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Joe Maddon explains why Jason Heyward is still out of Cubs World Series lineup

Joe Maddon explains why Jason Heyward is still out of Cubs World Series lineup

CLEVRLAND - As the Cubs try to rebound from a Game 1 loss, Jason Heyward is still on the bench.

The Cubs released their lineup for Game 2 of the World Series and Jorge Soler is in right field after Chris Coghlan started Game 1.

Soler is hitting eighth and bumps Addison Russell to ninth against Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer.

Joe Maddon also changed things up behind the plate with Willson Contreras catching Jake Arrieta instead of veteran Miguel Montero, who typically works with Arrieta.

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Maddon admitted Tuesday he may roll with Contreras in an effort to slow down the Indians run game in what has now become close to a must-win game for the Cubs.

Part of the decision to roll with a pair of right-handed hitters is based on Bauer's splits - he generally is tougher against left-handed hitters.

Maddon said he was going to insert Heyward for defense later on in Game 1 if the Cubs got a lead, but then threw Albert Almora Jr. in right field after pinch-hitting for Coghlan. There was also an opportunity to pinch-run Heyward for Schwarber and that did not come to fruition, either.

Maddon met with Heyward before Game 1 to discuss the situation, as Heyward has now not seen the starting lineup the last three games.

“I covered everything,” Maddon said. “Of course, listen, he wants to be playing. There’s no doubt he does. And I don’t blame him whatsoever. But we had a good exchange of thoughts. He didn’t leave angry. It was just a very open conversation and he’s a very good baseball player and he’s a big part of our future.

"But for right now, in a small moment like this, based on what’s been going on…if we didn’t have other options, we probably would not do it. But we have other options and other guys that have done well, too.”

Here is the complete lineup behind Arrieta:

1. Dexter Fowler - CF
2. Kris Bryant - 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
4. Ben Zobrist - LF
5. Kyle Schwarber - DH
6. Javy Baez - 2B
7. Willson Contreras - C
8. Jorge Soler - RF
9. Addison Russell - SS

The Cubs set an MLB postseason record with six starters age 24 or younger (Bryant, Schwarber, Baez, Contreras, Soler and Russell).

The lineup looks a lot different with Schwarber back in it. He was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in Game 1.

The Cubs couldn't score against Corey Kluber and the Indians bullpen in Game 1 and Maddon will once again place a premium on offense early on in Game 2.

Soler is 0-for-8 this postseason with a pair of walks. Heyward is 2-for-28 with eight strikouts in 10 postseason contests.

Here is the way the Indians will line up for Game 2:

1. Carlos Santana - DH
2. Jason Kipnis - 2B
3. Francisco Lindor - SS
4. Mike Napoli - 1B
5. Jose Ramirez - 3B
6. Lonnie Chisenhall - RF
7. Coco Crisp - LF
8. Tyler Naquin - CF
9. Roberto Perez - C
Trevor Bauer - P

Bauer only threw 21 pitches his last time out in the American League Championship Series, failing to even get out of the first inning after his stitches popped on his pinky finger of his pitching hand, which he hurt in a drone accident.

Bauer has a 5.06 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 5.1 postseason innings this year.

With Cubs reeling, Jon Lester comes up big and plays stopper

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USA TODAY

With Cubs reeling, Jon Lester comes up big and plays stopper

The last three games have been more than forgettable for the Cubs.

From Wednesday’s 11-1 drubbing at the hands of the Phillies to back-to-back walk-off losses on Thursday and Friday, the Cubs’ current road trip has looked much like those that preceded it. At various times, the offense has scuffled, the rotation has pitched a clunker and the bullpen has cracked.

The solution to the latest road trip woes? Give the ball to Jon Lester and get the hell out of the way.

Lester —  who pitched a clunker himself Aug. 6 against the A’s — did what the Cubs have become so accustomed to see him do over the past four seasons. The 35-year-old tossed 6+ shutout innings, allowing just four hits, leading the Cubs to a 2-0 win.

Lester had no room for error on Saturday, as the Cubs offense went hitless for the first 4 1/3 innings. While the Cubs bats were asleep, the Pirates threatened to break the game on open multiple times, loading the bases with one out (first inning), no outs (fifth) and getting runners on first and second with no outs in the sixth.

The latter two of those instances were assisted by errors by third baseman Kris Bryant, but that’s neither here nor there. Point being, with how the Cubs looked offensively, any Pirates runs could have proved critical on Saturday. Instead, Lester worked out of every jam, stymying the Pirates bats to an 0-for-12 line with RISP.

Winning Saturday’s game was obviously important for the Cubs, as it puts them a game ahead of the Cardinals in the win column (pending the outcome of St. Louis's game against the Reds later Saturday). But it was equally important for Lester, who called himself the “weakest link” in the Cubs starting rotation after that tough outing against the A’s.

The beautiful thing about baseball is that the regular season is 162 games long. Each day presents teams with a new slate, a chance to forget about what happened in the previous game and move forward.  If Saturday’s start shows anything, it’s that Lester and the Cubs are more than capable of putting a tough game in the rearview mirror and keep moving forward.

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Cubs Talk Podcast: Get to know Kelly Crull podcast

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NBC Sports Chicago

Cubs Talk Podcast: Get to know Kelly Crull podcast

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, we get to know Kelly Crull. Kelly tells Luke Stuckmeyer about her love of bowling growing up, why she became a reporter and some of her favorite moments covering the Cubs.

01:00 Kelly's love of tennis at an early age

04:00 Following basketball while growing up in Indiana

06:00 Possible tennis showdown between Kelly and Megan Mawicke

09:30 Kelly talks about working in London & interviewing J.K. Rowling

14:00 When did she decide to become a reporter?

15:00 What is her favorite food?

16:00 Kelly's go-to karaoke song

18:00 Kelly's favorite NBA story (it involves Kevin Durant)

21:00 Favorite moments covering the Cubs

24:00 Dealing with the weather at Wrigley Field

28:00 Something we don't know about Kelly

31:00 What does Kelly enjoy watching at home the most?

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Cubs Talk Podcast

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