BASEBALL | MLB

Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies Pick & Prediction SEP 16TH 2021

Complete TV: NBCSP | Marquee Sports Network Citizens Bank Park Philadelphia
907Cubs Chicago
908Phillies Philadelphia
OP
9
-156
CU
9o -105
-1.5 +125
ML
ML: 140
ML: -150
Partials
4 6 7 8
0 0 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
0 0 0 7 0 3 5 2 0 0
Score
8
17
Seth Cohen Seth Cohen MLB MONEY LINE WIN 7, LOSE 3, PUSH 0 + $231 Follow him and more than 20 experts from $29.99 per month

Chicago Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks always seems to end his seasons on a high note.

He will try to maintain that reputation when he takes the mound against the host Philadelphia Phillies in the rubber game of the three-game series on Thursday evening.

Hendricks has been a late-season star ever since posting a 1.42 ERA in five postseason starts during Chicago's World Series-run in 2016. He has a 2.60 ERA in 36 career regular-season starts in September and October.

Hendricks (14-6, 4.54 ERA) allowed one run and four hits in six innings on Friday against the visiting San Francisco Giants, keeping the Cubs in the game against the best team in the majors until the bullpen fell apart in the 6-1 loss.

He wasn't able to put the Cubs on his back to the finish of that game, but his performance felt like a personal victory after he'd been roughed up in four of his previous five outings.

"I needed it mentally to see myself be able to do that," Hendricks said. "Just with the few (starts) I have left, try to keep that rolling."

He will face a Philadelphia team that's still in the thick of the playoff race. A win in the series finale would pull the Phillies (73-72) within 2 1/2 games of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second National League wild-card spot. The Phillies also are just 3 1/2 games back of the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves.

Philadelphia hurt its chances by losing six of seven, including three of four to the sub-.500 Colorado Rockies, before rebounding to beat Chicago 6-5 on a walk-off passed ball on Wednesday.

"We're still in this," Philadelphia manager Joe Girardi said.

The Phillies are planning to use a host of relievers on Thursday.

Philadelphia's bullpen blew two save chances in the win on Wednesday, increasing its franchise-record total to 32 this season and pulling within two blown saves of tying the major league record set by the Colorado Rockies in 2004.

Hendricks had his own uncharacteristically poor three-game stretch heading into the San Francisco game, getting tagged for 18 runs in 16 innings.

The Cubs (66-80) managed to win two of those games, but Hendricks wasn't accustomed to getting knocked around for such a lengthy period.

Hendricks was 13-4 with a 3.68 ERA through his first start in August and appeared set for another strong second half run. He slammed into his first speed bump on Aug. 12 against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, however, allowing nine runs and 11 hits in four innings of a 17-4 loss.

Hendricks seemed to straighten things out in his next start, giving up one run in six innings of a 2-1 road win against the Cincinnati Reds, but then hit the three-start slump that had everyone perplexed.

That's why his last outing was such a relief to many.

"It was good to see him back to being the way he normally is," said Cubs bench coach Andy Green, who was running the team last weekend while manager David Ross was out following a positive COVID-19 test. "It was good to see him be him."

Hendricks is 4-2 in six career starts against the Phillies with a 3.26 ERA. He also tossed one of six career complete games against Philadelphia in 2016.

--Field Level Media

Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Bryce Harper hit a walk-off grand slam into the second deck in right field off Derek Holland in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally the host Philadelphia Phillies past the Chicago Cubs 7-5 on Thursday.

Harper also had two homers in Wednesday's 11-1 victory.

The Phillies entered the ninth trailing 5-1 before exploding for six runs to secure the three-game series sweep.

Roman Quinn and Corey Dickerson had two hits each for the Phillies.

Phillies starter Drew Smyly struggled through five innings, allowing seven hits and five runs.

Ranger Suarez (4-1) earned the win in relief.

Anthony Rizzo homered, singled and knocked in two runs for the Cubs.

Kyle Schwarber also homered while Nicholas Castellanos added two hits and also walked twice.

Cubs starter Yu Darvish was stellar through seven innings in giving up four hits and no runs. Darvish struck out 10 and walked none.

Pedro Strop (2-5) took the loss in relief.

The Cubs struck first when Rizzo launched a mammoth solo homer to right field in the third inning for a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the third, Philadelphia's Adam Haseley was stranded at second base when Harper struck out swinging to end the threat.

Chicago capitalized in the fourth when David Bote hit an RBI double and Albert Almora Jr. added an RBI single for a 3-0 advantage. Rizzo then ripped a run-scoring single to right for a 4-0 lead.

Schwarber snapped an 0-for-12 skid with a solo homer to center in the fifth for a 5-0 advantage. It was Schwarber's 100th career home run.

The Phillies managed only four hits through the first six innings -- doubles by J.T. Realmuto and Dickerson and singles by Haseley and Logan Morrison.

Darvish's 10th strikeout of the game against Haseley ended the seventh.

In the eighth, the Phillies had runners on second and third with two outs, and Dickerson singled home Quinn to get within 5-1. But on the play, Rhys Hoskins was thrown out at home by right fielder Castellanos trying to score from second.

Brad Miller hit an RBI single with one out in the ninth to close within 5-2. Quinn followed with an RBI single, and Hoskings was hit by a pitch before Harper's walk-off slam.

--Field Level Media

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