D-backs' Buchholz to make first career Wrigley start vs. Cubs (Jul 23, 2018)

July 23, 2018

CHICAGO -- Clay Buchholz has done plenty during the course of his major league career, but he will cross off a personal first when he takes the mound Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs.

Buchholz will pitch at Wrigley Field for the first time in his career when the Arizona Diamondbacks look to capture their second straight win over the Cubs. Arizona took Monday's series opener with a 7-1 victory.

Buchholz will be activated off the 10-day disabled list after being sidelined with a left oblique injury he sustained while swinging a bat. The veteran is in his first season with the Diamondbacks after signing a minor league deal with Arizona in May.

Getting the chance to pitch at Wrigley, however, will go down as a career milestone for a pitcher who threw a no-hitter at Fenway Park in his second career start.

"It's a pretty surreal moment," Buchholz told reporters Monday, according to the Arizona Republic. "There's not a whole lot of people who get to be around the game for 10 or more years. A lot has changed over the last 10-12 years, but I've still got to find a way to go out there and grind.

"I'm trying to help this team win so we can get back on a winning track and make that playoff push."

Buchholz (2-1, 2.56 ERA) will make his first start since June 24 when he didn't allow a run and two hits while striking out five in five innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Buchholz earned a no-decision in his only career start versus the Cubs in 2014.

Buchholz is coming off a minor league rehab start Thursday when he pitched 6 1/3 innings for Double-A Visalia.

"I'm anxious to see how he does and I know he's eager to get back on the mound after a stay on the DL," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo told reporters, according to the Republic. "I'm going to take it piece by piece myself and just enjoy the ride with him."

The Cubs, who have dropped two of their past three games after Monday's loss when they quickly fell behind 6-0 after the Diamondbacks' five-run first inning, will look to bounce back Tuesday behind Kyle Hendricks.

Hendricks has battled inconsistency all season and will attempt to turn things around in the second half. Hendricks (6-8. 3.99) has one victory in his last six outings and took a no-decision in his last outing against the St. Louis Cardinals when he allowed three runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings on July 19.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters after the outing that Hendricks' execution was "a little bit lacking."

"It was a little bit of a battle out there, but I felt pretty good," Hendricks told reporters. "I've got to find a way to get some quick outs."

Hendricks is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two career starts against the Diamondbacks.

As Hendricks attempts to settle into a groove, two relievers may need more time before they are ready to return.

According to the Chicago Tribune, closer Brandon Morrow said Sunday that his right arm still feels "cranky" and may need to wait beyond Saturday, when he is eligible to come off the disabled list.

Anthony Bass threw from 90 feet and felt no discomfort in his right shoulder. Bass is eligible to come off the disabled list July 31, but he said he may prefer to make a minor league start "just to make sure the tightness is gone," the Tribune reported.



share story