Joe Maddon likened noted Cub-killer Lorenzo Cain to old Cubs favorite

Jared Wyllys
NBC Sports Chicago

Cubs manager dropped a Dexter Fowler comp on Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain before Tuesday night's game and his warm words continued on Wednesday.

"He plays the game with a joy about him - he's very loose. Him and Dexter have that same kind of a leadoff mentality," Maddon said Tuesday. "They go out there with a joy for the game and I appreciate that about him."

Cain has hit at the top of the order in 86 games for the Brewers this season, including Monday night's 4-5 performance in the 3-2 Cubs loss. He's been a .299 hitter in that spot on the season. In the 2016 championship season, Fowler hit .277 as the leadoff hitter, with 13 home runs and 25 doubles.

In 2018, Chicago has had to endure the latest Cubs-killer in Cain, who the Brewers signed to a five-year deal last winter. He's hit .333 against the Cubs this year with a few shoestring catches in center field as the icing on the cake.

"Cain plays at a very energetic, high level defensively and offensively," Maddon said. "The catch he made yesterday [Monday] on Lester was a gamechanger, as it turned out."

Before Wednesday's game, Maddon said that although they are both hitting well, he's not sure Cain and Christian Yelich are quite getting their just recognition.

"I don't know that they get the credit that's due each one of them," Maddon said. "Cain, a complete game. And he's a winner, he's done it before."

Cain, of course, was a part of the 2015 World Series-winning Royals team. Fowler came to the Cubs in 2015, played a key role in the 2016 title, and then departed for the Cardinals, where his success as a leadoff hitter has not followed.

Maddon managed against Cain from 2011-2014, when Maddon was in Tampa Bay and Cain in Kansas City. Back then, Maddon had a nickname for the outfielder.

"I've always been a fan - I called him Citizen Cain in Kansas City," Maddon said. "He's outstanding. He's one of the best leadoff hitters in the game right now, if not THE best."

On Wednesday, batting third in the order, Cain drove in the first Brewers run of the night after Curtis Granderson tripled, so even outside of the leadoff spot, he's still killing the Cubs.

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