#Cubs lineup for Game 1 World Series

Not only is Kyle Schwarber on the Cubs’ World Series roster, but he’s starting as the designated hitter and batting fifth on Tuesday for Game 1 against the Indians.

Schwarber, who tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee in a collision on April 7, returns to the ballpark where he made his Major League debut in June 2015. In an Interleague series against the Indians last year, he went 6-for-10 with a triple, home run and four RBIs. The only issue for the Middletown, Ohio, native is finding enough last minute tickets for his
family and friends.

The other surprise in the Cubs lineup is Chris Coghlan starting in right field over Jason Heyward. Coghlan has faced Indians’ Game 1 starter Corey Kluber, and was 1-for-3 with a double. Ben Zobrist has the most at-bats against Kluber among the Cubs (13), but only one hit. Heyward was 2-for-28 in the postseason, while Coghlan is 0-for-4.

Think about this: On Opening Day against the Angels, Coghlan was with the Athletics, Javier Baez was on the bench, Heyward was batting second, and Jorge Soler was the designated hitter.

Jon Lester starts for the Cubs at Progressive Field. First pitch will be 7 p.m. CT.

Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist LF

Schwarber DH

Baez 2B

Coghlan RF

Russell SS

Ross C

This is the Cubs’ first World Series since 1945. According to Elias Sports Bureau, no team in the four major North American sports had ever gone longer than 71 years without an appearance in a championship game/series.

Tuesday’s game also marks the 25,948th day since the Cubs previously played a World Series game on Oct. 10, 1945.

#Cubs Hendricks faces Kershaw and LA

Manager Joe Maddon inserted rookie Albert Almora Jr. in right field for Game 6 of the NL Championship Series on Saturday night and sat Jason Heyward, who was 2-for-28 in the postseason so far.

Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist LF

Baez 2B

Contreras C

Russell SS

Almora RF

Hendricks P

Almora is 0-for-6 so far in the NLCS, but gives the Cubs another right-handed bat against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw. Heyward, in the first year of an eight-year, $184 million contract with the Cubs, batted .230 this season, including a .207 mark against lefties.

Hendricks, who finished the season with the top ERA in the Majors, will be making his second NLCS start. He took the loss in Game 2 when he faced Kershaw at Wrigley Field, giving up one run on three hits over 5 1/3 innings.

#Cubs NLCS notes

The Cubs face the Dodgers on Saturday night at Wrigley Field in Game 6 of the NLCS. The Cubs lead, 3-2, in the best of seven series. Kyle Hendricks will start for Chicago against Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw. First pitch is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. CT.

Here are some notes courtesy of MLB Network researchers:

* Ten teams in MLB history have won Games 6 and 7 on the road in a best of seven series. Here’s the list:

1926 Cardinals – World Series vs. Yankees
1934 Cardinals – World Series vs. Tigers
1952 Yankees – World Series vs. Dodgers
1958 Yankees – World Series vs. Braves
1968 Tigers – World Series vs. Cardinals
1979 Pirates – World Series vs. Orioles
1985 Royals – ALCS vs. Blue Jays
1991 Braves – NLCS vs. Pirates
2003 Marlins – NLCS vs. Cubs
2004 Red Sox – ALCS vs. Yankees

* The Cubs have an 0-6 record when trying to clinch the NLCS, surrendering a 2-0 series lead in 1984 (best of five series) and a 3-1 lead in 2003 (best of seven).

* After batting 2-for-32 (.063) with four RBI over the first three games of the NLCS, the Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are batting .440 (11-for-25) with three doubles, a home run (Anthony Rizzo) and eight RBI over the last two games.

* The Cubs are hitting .313 with 17 RBI against the Dodgers bullpen in this series, compared to .169 with seven RBI against their starting pitchers.

* The Cubs are batting .171 (25-for-146 AB) against left-handed pitchers in the postseason.

* The last time Hendricks lost back-to-back starts was in mid-May (May 17 and 22). At the time, he was 2-4 with a 3.30 ERA. Since then, he’s 14-5 with a 1.83 ERA.

* Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez: “We can grab that momentum with one name — Kershaw.”

#Cubs and Lester face Dodgers in Game 5

Jon Lester starts Thursday night in Game 5 of the NLCS for the Cubs. It’ll be a rematch between the Game 1 starters (Lester and Kenta Maeda). First pitch will be 7:08 p.m. CT from Dodger Stadium. The series is tied at two wins apiece.

Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist LF

Baez 2B

Heyward RF

Russell SS

Ross C

Lester P

 

#Cubs and Lackey face Dodgers

Manager Joe Maddon went back to a more defensive lineup on Wednesday for Game 4 of the NL Championship Series, starting Jason Heyward in right. Rookie Willson Contreras will be behind the plate, and Addison Russell, who has been struggling in the postseason, was dropped to eighth in the order. First pitch was scheduled for 7:08 p.m. CT.

Here’s the Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist LF

Baez 2B

Contreras C

Heyward RF

Russell SS

Lackey P

The Cubs will face their third straight lefty in the series in 20-year-old Julio Urias. However, they faced the youngster twice this season, beating him on June 2 at Wrigley Field in his second ML start and then losing Aug. 27 in Los Angeles, 3-2. The Cubs did not face Game 2 starter Clayton Kershaw or Game 3 starter Rich Hill in the regular season, and lost both NLCS games against them.

The Cubs will counter with John Lackey, who will be making his 22nd career post-season start, the most for any active pitcher in baseball. He will be tied with Whitey Ford for the sixth-most starts in postseason history. Andy Pettitte holds the all-time record with 44 post-season starts.

