Cubs at Diamondbacks Series Preview (9/17-9/19)

The Cubs travel out west for their final venture outside of the Chicago city limits. The Cubs find themselves clinging to a slim lead for the division title. The club also finds themselves running on fumes, but with a series win against the Reds actually extended their advantage by a game.

The baseball truism of sometimes it is when you play 'em seems to hold true. The Diamondbacks fin themselves in free fall with a 3-7 stretch. The Diamondbacks are fading fast from the playoff picture now four games back from the final wildcard spot. Clay Buchholz went down for the year and the Diamondbacks still have yet to name a starter for Tuesday's game.

The Cubs need to keep banking series wins. The Brewers will have to play nearly flawlessly if the team keeps taking two out of three against this team. Unfortunately Chase Field is a place that seems to defy reason. Paul Goldschmidt hits everyone well, but he transforms into Barry Bonds against Cubbie blue. So baseball can baseball the Cubs, but it will be the Cubs fault for letting an opportunity to close out the season slip away.


Monday: 8:40 pm CT on WGN/670AM

Tuesday: 8:40 pm CT on WGN/670AM

Wednesday: 8:40 pm CT on NBCSN/670AM



1. A.J. Pollock (R) RF
2. Eduardo Escobar (S) 3B
3. David Peralta (L) LF
4. Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
5. Daniel Descalso (L) 2B
6. Steven Souza (R) RF
7. Nick Ahmed (R) SS
8. Alex Avila (L) C
9. Patrick Corbin (L) P


1. Albert Almora Jr. (R) CF
2. Kris Bryant (R) LF
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Javier Báez (R) 2B
5. Ben Zobrist (S) RF
7. David Bote (R) 3B
8. Kyle Hendricks (R) P
9. Addison Russell (R) SS

Bullpen Usage


Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitchers

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Patrick Corbin: Patrick Corbin has thrown 14,859 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2012 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Slider (82mph), Sinker (91mph) and Fourseam Fastball (91mph), also mixing in a Curve (73mph). He also rarely throws a Change (81mph).

His slider generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sliders and has some two-plane movement. His sinker has less armside run than typical and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers. His fourseam fastball has essentially average velo, results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers and has slightly less natural movement than typical. His curve has very little depth, has below average velo, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves and has primarily 12-6 movement. His change is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' changeups and has slight cut action.

Robbie Ray: Robbie Ray has thrown 11,184 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2014 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (94mph), Slider (85mph) and Curve (83mph). He also rarely throws a Sinker (94mph).

His fourseam fastball has well above average velo. His slider generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' sliders, has less than expected depth and has primarily 12-6 movement. His curve is thrown extremely hard, generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' curves, has little depth and has primarily 12-6 movement. His sinker (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 11 of them in 2018) generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has surprisingly little armside run, has well above average velo and has little sinking action compared to a true sinker. 


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  • fb_avatar

    Cubs--both Milw and StL are winning. We have to keep our distance from them.

  • That bullpen usage chart is either depressing or encouraging, depending on how you view expanded rosters and playing a different brand of baseball when it counts the most. And while I'm bitching, the entire premise of "transforms into Barry Bonds" has a very ugly picture in my mind, one of expanding domes and shrinking testicles.

    Let's all hope we can help out Norway and start counting down that last 10. This has been a challenging season, and all the more rewarding.

    Go Cubs!

  • The filter is active. Probably doesn't like Barry Bonds and shrinking testicles.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Watched your Pink video BP.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    That's talent.

  • Baez should of known that slider was coming. corbin threw it 5x that ab.He's got to recognize i and lay off, that was critical spot early.

  • fb_avatar

    Got to give props when they are do. Congrats to Christian Yelich for just completing his 2nd Cycle of the season.

  • How long before Yelich is a free agent?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TheSarge#36:

    Loooong time which is why he was a favorite for acquiring here at the Den when the fish were having the fire sale.

    2023......he signed a 7yr 49 million dollar extension

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    He’s gonna be a cub killer for a long time.

  • fb_avatar

    Wow, that was a deep deep deep fly out

  • Sitting here, watching the game and reading some posts I missed. I'm very discouraged reading TC's (almost) farewell. My initial thought is selfish in that I don't get to read his thoughts and insight. Then I get mad, perhaps mistakingly. Everything is tough in life and it is too easy to quit. Cubs Den has changed, TC, and that is exactly the reason you should stay and fight. Do you not think everyone involved has had these doubts? They've persevered; we've persevered.

    This place has changed. The loss of John's brilliance says so. There have been some dark times, and dark contributors, but we've fought back. Not dissing on you, TC, but we could use your knowledge and steady voice. The only way we lose Cubs Den is if we quit, and I'm not prepared to do so.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Well said BP.

    Plus, how could Cubs Den not change w out John's Brilliance?

    Javy just 2nd that w 2 run BOOOOMBASTIC BLAST

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Thank you.

    I might recommend people watch Black Sabbath do "War Pigs" live in Paris in 1971 and watch Bill Ward absolutely own a drum set, but this is a Cubs site so I won't do so. Bryant homered, and Baez homered. Yea!

    Hendricks has allowed one hit. Wow.

  • El Mago!

  • Hendricks efficient tonight! He may go the whole 9.

  • fb_avatar

    Did I miss something? Is TC leaving us? We need reasonable readers and commentators here. I love this blog many times a day and although John is gone I think we’re adjusting rather well. I wasn’t here when John started but I would guess that there were growing pains. It’s true with ball players and writers too.
    As for today, Javy just jumped into the lead imho of the MVP race. He’s been quiet for a bit but when something clicks with him he’s almost unstoppable—and with Javy it’s not just hitting but in defense and base running.
    A great win, especially since they knew that both Milw and StL won.

  • 1 more out... I’d a given him 1 more shot. Goldschmidt is a good hitter.

  • Somewhere John is smiling, and I know he is petting my dog.

    Go Cubs!

  • This starting pitching the last month has been great! Even though they are mostly short sample sizes also... the bolt on acquisitions Epstein acquired have really done very well look at Chavez and you just can see a guy who knows that this is it, this is his one last shot to really get it.

    Probably the biggest reason the Cubs don’t come close to 100 wins now is because they won’t be playing the A squad in a week yet it is still possible. Their last 4 opponents are almost into mail it in mode now. AZ looks defeated, the White Sox are triple A, Pittsburgh doesn’t care and the Cardinals fold the tents completely probably against Milwaukee.

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