MLB Game Preview - Diamondbacks v Cubs

 
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Arizona0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 170
Chi Cubs0 2 0 1 0 2 0 0 x 581
5
  W: K. Hendricks (1-3)   L: M. Kelly (1-2)   S: P. Strop (2)
11:20 AM PT12:20 PM MT1:20 PM CT2:20 PM ET14:20 ET18:20 GMT2:20 11:20 AM MST1:20 PM EST1:50 PM VEN22:20 UAE1:20 PM CT, April 19, 2019
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 33,938

Cubs' Hendricks seeking breakthrough vs. D-backs

According to STATS
According to STATS

Arizona Diamondbacks at Chicago Cubs

  1. The Cubs have shut out their opponent in two straight games and four of the last eight. That's the most shutouts they've had in an eight-game span since 1972. Chicago pitchers have a 1.50 ERA in the past eight games after posting a 7.51 ERA through the first nine of the season.
  2. Arizona has won four in a row, its longest winning streak since last year's All-Star break. A win Friday would assure the Diamondbacks of being above .500 through 20 games for the third straight season.
  3. The Diamondbacks haven't won a season series from the Cubs since 2014 (5-2). Arizona was 3-4 against them last season despite outscoring Chicago 30-25.
  4. Christian Walker has homered in three of his last four games and is averaging a home run in every 11.00 at-bats since joining Arizona in 2017. That's the highest rate of any player in baseball who has gone deep at least 10 times in that span.
  5. Javier Baez has tied a career high with four straight multi-hit games, going 11-for-18 with six extra-base hits and six RBI. He's homered in each of the last two games, and the only time he's ever done so in three straight was May 5-7, 2018.
  6. Kyle Hendricks has lost his first three starts of a season for the first time in his six-year career, and he's failed to pitch past the fifth inning in any of them. His longest streak of not going beyond the fifth inning is four starts, done once apiece in 2015 and in 2017.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/19/2019 thru 4/21/2019

Right-hander Kyle Hendricks will look for his first win of the season and try to continue Chicago's hot streak on the mound when the Cubs open a three-game series against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday afternoon.

Chicago, which was off Thursday, has won seven of its past 10 games and is coming off a three-game road sweep of the Miami Marlins. The Cubs posted shutouts in the final two games of the set and have pitched 23 consecutive scoreless innings.

Hendricks (0-3, 5.40 ERA) has completed five innings only once in his three starts this season, that coming in his last outing when he took the loss in a 6-5 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday. He allowed six hits and three runs (two earned) in five innings.

He pitched a combined 8 1/3 innings -- yielding 18 hits and 11 runs -- in his first two starts.

"You can't bang your head doing the same thing," Hendricks told the Chicago Tribune. "We're not trying to move mountains but making small adjustments. ...

"In my side (sessions), it's gotten a lot better, and I was better in my last one than the one before. So just trying to build on top of that, and I'm looking forward to another opportunity on Friday."

Hendricks faces an Arizona team also coming off a three-game sweep, as the Diamondbacks completed that accomplishment with a 4-1 win Thursday afternoon at the Atlanta Braves. Arizona has won four consecutive games overall to climb above .500 at 10-9.

"We're not going to take anything for granted," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said of the good start to a 10-game road trip. "It's onward to Chicago."

Christian Walker hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning Thursday for a 3-0 lead after striking out three times. It was his team-best sixth home run of the season, one fewer than the man he is replacing at first base, All-Star Paul Goldschmidt, who was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals.

"He makes adjustments, pitch to pitch and at-bat to at-bat," Lovullo said of the 28-year-old Walker, getting the first steady playing time of his career. "I knew he wasn't feeling great after stranding some runners out there, but he applied some information and took advantage of it.

"Christian is in a very good spot right now."

The Diamondbacks have 29 home runs in 19 games and were fourth in the majors in slugging heading into Thursday's game.

Hendricks is 2-1 with a 2.49 ERA in four career starts against Arizona, allowing 17 hits in 25 1/3 innings, while striking out 25 and walking six.

He will be opposed by 30-year-old rookie righty Merrill Kelly (1-1, 3.79 ERA). Kelly has struck out 17 and walked three in 19 innings.

Kelly will have to be wary of Cubs infielder Javier Baez, who went 8-for-13 with two home runs in the three games against the Marlins, showing the form that helped propel him to a second-place finish in last season's National League MVP race.

"He's just on a very similar look or pace that he had last year," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.

-- Field Level Media

Updated April 18, 2019

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