The Cubs (78-69) just lost two of three in a disappointing series against a very bad Colorado Rockies team. Chicago holds a 2.5 game lead over four other teams that are tied for the third and final Wild Card spot. One of those squads directly behind them, the Arizona Diamondbacks (76-72), welcome the North Siders to Phoenix for three starting Friday night.
The D-Backs took three of four at Wrigley Field just last weekend to put some heat on the Cubs. Arizona then headed to Citi Field in New York, where they dropped three of four to the Mets. Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly, the two hurlers who dominated Chicago, were shelled in the Big Apple.
The Cubs will miss those two starters but they will have to face the suddenly red hot Tommy Pham and dynamic rookie Corbin Carroll. The Diamondbacks ran wild at Wrigley, stealing 11 bases and forcing throwing errors by Miguel Amaya and Yan Gomes.
The D-backs’ home stadium, Chase Field, is very similar to Coors with a big outfield and a lot of home runs. The Cubs offense will need to perform better than they did in Denver if they want a better outcome.
The fact they are playing one of their playoff competitors makes this an important series, but having just 15 games left in the regular season makes every game important the rest of the way. Chicago cannot afford another lackluster performance like they’ve had the previous two series.
The pressure is on, so it’s time to see if David Ross and company can respond and get the playoff train back on track.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, September 15 at 8:40pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee.
- Saturday, September 16 at 7:10pm CT on Marquee.
- Sunday, September 17 at 6:10pm CT on ESPN.
What to Watch For
- Nico Hoerner had seven hits in three games in Colorado and he stole base number 40 on the season.
- Dansby Swanson has 10 hits in his last five contests.
- Pete Crow-Armstrong made several unbelievable catches patrolling center in his first major league series but has not gotten his first hit.
- Steele continues to pitch very well down the stretch and the Cubs will need him to step up again in the series.