs news, as well as the postgame coverage from today’s matchup.