Sunday Night Baseball: D-backs can move into 2nd wild card spot with win over Cubs

Sep 17, 2023, 3:47 PM

Evan Longoria...

Evan Longoria #3 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates with Geraldo Perdomo #2 and Alek Thomas #5 after scoring the game winning run against catcher Yan Gomes #15 of the Chicago Cubs during the 13th inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on September 16, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Cubs 7-6 in 13 innings. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — There’s two weeks left in the 2023 Major League Baseball season, and the National League Wild Card race will be in the spotlight with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs battling on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

At 78-72, the Diamondbacks enter the game tied for the third spot with the Miami Marlins, who beat the NL East-champion Atlanta Braves 16-2 Sunday afternoon.

Cubs (78-71), who hold the second wild card spot, have dropped four in a row, including two to the D-backs this weekend after Arizona’s 7-6 win in 13 innings on Saturday.

As Sunday’s day games wrapped up, the Cincinnati Reds (78-73) were a half-game out of a playoff spot following a 8-4 loss to the New York Mets, while the San Francisco Giants (76-74) improved to 1.5 games behind following their 11-10 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Completing the sweep over the Cubs would propel the Diamondbacks into sole possession of the second wild card spot, giving them a needed cushion ahead of the team’s two-game set against the Giants beginning on Tuesday in Phoenix.

A pair of rookies in D-backs’ Ryne Nelson (7-8, 5.53 ERA) and Cubs’ Jordan Wicks (3-0, 1.99 ERA) will face off on Sunday Night Baseball. It marks Arizona’s first Sunday Night Baseball game since May 13, 2018, against the Washington Nationals.

“We learned about a week ago that this was going to be an ESPN game, and I think everybody was kind of like, ‘What does that mean?'” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “… It doesn’t happen a lot here, we’re proud of it. We’ve earned that. And it’s a great game.

“It’s great for Major League Baseball to put two teams on that aren’t necessarily the Red Sox and the Yankees. … We want to go out there and represent the state.”

First pitch will commence at 4:10 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM / 98.7 FM HD-2. 

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