The Crosstown Cup Series moves to Wrigley Field for third of four games. And Joe Maddon made a change with his lineup.
Jason Hammel is facing right-hander Anthony Ranaudo in his White Sox debut. The former first round pick of the Red Sox was acquired from the Rangers in May.
Miguel Montero is starting his third straight game behind the plate and batting fifth behind Ben Zobrist.
Cubs batting order: Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist LF, Miguel Montero C, Addison Russell SS, Jason Heyward RF, Javier Baez 2B, Jason Hammel P
Joe Maddon will begin the game with Tommy La Stella, David Ross, Willson Contreras and Matt Szczur on his bench.
Heyward’s struggles at the plate this season are well-documented. But this is way beyond the typical slow start that he’s had throughout his career. Heyward has hit into a lot of bad luck this season. At the same time, he has stopped elevating the baseball much less making hard contact.
Heyward has not hit a home run since June 11 in Atlanta, and he has only five extra basehits in July. Heyward is batting .208/.282/.286 with four doubles and a triple for a .568 OPS in his last 21 games. Since the break, Heyward is batting .108/.175/.135 with one double and a .310 OPS in 11 games.
To Heyward’s credit he continues to play excellent defense. With that said, he has to produce at the plate. The Cubs are at the point of the season that the way he hit in June (.257/.336/.386/.722) should be the least expected from an offensive standpoint.
The Cubs are exploring ways to add an outfielder to the roster and one of the reasons is because Jason Heyward has not hit this season.