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Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks preview, Saturday 9/9, 1:20 CT

The Cubs look to end a two-game losing streak.

Photo by Quinn Harris/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Saturday notes...

  • STRIKEOUT FACTS: Yesterday’s game was just the 44th since 1901 in which Cubs pitchers combined to strike out at least 15 batters. It was the 30th in which they fanned exactly 15. The Cubs are 29-15 in all of those games, but have lost five of the last seven, including three in 2019 and 1 last year. Yesterday was their first such loss by 1-0 and only their third shutout defeat. Both of the others also were at home, by 3-0 to the Pirates on Sept. 17, 2012, and by 4-0 to the Brewers, on Sept. 1, 2019. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • SEIYA SUZUKI, STILL HOT: Suzuki is on a nine-game hitting streak in which he is batting .444/.474/.889 (16-for-36) with five doubles, a triple, three home runs, 10 RBI and seven runs scored.
  • 20/20 VISION: Cody Bellinger enters today with 24 homers and 19 stolen bases, so he’s one stolen base away from his first career 20-homer, 20-stolen base season. The last Cub to do that was Javier Báez in 2018 (34 HR, 21 SB). Just five other Cubs have recorded 20-20 campaigns: Frank Schulte (1911), Leon Durham (1982), Ryne Sandberg (1985, 1990 and 1991), Sammy Sosa (1993-94-95 and 1997) and Corey Patterson (2004).
  • WALKING ON BY: Ian Happ has reached career highs in runs and walks and has tied his career high with 72 RBI. His 89 walks rank fourth in the National League, one short of Matt Olson for third.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Diamondbacks lineup:

Justin Steele, LHP vs. Merrill Kelly, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Steele is a strong Cy Young candidate, as laid out well by BCB’s Sara Sanchez.

Over his last four starts he has a 1.38 ERA and 0.962 WHIP, with only five walks and 33 strikeouts in 26 innings. He’s also on a scoreless streak of 17 innings.

He faced the Diamondbacks twice last year and allowed two runs (one earned) in 11 innings, with four walks and 19 strikeouts. Current D-backs are 4-for-29 against him with eight strikeouts.

Merrill Kelly is a solid, 3+ WAR starter who you rarely hear much about. He just goes about his business and puts together good outings almost every time out.

He struck out 12 Reds August 24 and allowed one hit in seven innings. Then he struck out 12 Rockies and allowed four hits and a run in seven innings September 4.

And in between those two he got torched by the Dodgers for 12 hits and seven runs in five innings. Here’s hoping that’s the guy who shows up at Wrigley today. It should be noted that the starts against the Reds and Rockies were at Chase Field and the Dodger start on the road.


Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. You can find out if Marquee is available via a provider in your area here.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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 2023 Game Thread procedure will be like last year’s, similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training — also see the note at the top of this preview.

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.