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Preview: Chicago Cubs vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Game time: 9 : 40 pm EDT
Radio: WGN 720, KTAR 620, ESPN Deportes 710, Jose 106.9 FM


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Losing 100 games or more is so promising now than a week ago.

Starting their final six-game road trip of the season, the Cubs (59-97) failed to match with the lowly Colorado Rockies in Denver and were swept by the opponents.

Facing the Arizona Diamondbacks (78-78) is not exactly what they need neither as they kick off a three-game set Friday night at Chase Field as the Cubs are 0-16 against teams from the NL West Division on the road. Here comes another record; no other team in major league has ever gone winless against one division on the road, according to STATS Inc.

They are also on a five-game losing streak and have lost eight of their last nine games

Seemingly as an inevitable destiny, Chicago needs to win four of its remaining six games in the calendar to avoid a season of 100 or more defeats. The 1966 Cubs reached that embarrassing mark with 103 “L”s.

On Thursday, starter Chris Volstad choked up seven runs on ten hits in the first three innings helping the Rockies to sweep the Cubs by a score of 7-5. The Cubs came close to rally in the ninth in which they tallied two runs on Anthony Rizzo’s and Alfonso Soriano’s knocks-in but Starlin Castro and Josh Vitters were fanned and Anthony Recker hit into a game-ending groundout.

In their series at Coors Field, the Cubs were scored 10-23 by the home team.

Pitching for Chicago in the series opener, Travis Wood (6-12, 4.23) will oppose the Diamondbacks for the first time as a Cub. He is 1-2 with a 5.51 ERA lifetime facing tonight’s opposition; all his starts were in his first two years with the Cincinnati Reds.

Wood failed to capitalize in his last two outings at home after two wins in a row on September 7 and 12. The left-hander received a no-decision facing the St. Louis Cardinals last Saturday by yielding three runs (two earned) on six hits through five innings while striking out seven and walking two.

The Diamondbacks will counter with Ian Kennedy (14-11, 4.14) who is second in most wins and has the most strikeouts (174) within the team.

As a workhorse, Kennedy has not missed a single start this season and will make his 32nd outing of the year. However, the right-hander could not repeat as a 21-game winner he achieved in his first year with the D-backs in 2011.

He combined a record of 0-1 with a 10.60 ERA facing the Cubs twice this year. His home start was a no-decision on June 23 even though he surrendered five runs on 10 hits including a two-run homer through five innings in the Diamondbacks’ 10-5 win.

Kennedy is undefeated in four September starts including two wins. He has gone undefeated since a loss to the San Diego Padres at Chase Field dated August 25.

He is 1-2 with a 7.34 ERA in five career starts against the Cubs.

Arizona’s playoff hope ended by losing its last two games to the San Francisco Giants. The Diamondbacks trail the Cardinals who occupy the second wild-card spot by six games, with six games remaining in their schedule.

On Thursday, Patrick Corbin allowed the Giants to homer twice in a six-run second inning of the series finale at Chase Field, giving the oppositions an easy 7-3 victory. The D-backs dropped three of their last four games.



- Soriano’s RBI in the ninth on Thursday is his 106th of the season. He ranks third among National League RBI-leaders; Ryan Braun tops with 110, followed by Chase Headley (109).

- Darwin Barney played in his 141st games in row without an error as second baseman on Thursday, tying Placido Polanco in that category.

- Jason Kubel leads the Diamondbacks in home runs (30) and RBIs (90). But the left-fielder only had a lone dinger in his last 12 games after homering twice on September 8.



By: Patrick Au Yeung Chicago Cubs Correspondent
Twitter - @Cubs_sportsdesk