Chicago Cubs Lineup (10/3/21): Backups Galore as Mills Starts Final Game of Season

In the interest of full disclosure, I had a typo in the title that said “sharts” and almost left it because it felt way too accurate. But since I didn’t want that to be taken as me demeaning the pitcher, I fixed it. Alec Mills has been this season pretty much what he’s been throughout his time in Chicago, dependable and workmanlike. He’s been roughed up quite a bit over the last few starts, though, so he’ll have to be better this afternoon.

Rafael Ortega is in center, Frank Schwindel is at first, Ian Happ is in left, and Matt Duffy plays third as the season comes mercifully to a close. Trayce Thompson is in right, Sergio Alcántara is at short, Trent Giambrone plays second, and Erick Castillo handles the catching duties.

The Cardinals are sending 24-year-old righty Jake Woodford to the bump to make his eighth start of the season, two of which have come against the Cubs. Woodford also has 18 relief appearances and has faced the Cubs twice out of the bullpen, allowing one run in each.

His first start against the Cubs was a very strong effort in which he gave up just one run with six strikeouts and no walks, but he wasn’t as sharp last week. Woodford gave up just two runs, but he struck out only one with two walks and six hits allowed. That’s more or less his MO, as he’s not a big strikeout guy in the least. A sinkerballer who has sub-par secondaries, he’s very much a pitch-to-contact guy.

This game means nothing for either team in terms of either playoff or draft position, so it may just come down to who wants it more. As trite as that sounds, it’s really true in this case and should favor a Cubs squad that features a roster full of players who need to prove themselves.

First pitch is set for 2:15pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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