Maddon: Cubs 'not giving up' on Heyward

Maddon: Cubs 'not giving up' on Heyward

CLEVELAND -- Before the Cubs' 6-0 loss in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, Cubs manager Joe Maddon met with Jason Heyward. For the second straight postseason game, Heyward was not in the starting lineup. Maddon opted to have Chris Coghlan in right field in hopes of generating more offense.

"We're not giving up on him by any means," Maddon said.

Game 2: Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET game time on FOX (6 p.m. ET pregame show on FS1)

Heyward signed an eight-year, $184 million contract with the Cubs in the offseason and batted .230 with seven home runs, the first time in his career he didn't reach double digits.

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 25 CLE 6, CHC 0 video
Gm 2 Oct. 26 CHC 5, CLE 1 video
Gm 3 Oct. 28 CLE 1, CHC 0 video
Gm 4 Oct. 29 CLE 7, CHC 2 video
Gm 5 Oct. 30 CHC 3, CLE 2 video
Gm 6 Nov. 1 CHC 9, CLE 3 video
Gm 7 Nov. 2 CHC 8 CLE, 7 (10) video

Defensively, Heyward has shined in right field. Offensively, he's scuffled. In mid-August, Maddon sat Heyward for a three-game series in Colorado in an attempt to clear his mind. Heyward did return strong, but right now, there may not be enough time for a break to get him right.

Shop for Cubs World Series and NL champs gear

Heyward entered the World Series 2-for-28 in the postseason, with a double and triple.

"I love having him on the field," said Maddon. "I feel so good with him out there, so we're going to give [Coghlan] a chance to garner some offense earlier and use J later defensively. We have four more games, and we have to make our best guesses now."

Heyward said Maddon didn't need to talk to him.

"It was nothing that needed to be said to me," Heyward said. "He's going to put the best team out there, whatever he feels like is going to help us go win a baseball game."

Running game: Willson Contreras has thrown out nearly 65 percent of basestealers this season, and Maddon said the Cubs are considering starting the rookie on Wednesday in Game 2 to try to stop the Indians.

"They do run, and Willson is one of the best young throwers in the game right now," Maddon said. "You have to balance out how comfortable you think [Jake Arrieta] is going to be throwing to him versus [Miguel Montero]. So, we've got to consider all these different thoughts or ideas."

Montero has been matched with Arrieta during the postseason, and Contreras has caught Kyle Hendricks and John Lackey.

Film study: Kris Bryant had never faced Corey Kluber in the regular season or postseason. How does he prep for pitchers who he hasn't seen before? He'll watch video but not break it down that specifically. He's more into visuals.

"I don t look at counts or similar hitters," Bryant said. "Everybody is their own hitter.

"It's more of a visual thing for me, just so I can mentally go over it and feel like I've faced him before it happens," he said. "I just want to see if the fastball is going a certain way, or where he likes to throw his slider a lot. No counts -- I feel if you do that, you start thinking too much. 'Oh, I was watching video, and in a 2-1 count, he threw a slider here.' This is a different situation, a different hitter."

Alumni: Hall of Famer Billy Williams was part of the Cubs' traveling party. He wasn't going to miss the team's first trip to the World Series since 1945.

"I'm going to celebrate just like everybody else," Williams said. "I want to see the ballclub win. Any support, anything I can give them, I'll do it."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.