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Diamondbacks Flounder in the Windy City

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The Arizona Diamondbacks took a trip to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. The team that welcomed them in wasn’t a woeful club mired in rebuild, but instead a legitimate threat to win the National League title. Just like another National League Central elite, the Chicago Cubs handled the Dbacks and swept them in a rather effortless manner.

When matched up against the best that the majors has to offer, the Dbacks have folded in a spectacular way. Chicago was able to beat Arizona in games that featured a slug fest, pitching duel and battle of the bullpens. The Cubs have impressed this writer and many more of the Arizona faithful, that’s for sure. Let’s take a look back at this weekend series.

Sep 4, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Godley (52) delivers against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

14. 9. 5. 8. Final

W: Jon Lester (9-10) L: Zack Godley (4-1)

Right from the start, the Cubs made it clear that they weren’t playing around. In the first inning, they tagged three runs on Godley. They were aided by four free passes in the first inning from the Arizona starter. Addison Russell smacked two homers, one in the 2nd and one in the 4th. In between those two long balls, Chris Owings hit an RBI double to get the Dbacks on the board.

Godley would not make it past the 4th inning. It appeared that Godley was just trying too hard to upset the team that drafted and traded him. In 3.2 innings, Godley surrendered six runs and more walks (6) than hits (4). An RBI double by Phil Gosselin temporarily cut the Cubs lead to four. The game would turn for the worse in a disastrous 5th inning for the Dbacks.

The scoring started with the bases loaded and two outs already on the board. A single and walk were only appetizers for the Grand Slam that Anthony Rizzo would hit. Javier Baez added with a solo homer later in the inning. When it was all said and done, Chicago had come across the plate eight times and the score was an unreachable 14-2.

In mop up duty during the 7th, Jake Lamb smacked his sixth homer of the season, a two run shot that made the game 14-4. Nick Ahmed‘s RBI triple an inning later tacked on another run. It was an unfortunate start to the series and while the Cubs showed their offensive firepower on this night, it wasn’t the only way they could defeat their opponents.

Sep 6, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (44) forces out Chicago Cubs right fielder Austin Jackson (not pictured) during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Final. 2. 9. 0. 8

W: Jake Arrieta (18-6) L: Robbie Ray (3-11) S: Hector Rondon (26)

On Friday night, the Dbacks ran into the buzz-saw that was the Chicago Cubs offense. On Saturday, Arizona ran into Chicago’s ‘other’ buzz-saw: Jake Arrieta. An RBI ground out by the ageless David Ross and a homerun by Dexter Fowler would be all the run support that Arrieta would need.

Ray (who’s record is in no way indicative of how well he’s pitched this season) tossed five innings and gave up two runs, while striking out eight. However, he was no match for Arrieta, who’s strengthening his case for the NL Cy Young. He went eight scoreless innings and only gave up four hits, while striking out seven. Although the Dbacks managed to get a couple of hits in the 9th, a comeback attempt was ultimately thwarted.

Sep 6, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Rubby De La Rosa (12) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

8. Final. 6. 9. 4

W: Justin Grimm (3-4) L: Rubby De La Rosa (12-7)

The Dbacks were on mission for redemption and to at least salvage a game in the series. After three scoreless innings from both sides, Welington Castillo‘s RBI double in the 4th gave the Dbacks their lead of the series. The lead was short lived, however. Rookie phenom Kris Bryant launched the longest homer of the MLB season (495 ft) to tie things up at one.

De La Rosa pitched five solid innings, but came out for the 6th and immediately put two runners on base, which promoted a pitching change. A walk to the aforementioned Bryant and the bases were loaded with no outs. It would only take one swing to bring in all the runs. That swing was a Grand Slam that come off the bat of none other than former beloved Dback Miguel Montero. It was the Cubs second Grand Slam of the series.

The rest of the game went by quietly with the exception of the 9th. Arizona made another comeback bid. Castillo smacked his 18th homer of the season. Former Dback Trevor Cahill was the one who gave up the homer to Beef. Ahmed hit a two run shot to make things interesting. Unfortunately, the game ended with the Cubs winning by two. Arizona couldn’t leave the Windy City soon enough. A series against the San Francisco Giants is very much welcomed.

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