The Chicago Cubs have unveiled their starting lineup for Game 2 of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals, and there is a notable absence as Joe Maddon has made some changes.
That absence is left-handed slugger Kyle Schwarber, who has already racked up four hits and three RBI in two postseason games for the Cubs. He went 2-for-3 with a walk against the Cardinals in the Cubs’ 4-0 loss on Friday night, and he certainly had the best at-bats of any starter against John Lackey.
The reason Schwarber is out? Simply put, his record against left-handed pitchers this season is awful.
Yes, he has two home runs and 11 RBI against lefties, but he is batting just .143 with a .213 on-base percentage against left-handed pitchers this season. He has also struck out 27 times in just 56 at-bats against left-handed pitchers, so Maddon is clearly playing the percentages against Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia in this game.
The Cubs have also gone back to their strategy of batting the pitcher eighth, as Kyle Hendricks is slotted into the position with Addison Russell batting ninth.
Here is the full starting lineup for the Cubs on Saturday as they try to even up the NLDS at one game apiece:
1 Dexter Fowler – CF
2 Jorge Soler – RF
3 Kris Bryant – 3B
4 Anthony Rizzo – 1B
5 Starlin Castro – 2B
6 Austin Jackson – LF
7 Miguel Montero – C
8 Kyle Hendricks – P
9 Addison Russell – SS
First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Central in St. Louis, and the Cubs will look to avoid a 2-0 deficit in the series as it shifts back to Wrigley Field on Monday.