2023 Cubs Road Trip Preview: Colorado, Arizona
The Cubs head west in style, donning Mario Kart costumes in a fun themed road trip.
It’s the penultimate road trip this season for the Cubs, with the last-place Rockies up first. Colorado is one of four teams in Major League Baseball that is already mathematically eliminated from the postseason as they have endured a 90-loss campaign with a -219 run differential.
From there, the Cubs play the Diamondbacks again with a 3-game set in Arizona beginning Friday.
In between, the Cubs enjoy their first off-day of the month on Thursday as they get a much-needed break during the season’s final stretch.
The Cubs kick off the road trip 3 games behind the Brewers in the division and hold a 2-game lead on the Diamondbacks for the No. 2 Wild Card spot.
Monday: LHP Jordan Wicks vs. LHP Kyle Freeland
Tuesday: RHP Javier Assad vs. RHP Chris Flexen
Wednesday: RHP Jameson Taillon vs. LHP Ty Blach
The rookie Wicks will look to win his 4th straight start to open his career. He has been impressive so far in his first 3 outings, posting a 2.16 ERA and 1.20 WHIP to go along with his 3-0 record.
Assad continues to provide a stabilizing force in the rotation in Marcus Stroman’s absence. The Cubs have won 5 of his 7 starts and he has a 2.34 ERA in those outings since Aug. 1.
Taillon is coming off one of the best starts of his season with 9 strikeouts over 6 shutout innings Friday against the Diamondbacks.
Friday: LHP Justin Steele vs. RHP Brandon Pfaadt
Saturday: RHP Kyle Hendricks vs. RHP Zach Davies
Sunday: LHP Jordan Wicks vs. RHP Ryne Nelson
The Diamondbacks could opt to change things up here, as they did on Sunday when they started an opener before going to Pfaadt for length later in the game.
Steele and Hendricks have been the two consistent pillars in the Cubs rotation this season and will start another all-important series off against the surging D-Backs.
Quote of the Week
“September baseball’s meant to be played in close games and stuff like that, so every inch matters. So it’s gonna be a fun next couple of weeks.” — Jameson Taillon after his outing Friday in a pitcher’s duel against Arizona’s Cy Young contender Zac Gallen.
Storylines to keep an eye on
—Fans won’t see former Cub Kris Bryant for this series in Colorado. The World Series champ has been out since July 22 with a fractured index finger and continues to rehab. He has been bogged down by injuries the last two seasons and has only appeared in 107 games for the Rockies since signing a 7-year, $182 million deal before the 2022 campaign.
—The Rockies have 10 more losses than any other National League team and are 9-26 since the start of August. The Cubs will host these same Rockies at Wrigley Field from Sept. 22-24 and have to take advantage of the 6 games for an assist in the standings.