PG Notes: Chicago Cubs John Lackey takes the mound against Brewers
The Chicago Cubs will look to get their ninth win in 10 games as John Lackey takes the mound against the Milwaukee Brewers.
It was an exciting finish for the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night, as they won the opener of a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers in extra innings.
Jake Arrieta gave the Cubs a quality outing in his first start since suffering a hamstring injury. After surrendering the lead to the Brewers in the eighth inning, Javier Baez tied things back up in the ninth with a RBI single, scoring Ian Happ. Slugger Kris Bryant then hit a game-winning two-run home run in the 10th inning.
With the Brewers trailing the Cubs in the National League Central by 4 1/2 games, they’ll look to gain some ground while the Cubs will look to keep building momentum.
Going for the Chicago Cubs will be veteran right-hander John Lackey. Lackey is 11-11 with a 4.62 ERA going into the game. In the month of September, he is sporting an impressive 1.93 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings pitched. Like other members of the Chicago Cubs’ rotation, Lackey has improved as the season has progressed. He’ll look to keep that trend going tonight.
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Pitching for the Brewers will be right-hander Brandon Woodruff. Woodruff, 24, made his MLB debut with the Brewers in early August and has started in six games for the Brewers. He enters the game with a 2-2 record and a 3.28 ERA. The young rookie brings some heat, with an average fastball velocity of 94.6 mph. He’ll face the pressure of trying to keep his team afloat in a division race that is steadily nearing the end.
Alex Avila will get the start behind the dish tonight and bat fifth. The veteran catcher is slashing .253/.361/.410 with three home runs since being acquired by the Cubs. With Willson Contreras having missed significant time due to injury and Justin Wilson under-performing, Avila has proven to be the most valuable acquisition the Cubs have made via trade this season.
Addison Russell will get a break, as Ben Zobrist will start at second base and bat in the cleanup spot. Javier Baez, who was part of the late-game heroics last night, will start at shortstop and bat eighth. Kyle Schwarber, who is posting a slash line of .293/.356/.683 in the month of September, will play left field and bat sixth.
Here are the full lineups for both teams:
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You can catch tonight’s game at 6:30 PM CT on ESPN. This will be the second game of a four-game series. Unlike this point last season, the Cubs don’t have the luxury of stepping off the gas to rest before the playoffs. This series is of huge importance to both teams.