Chicago Cubs: Kyle Schwarber back, hitting fifth versus Brewers

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 08: Kyle Schwarber
MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 08: Kyle Schwarber /

The Chicago Cubs have recalled Kyle Schwarber as they get set to do battle against the first place Milwaukee Brewers in a key matinée clash.

Kyle Schwarber is back!

As if Thursday’s game for the Chicago Cubs needed anymore flare against the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers, the Cubs have recalled their slugger as they look to close the gap before the All-Star Break.

John Lackey goes on the DL as the corresponding move.

Key divisional game

Entering play 3.5 games back of the Brewers, the Cubs are coming off a thrilling come-from-behind win Wednesday against the Rays. Mike Montgomery (1-5, 2.80 ERA) will take the rubber for the North Side Thursday.

The lefty looks to continue making a case for staying in the rotation, as he continues to work deeper into games. Last time out against the Reds he lasted 6 2/3 innings.

Milwaukee will counter with right-hander Zach Davies (9-4, 5.03 ERA), who, despite the high ERA, is coming off an 11-win season as a rookie in 2016. He’s 0-1 against the Cubs, allowing five earned runs April 9 in Milwaukee.

Davies enters Thursday’s action coming off a win last time out against the Marlins.

Though Davis has racked up the wins, he has not had an ERA under four any month this season. Opponents are hitting .292 off him.

Offensive boost?

All eyes will be back on Kyle Schwarber.

After working on mechanical adjustments and subsequently tearing it up for the Iowa Cubs, Chicago will see how it all translates right away Thursday. He’s set to bat fifth in today’s lineup.

Schwarber went two-for-five with a home run against Davies April 9.

Jon Jay will lead off after yesterday’s big three-run blast that ignited the Cubs offense, propelling seven unanswered runs. In 18 at-bats against the Brewers, Jay is hitting .389. He’s 0-for-2 lifetime off Davies.

Rookie Ian Happ continues to find his way into the lineup, and why not? Over the past seven days, Happ is hitting .375 with two home runs and six RBI. He will be at second base.

What’s next?

It’ll be the third opponent in as many days as the Chicago Cubs battle the Pittsburgh Pirates. Right-hander Eddie Butler (4-3, 4.18 ERA) takes the ball against righty Trevor Williams (3-3, 4.67 ERA).

First pitch is set for 1:20 p.m. CT from Wrigley Field.