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Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks preview, Monday 9/17, 8:40 CT

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The Cubs travel to a ballpark where they should find lots of their own fans.

Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

Monday notes:

  • This is Day 28 of the Cubs’ 30-scheduled-games-in-30-days stretch since the club’s last off day four weeks ago today on August 20. The Cubs have posted a 16-10 record through this grueling run of no days off, the third-best mark in the National League in that span.
  • The last time the Cubs played on 30 (or more) consecutive days before this was August 20-September 29, 1985 when the club played on 41 consecutive days. That club went 18-22-1 during that stretch. (The tie was this game, called because of darkness at then-lightless Wrigley Field.)
  • Including their four scoreless innings Sunday, the Cubs bullpen boasts a 3.30 ERA this season, by far the lowest bullpen ERA in the National League, nearly a quarter point ahead of the Diamondbacks (3.51 ERA). Cubs relievers have limited opponents to a .657 OPS against, also lowest in the N.L.
  • The team’s last five saves have been picked up by five different Cubs relievers dating to Sept. 6 (Chavez, Strop, Rosario, De La Rosa and Cishek). The last time that happened previously was May 23-31, 1991 when Paul Assenmacher, Heathcliff Slocumb, Chuck McElroy, Dave Smith and Les Lancaster posted five in a row.
  • In their 30 games since August 16, Cubs pitchers have posted a major league leading 2.85 ERA (86 earned runs in 271⅔ innings). Cubs starters lead the majors with a 2.61 ERA (48 earned runs in 165⅓ innings) in this span (the Mets are second at 2.66). Over the same 30 games, Cubs relievers rank third in the N.L. with a 3.22 ERA (38 earned runs in 106⅓ innings).

Now to get the offense going!

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Diamondbacks lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Patrick Corbin, LHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hendricks, last seven starts: 2.57 ERA, 1.214 WHIP, only one home run allowed in 42 innings. Also note: That’s an average of six innings per start over that span, something the Cubs could really use to help out their bullpen.

Hendricks threw five innings against the D-backs July 24 at Wrigley Field and allowed three runs in five innings, with eight strikeouts. Current Diamondbacks are hitting .230 (14-for-61) against him with no homers and 13 strikeouts.

Patrick Corbin held the Cubs to six hits and one run July 23 at Wrigley Field, and overall he’s having the best year of his career. He’s been consistently good all year and over his last seven starts: 2.22 ERA, 0.918 WHIP, just five walks in 41⅔ innings.

Those numbers do not look good for a Cubs team that has struggled offensively for the last week or so. Current Cubs are hitting .293 (24-for-82) against Corbin with three home runs (Javier Baez, Ian Happ, Anthony Rizzo). So maybe that’s a good sign.

Yes, I’m reaching. But this offense has to break out at some point.

Today’s game is on WGN.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Diamondbacks site AZ Snakepit. If you do go there to interact with D-backs fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. Here’s how it works.

You’ll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads” so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game’s StoryStream as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.