Phillies Host Cubs: Series Preview

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Sep 10, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; A general view of Citizens Bank Park during rain delay. The game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs would later be postponed at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies welcome the Chicago Cubs into Citizens Bank Park for a 4-game weekend series, which was set to begin on Thursday night. I know this for two reasons. First, I know this because it’s on the official schedule.

But I also have first-hand knowledge as well. You see, my wife and I were sitting in the stands with thousands of other fans, waiting for hours during a rain delay. That opener never took place, the game called roughly two hours after the scheduled 7:05pm start time.

And so, the series is underway this evening, with a true one-admission doubleheader. The Cubs are quickly growing from lovable loser teddy bears into ferocious grizzlies, ready to storm the MLB postseason for the first time since 2008.

The North Siders lineup is loaded with young, impactful talented position players including NL MVP candidate and 2x NL All-Star 1st baseman Anthony Rizzo (25), 3x NL All-Star infielder Starlin Castro (25), Rookie of the Year candidate 3rd baseman Kris Bryant (23), infielder Addison Russell (21), outfielder Jorge Soler (23), and slugger Kyle Schwarber (22), a catcher by trade who is playing some outfield to get his potent bat into the lineup more often.

Chicago comes into the series having won 7 of their last 10 games, with a 5-game winning streak just snapped in their most recent game, a narrow 4-3 loss at arch-rival Saint Louis. That loss came after the Cubbies won the first two games in that series, and they now sit in 3rd place in the NL Central, 7.5 games behind the Cards.

But there is a strong likelihood that there will indeed be postseason play in the Windy City this October, as the Cubs hold a 9-game lead (10 in the loss column) over the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants for the final Wildcard spot in the National League with three weeks to play.