PHOENIX — The Cubs have played some of their best baseball here in crunch time [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-edinson-volquez-jersey]http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-edinson-volquez-jersey[/url] , a stretch that has taken a big bite out of the Diamondbacks‘ playoff chances.The Cubs will enter Day 28 of a string of 30 straight days in which games were scheduled (if not necessarily played) with the first of a three-game series at Arizona on Monday.The sustained activity has not seemed to bother them. They are having a little fun with it, in fact.Article continues below ...Anthony Rizzo wore his uniform on the plane for a makeup game in Washington on Thursday, which would have been an off day but for the persistent rain that forced two postponements the previous weekend. The Cubs won.Ben Zobrist, who is third in the NL in hitting, rode his bicycle in uniform to Wrigley Field on Sunday, a 2-1 loss to Cincinnati.Still, the Cubs have won three of their last four games and 14 of their last 18 series as they send right-hander Kyle Hendricks (11-11) out to face Arizona left-hander Patrick Corbin (11-5) in the first game of the series.The Diamondbacks have not had as much success in the make-or-break portion of their season. They have played 11 straight games against division leaders and will have at least two more, inasmuch as the Cubs (87-62) enter with a 2 1/2-game lead over Milwaukee in the NL Central.The Diamondbacks lost three of four at home to Atlanta last weekend before going 2-5 on a road trip to Colorado and Houston, dropping them 4 1/2 games behind the NL West-leading Rockies with 12 games remaining.It has been a drastic reversal for an Arizona team that led or was tied for the NL West lead for 125 days this season and was still in first place on Sept. 1 before a third straight final at-bat loss in a four-game series to the Dodgers in Los Angeles.The Diamondbacks (78-72) had not been fewer than seven games above .500 since June 10 before their 5-4 loss at Houston on Sunday.The Dodgers and Rockies begin a three-game series in Los Angeles on Monday.“We can’t get caught scoreboard watching,” Arizona reliever Brad Ziegler said. “We have to win our games. If we win our games, things will take care of themselves.”The Diamondbacks’ bullpen, which was so efficient in the first five months, has given up 43 runs in its last 50 innings, and manager Torey Lovullo has used right-hander Yoshihisa Hirano in the last two save situations instead of normal closer Brad Boxberger. Arizona also took a hit to its starting rotation when Clay Buchholz was shut down for the rest of the season because of elbow soreness he felt while warming up for scheduled start Thursday in Colorado.The Cubs have made their bullpen work even without closers Brandon Morrow and Pedro Strop. Morrow, who has 22 saves, has been on the disabled list since mid-July with a bone bruise. He threw a simulated game Saturday and could be activated for the Arizona series [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-elvis-andrus-jersey]Elvis Andrus Jersey[/url] , manager Joe Madden said.Strop, who had 13 saves after taking over for Morrow, suffered a season-ending left hamstring injury while attempting to beat out a double play grounder in Washington on Tuesday.Since, the Cubs have gotten saves from Randy Rosario, Jorge De La Rosa and Steve Cishek. Both Rosario and De La Rosa had the first of their careers. Their last five saves have been from five different pitchers, including Jesse Chavez and Strop, the first time the Cubs have done that since 1991.“Everyone knows it’s the ninth inning,” said Cishek, who earned the save in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Cincinnati as the third pitcher in the ninth inning.“We just try to treat it like any other inning.”Corbin, who has a 3.05 ERA, is on the way to a career year, even if the victory totals don’t show it. He is third in the league in strikeouts (230), fourth in WHIP (1.03), tied for sixth in the league in quality starts (18) and seventh in ERA. His ratio of strikeouts to walks is 5.48:1, third in the league.Corbin has won five of his last six decisions and has made seven quality starts in his last eight, with 64 strikeouts against five walks in that span. He is 5-1 with a 3.68 ERA in seven career appearances [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-ivan-rodriguez-jersey]Ivan Rodriguez Jersey[/url] , six starts, against the Cubs and beat the Cubs in his first start after the All-Star game, giving