The Chicago Cubs (11-19) finally won their first actual series — not including the opening series against the Brewers that had one game postponed, for those ready to jump up in the comments section — and boy did it feel good. And it was against a very good team in the San Diego Padres. Not what many expected to happen.
The Cubs kick off a three-game set in Phoenix tonight against the Arizona Diamondbacks (17-15) who are off to a surprisingly solid start thanks to a 2.43 ERA by their starters. That’s the second-best ERA for a starting rotation in MLB, believe it or not.
Drew Smyly (1-3, 3.04 ERA) will toe the rubber tonight for the Cubs. He threw two shutouts to start the season but has backed those up with three stinkers, allowing nine runs in his past three outings, all for losses. To say he’s due for a bounceback would be putting it mildly, so we’ll see if he can lock it down in the desert tonight and help the Cubs secure back-to-back wins for only the third time this season.
Rafael Ortega leads off tonight playing right, followed by the red-hot Willson Contreras catching, Ian Happ in left, Patrick Wisdom at third, and Alfonso Rivas at first. There’s still life for Frank Schwindel, who was sent to Iowa for less than 24 hours before being recalled, and he’s batting sixth at DH, followed by Jason Heyward in center, Jonathan Villar at second, and Ildemaro Vargas at short, subbing in for the injured Nico Hoerner.
Old friend Zach Davies is on the hill for the D-backs, and I’m pretty comfortable saying that after how terrible he was last year for the Cubs he owes them a solid blow-up game tonight just to begin to repay the team and its fans.
First pitch is at 8:40pm CT. The game can be seen on Apple TV+ and heard on 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 13, 2022