#Cubs Bryant: “We’re all confident”

LOS ANGELES — The  Cubs trail the Dodgers, 2-1, in the best of seven NL Championship Series, and have struggled offensively. After Tuesday’s games, Kris Bryant did not sound as worried as Cubs fans might be.

“We’ll figure it out,” Bryant said. “We’re all very confident here. The peaks and valleys of this game will sometimes drive you crazy, but we have more games to play.

“Based on what we’ve done this year, sure, it’s surprising,” he said of the lack of offense. “It’s happening at the wrong time, but like I just said, we have more games to play, more times to get that confidence back and figure things out. I’m sure we will. We’ve done it all year. We’re here for a reason. Belief is very powerful, and I think we all have that here.”

Teams have rallied from 2-1 deficits to win seven-game series. Here’s a list (although Cubs fans may not want to look at 2003):

2014 World Series: Giants trailed, 2-1, vs Royals

2013 World Series: Red Sox trailed, 2-1, vs Cardinals

2012 NLCS: Giants trailed Cardinals, 2-1

2007 ALCS: Red Sox trailed Indians, 2-1

2004 ALCS: Red Sox trailed Yankees, 3-0

2003 World Series: Marlins trailed Yankees, 2-1

2003 NLCS: Marlins trailed Cubs, 2-1

1998 ALCS: Yankees trailed Indians, 2-1

Bryant said this year’s NLCS is not like last year when the Cubs were swept by the Mets.

“This is a different situation,” he said.  “I feel like last year [the Mets] pitchers just beat us. Right now, we’ve had some chances. We’re only down, 2-1. Last year at this time we were down three.”

#Cubs NLCS notes

Some Cubs notes to consider as you wait for Game 4 of the NL Championship Series:

*In Game 3 on Tuesday, the Dodgers’ Rich Hill threw Anthony Rizzo seven fastballs and 14 curves, and threw Jorge Soler one fastball and 11 curves. The Cubs had the lowest average exit velocity against curveballs this season (83.8 mph). The MLB average was 87.1 mph.

The Cubs are batting .185 in the postseason. They’re batting .152 vs LHP after hitting .267 against them in the regular season.

*

The Cubs look to avoid joining the 1966 Dodgers and 1905 Athletics as the only teams to be shut out in three consecutive postseason games. The Cubs are the fourth team to be shut out in consecutive LCS contests. The previous three teams to do so all went on to lose the series (1974 Orioles, 1987 Giants, 1991 Pirates).

*

Does this NLCS look familiar to Cubs fans?

Cubs vs Dodgers, 2016 NLCS: slash line .161/.235/.312; eight runs, two homers

Cubs vs Mets, 2015 NLCS: slash line: .164/.225/.297; eight runs, four homers

*

Sunshine state: The Cubs have lost all seven NLCS games they’ve played in California. They lost three to Padres in 1984, three to Giants in 1989 and now one to the Dodgers.

The Cubs and Dodgers have combined to hit .197 in the NLCS. The lowest combined batting average ever in an NLCS was .203 by the Mets and Reds in 1973.

*

On Wednesday, John Lackey faces the Dodgers’ Julio Urias. Lackey has 2,669 2/3 innings pitched in his career, Urias 77. In the postseason, Lackey has totaled 131 2/3 innings, while Urias has two. When Lackey made his postseason debut for the Angels in 2002, Urias was 6 years old.

If Lackey wins Wednesday, he will become the first pitcher in MLB history to record a postseason win with four different teams (Angels, Red Sox, Cardinals, Cubs).

 

#Cubs and Arrieta face LA

Joe Maddon said he was considering some lineup changes for Game 3 of the NLCS against the Dodgers, and he did. Ben Zobrist moved up to the No. 3 spot and Jorge Soler got his first playoff start, inserted into the sixth spot and playing right field instead of Jason Heyward. First pitch scheduled for 7:08 p.m. CT from Dodger Stadium.

Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Zobrist LF

Rizzo 1B

Baez 2B

Soler RF

Russell SS

Montero C

Arrieta P

Here’s the Dodgers lineup:

Utley 2B

Seager SS

Turner 3B

Gonzalez 1B

Reddick RF

Pederson CF

Grandal C

Toles LF

Hill P

 

#Cubs and Hendricks face Dodgers

Cubs manager Joe Maddon made a few tweaks to the lineup for Game 2 of the NL Championship Series. First pitch from Wrigley Field will be 7:08 p.m. CT. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist LF

Russell SS

Baez 2B

Contreras C

Heyward RF

Hendricks P

Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers. The Cubs did not face the lefty this season. Chicago did post the second best batting average against southpaws. Kris Bryant batted .314 against lefties while Javier Baez batted .311.

 

#Cubs and Lester face Dodgers

The Cubs stuck to the same lineup in Game of the National League Championship Series as they did in the NL Division Series, starting Ben Zobrist in left field and Javier Baez at second base to back up starter Jon Lester.

First pitch for Game 1 of the best of seven series was scheduled for 8:08 p.m.ET/7:08 p.m. CT from Wrigley Field (FS1).

Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist LF

Russell SS

Heyward RF

Baez 2B

Ross C

Lester P

The Cubs made one change regarding the playoff roster and added lefty Rob Zastryzny, while infielder Tommy La Stella was taken off. The Dodgers were last in the Majors against left-handed pitching. Zastryzny gives them four in the pen, joining Travis Wood, Mike Montgomery and Aroldis Chapman.