After coming into August with wild-card aspirations, the Chicago Cubs now have their sights set on first place within the Nationwide League Central.
Chicago will look to proceed its climb to the highest of the division on Friday when it visits the Cincinnati Reds in a day-night doubleheader to open a four-game collection.
Issues had been trying considerably bleak for the Cubs (71-62) by the tip of July, as that they had dropped consecutive video games to fall to 53-53. However Chicago surged in August, going 18-9 to tug inside three video games of the NL Central-leading Brewers.
The Cubs capped the month in type, beating Milwaukee 3-2 on Wednesday to steal a essential three-game collection.
“We consider the division is reachable,” Chicago heart fielder Cody Bellinger mentioned. “We have thought that for some time. It is positively one thing that we as a gaggle have strived for since spring coaching.
“We have an entire month left, although, and towards some actually good groups. So we have simply received to proceed enjoying our recreation.”
Left-hander Jordan Wicks (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will look to assist the Cubs start September on a excessive observe when he makes the second begin of his main league profession to open Friday’s doubleheader.
Wicks was sturdy in his debut on Saturday, permitting one run on two hits in 5 innings of a 10-6 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Proper-hander Graham Ashcraft (7-8, 4.73) will get the nod within the opener for the Reds, who stay in competition for a playoff berth regardless of shedding 5 of their final seven video games.
Cincinnati (69-66) is only one recreation behind the San Francisco Giants for the third and last NL wild-card spot coming into play Thursday. The Reds are additionally sitting simply three video games again from Chicago.
Though Cincinnati has hit a little bit of a tough patch, supervisor David Bell remains to be assured that his membership can attain the playoffs only one yr after a 100-loss season.
“Typically, you get challenged slightly bit extra, and in the event you can survive that and proceed to do what you do and be your self and keep collectively as a workforce, that is the way you get by means of these stretches,” Bell mentioned. “And prior to later, it will flip slightly bit and get slightly bit simpler.
“We have a protracted approach to go, lots to look ahead to and loads of enjoyable available this final month.”
Ashcraft definitely might assist spur a turnaround after high quality begins in 9 of his final 10 outings. He’s 4-2 with a 2.49 ERA throughout that span and most lately allowed two runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings towards the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
In 5 profession begins towards the Cubs, Ashcraft is 1-4 with a ten.38 ERA.
Neither workforce formally has named a starter for the nightcap. Chicago is anticipated to show to Caleb Kilian (0-1, 16.88), whereas the Reds seemingly will give the ball to fellow right-hander Ben Vigorous (4-7, 5.17).
Kilian hasn’t pitched since Aug. 13, when he allowed three runs in an inning of reduction towards the Blue Jays. He has by no means confronted Cincinnati.
Vigorous gave up three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings towards the Diamondbacks final Saturday. He’s 0-2 with a 19.00 ERA in two profession begins versus the Cubs.
—Subject Stage Media