After a very successful 5-2 road trip the Chicago Cubs are back at Wrigley Field for what should be a much more challenging eight-game homestand. The Cubs open up the weekend with a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers, a team the Cubs have played even so far this season (6-6).
Keegan Thompson started the season coming out of the bullpen and he was absolutely dominant, posting a 1.38 ERA over 26.0 innings pitched. His 4.46 ERA over 74.2 innings as a starter are certainly respectable, but nowhere near as productive as he was coming out of the bullpen.
In his last start in Cincinnati, Thompson lost his command after rain started to fall and he could not rebound, getting pulled in the 2nd inning after giving up four runs on two hits and three walks. Could this be a sign that Thompson isn’t suited as a starter and is better off coming out of the bullpen? A dominant outing today could go a long way in showing Manager David Ross that Thompson has what it takes to be a starter into next season.
Nick Madrigal has been solid since returning from the IL (.278/.381/.333) but he’s slowed down a bit since being slotted in at leadoff for the past five games, going hitless in his last two games and not reaching base in either contest. If he goes hitless again today from the leadoff spot, that might be a sign that Madrigal is better suited a bit further down the lineup.
Madrigal is playing second today, Willson Contreras is catching, Patrick Wisdom is at third, Seiya Suzuki is in right, and Franmil Reyes is DH. Reyes has been red-hot since the Cubs picked him up off waivers back on August 8, hitting .382 including three doubles, a triple, and two home runs in eight games.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 from beautiful and historic Wrigley Field.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 19, 2022