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Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks preview, Saturday 7/17, 3:10 CT

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The Cubs go for two in a row in Phoenix.

Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Saturday notes...

  • AVOIDING BASKETBALL: The D-backs don’t normally play afternoon games on Saturdays at home (this will be just their second one of 2021), but they moved today’s game from its originally scheduled 5:10 p.m. start to 1:10 local time (3:10 p.m. CT) to avoid a conflict with Game 5 of the NBA Finals, which will be played tonight at 6 p.m. local time just a block west of Chase Field at what is now known as the Footprint Center.
  • A MILESTONE: Anthony Rizzo’s home run Friday tied him with Aramis Ramirez for sixth place on the Cubs’ all-time list with 239. The five ahead: Ryne Sandberg (282), Ron Santo (337), Billy Williams (392), Ernie Banks (512) and Sammy Sosa (545).
  • WINNING IN THE DESERT: Since 2016 the Cubs are 11-4 at Chase Field and have outscored the D-backs 81-42 in those 15 games.
  • OFF THE BENCH: Cubs pinch-hitters lead all NL clubs with a .250 BA (36-for-144) and a .337 OBP. In the team’s last 17 plate appearances by pinch-hitters dating to July 4, they have gone 8-for-15 (.533) with two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and two walks.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Diamondbacks lineup:

Adbert Alzolay, RHP vs. Zac Gallen, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

Okay, Adbert — you’re now the Cubs’ No. 2 starter. Please start pitching like that, thankyouverymuch.

Alzolay has not pitched well since his return from an IL stint for a blister: Four starts, 6.41 ERA, 1.220 WHIP, eight home runs in 19⅔ innings.

Hopefully, his week off will have helped heal that blister further and helped him recharge for the second half. I’m rooting for Adbert to become a solid MLB starter.

Zac Gallen has been traded twice in his brief career — first, from the Cardinals to the Marlins in the Marcell Ozuna deal, then to Arizona for Jazz Chisholm Jr.

He was off to a decent start this year, but has suffered multiple injuries: a right forearm fracture, a sprained elbow and a hamstring strain. The latter has kept him on the injured list since July 2; today will be his first game action of any kind since then. Thus I might expect Gallen to be on something of a pitch limit this afternoon, although this article says he thinks his pitch count will be in a “relatively normal range.”

Gallen has never faced the Cubs or anyone on the Cubs’ active roster. You know how that usually goes. His pitch arsenal is below.

Statcast
Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com 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 2021 Game Thread procedure will be a bit different than previous years. It will be similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.