By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (CBS) — The choices were many for Cubs manager Joe Maddon when considering his lineup for Game 2 of the National League Divisional Series on Saturday.
In outfielder Chris Coghlan, Maddon could’ve added a batter who’s hitting .374 with two home runs against Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija, but he decided to pass. Maddon made just one change to his lineup from Game 1, replacing veteran David Ross behind the plate with rookie Willson Contreras.
Maddon addressed how he weighed using Coghlan and why he put Ben Zobrist in left field again and Javier Baez at second base.
“I was looking at a lot of things,”Maddon said. “I looked at using (Coghlan). I did. Overall, what’s more likely to happen? What do you need more? The fact they have so many groundball hitters in the lineup and our guy is groundball pitcher. I am not denigrating Zobrist, but Javy is Javy right now.
“So we could have put Coghlan out there and Zo in at second base. You saw the significance of the defense last night. That has been the DNA for us. Catching the ball and helping our pitchers in that method is what we are about. There are a whole bunch of things I could have done. We have all kinds of different ability. I just chose to go with defense again tonight. With Contreras catching, that helps shut down the running game.”
Contreras worked with Hendricks quite a bit in the second half of the regular season.
Here’s the Cubs’ starting lineup:
Dexter Fowler, CF
Kris Bryant, 3B
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Ben Zobrist, LF
Addison Russell, SS
Jason Heyward, RF
Javier Baez, 2B
Willson Contreras, C
Kyle Hendricks, P
The Giants will start right-hander Jeff Samardzija, a former Cub.