up six hits and one run in seven innings with nine strikeouts and no walks. He is 7-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 15 home starts this season.Hendricks, who has a 3.71 ERA, has won five of his seven decisions since a 5-1 loss to Arizona on July 24. He has given up a career-high 21 homers this season but has kept the ball in ballpark much better during his recent successful stretch, giving up only three homers in 54 2/3 innings and only one in his last 44 innings.Hendricks has faced Arizona only three times, going 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA. He won his only previous start at Chase Field, in 2016, when he led the league in ERA and finished third in the NL Cy Young voting. LOS ANGELES (AP) — With all the high-priced talent on the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ roster, Max Muncy had to find a way to stand out. He has done it with his bat, coming from the minors to lead the team in home runs.He slugged 35 homers in the regular season, propelled by a first-half tear that landed him in the Home Run Derby.Muncy’s three-run drive powered the Dodgers to a win in the opener of their National League Division Series against Atlanta, and they eventually eliminated the Braves in four games.“The whole experience has been incredible,” Muncy said.Next up is the NLCS against Milwaukee starting Friday, putting Muncy in a best-of-seven series for the first time in his career.Don’t expect him to be rattled, either.“Starting with game 163 I was kind of nervous [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-shin-soo-choo-jersey]http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-shin-soo-choo-jersey[/url] , but you look at how everyone else in the clubhouse is walking around handling themselves,” Muncy said Wednesday. “There’s so much experience there. There’s no panic, there’s no worry. They’re all calm as can be. That kind of resonates through me. If it wasn’t for those guys, then maybe it’s a different story.”His results seem all the more improbable because Muncy isn’t an everyday player. He pops up anywhere from first base to second to third, and occasionally the outfield.The 28-year-old utility player was a non-roster invitee at spring training. He began the season at Triple-A Oklahoma City, shivering in freezing weather during the team’s opener at Iowa on April 5.Less than two weeks later, Muncy was called up by the Dodgers because of injuries. He homered in his second at-bat and kept on going.“He’s just killed it for us,” teammate Ross Stripling.During All-Star weekend, Muncy defeated the Cubs’ Javier Baez in the first round of the Derby before losing to eventual champion Bryce Harper in the next round.After the break, Muncy struggled at the plate, with his average dipping to .183.“I was just focused on trying to get back to where I needed to be, back to controlling the strike zone, putting good swings on balls,” he said.Buoyed by manager Dave Roberts’ unflagging belief, Muncy recovered his stroke and has continued to contribute in big moments. One of his best traits is his discipline at the plate, knowing when to let a pitch go by and when to swing.“It’s just something that I’ve always had [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-prince-fielder-jersey]Prince Fielder Jersey[/url] ,” he said. “It’s one of those things where you kind of either have it or you don’t.”Stripling faced Muncy back in their high school days in North Texas and later in college, with Muncy at Baylor and Stripling pitching at Texas A&M.“He was a guy that was always going to command the strike zone and just going to be just an absolute brutal matchup because he spits on good pitches, he commands the zone and puts the bat on the ball and walks,” Stripling said after a workout at Dodger Stadium.“In college he had some power and hit some home runs. He’s made some swing adjustments that have maybe created some more power,” Stripling said.A fifth-round pick in the 2012 major league draft, Muncy was released by Oakland in March 2017. He got signed by the Dodgers and sent to the minors, where pitcher Walker Buehler was also in Oklahoma City.Six months ago in Iowa, Muncy figured Buehler was a lock to wind up in Los Angeles, but wasn’t so sure about himself.Now, the rookie and the seven-year journeyman have created a buzz in the Dodgers’ bid to win their first World Series title since 1988.“I know for both of us to be able to help out this team the entire year the way we have it’s just been something that’s been very special,” Muncy said.