Joe Maddon declared Monday as "Albert's game" a couple hours before first pitch.
He didn't even know how right he was at the time.
"Albert" is Albert Almora Jr., the Cubs' rookie centerfielder who hasn't gotten to play as much lately with Ian Happ's emergence over the last week.
But with a left-handed pitcher on the mound for the San Francisco Giants Monday night, Maddon wanted to get the right-handed hitting Almora in the lineup. There was also the added benefit of Almora providing the best defense in center with John Lackey — a flyball pitcher — on the mound for the Cubs.
It took only three batters for Almora's impact to be felt:
He was off on a dead sprint from the very second that ball was hit.
What makes the play even more amazing is two pitches prior, Addison Russell had the crowd buzzing with his own highlight-reel play:
Addison Russell.....Too easy pic.twitter.com/5hrKqE29rn— Red Line Radio (@RedLineRadio_) May 23, 2017
If it weren't for Almora's play, Russell's effort might go down as the Cubs' defensive highlight of the season to date.
Of course, this isn't the only time we've seen Almora turn in a highlight-reel catch:
The Cubs swapped bullpen pitchers ahead of Monday night's series-opener with the visiting San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field.
Zac Rosscup was called up from Triple-A Iowa, with Dylan Floro heading back to Des Moines.
To make room for Rosscup on the team's 40-man roster, pitcher Jake Buchanan was designated for assignment.
The Cubs' oft-utilized relief corps ranks fourth in the National League in innings pitched, with 158.1 frames tossed by bullpen pitchers. That workload has made reinforcements from the minor leagues commonplace.
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Floro pitched two innings in Sunday's win over the Milwaukee Brewers, yielding five runs in the ninth inning of what ended up a blowout 13-6 Cubs victory.
It was his second appearance of the season after his 4.1-inning outing in a May 9 loss at the Colorado Rockies.
Rosscup joins the Cubs for the first time since 2015. He made zero major or minor league appearances last season after posting a 4.39 ERA in 26.2 innings of work during the 2015 campaign.
This season with Iowa, Rosscup turned in a 3.45 ERA in 15.2 innings of work.