The Cubs have a chance to go for the sweep against a team that came into this series looking like it could make some noise in the playoffs. The only noise the Phillies have made through two games, however, resembles a whoopie cushion. Each of the those contests have been close, low-scoring affairs, so something tells me there could be a few more runs in this one.
Willson Contreras moves into the leadoff spot and will catch for the first time since coming off the IL, followed by Seiya Suzuki in right. Ian Happ is in left, Patrick Wisdom is at third, Nico Hoerner is at short, and Franmil Reyes is the DH. David Bote gets a chance to play first base, Nelson Velázquez is in center, and Christopher Morel is at second.
Javier Assad has had a bit of a rough go over his last four starts, allowing 12 earned runs on 16 hits over 17.1 innings. He’s struck out 17 in that time, but the real problem is 11 walks that have clogged the bases. Giving up a home run in each of his last two has also stung. Assad will need to be sharp in this one to keep the Phillies’ bats quiet yet again.
Ranger Suárez is putting together a decent season for the Phils on the strength of traditional crafty lefty wiles. The 27-year-old southpaw is mainly a sinker/change pitcher and he’ll work in the slider, cutter, and curve for variety. He tends to nibble a little, which can lead to walks, but he induces a lot of grounders and limits damage by keeping the ball in the yard.
The Cubs have been finding success by getting runners on and getting them over, even if it’s not always with great frequency, so this matchup might work in their favor.
First pitch from Wrigley is set for 1:20pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 29, 2022