Reds limp into Wrigley Field looking for Alexis Diaz to save the day vs. the Cubs

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Alexis Diaz
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Alexis Diaz / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages
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Reliever Alexis Diaz gives the Reds hope heading into 2023.

He's not going to be Cincinnati's second consecutive Rookie of the Year Award winner, but there's no denying the fantastic debut campaign Alexis Diaz has turned in. In a season where bright spots have been few and far between, the 26-year-old Puerto Rican has been special.

Making 57 appearances out of the Cincinnati Reds bullpen, Diaz has whiffed 81 in only 61.1 innings and compiled a sensational 0.96 WHIP. Additionally, he's posted a 1.76 ERA, and his 3.0 bWAR leads all Redlegs on the active roster.

As good as he's been in his rookie season, the right-hander has been virtually un-hittable in his last 30 trips to the mound. Working 31.1 frames, he's allowed just 14 hits and compiled a remarkable 45 punch outs.

When you're on the brink of losing 100 games, there are obviously going to be many question marks entering the following season. Thankfully, the closer role is one that general manager Nick Krall won't have to address this winter. A healthy Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims paired with Alexis Diaz in the Cincinnati bullpen will certainly lower the blood pressure of everyone in Reds Country.

Prediction: Reds get just one victory in the Windy City

When you drop seven in a row to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a month, it's difficult to be confident about anything. However, I am confident the Reds will return to the Queen City with one victory during their final road trip of the season.

Look for the Cubbies to take two of three from the Redlegs before both teams head to Great American Ball Park to open a season-ending three-game set on Monday.