If the D-backs finish off the three-game series sweep at Chase Field on Sunday, the Cubs will end the season 0-19 on the road against the NL West. No Major League team has ever gone winless against one division on the road in a season.
"At this point, we're trying to win four games out of four right now," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "In a lot of ways, it's important. If we lose tomorrow, we'll lose 100 games. That's the bottom line. Tomorrow is as important as any game we play."
Chicago enters Sunday's game 0-18 against the NL West on the road: Arizona (0-5), San Francisco (0-4), Los Angeles (0-3), San Diego (0-3) and Colorado (0-3).
"Our road record has been pretty awful," Sveum said. "Not very good teams, that's usually what happens. You don't want to lose this many games. ... You wish you had the magic potion for that one. Even great teams struggle on the road. You don't want to struggle this bad. That's one thing going into next year, you have to get better at."
Left-hander Chris Rusin will start for the Cubs. He struggled in his last outing, allowing six runs over 3 2/3 innings against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Rusin is 1-3 with a 7.30 ERA in six Major League starts.
"It's been a learning experience, a good experience to get your feet wet," Rusin said after his last start. "At the same time, you try to do well. You just take whatever you can get from it and learn from it, and figure out what you have to work on next year."
Right-hander Josh Collmenter gets the ball for the D-backs, who were eliminated from postseason consideration on Friday.
Collmenter had been pitching out of the bullpen in recent weeks before replacing Tyler Skaggs in the rotation on Tuesday. He allowed one run on two hits over five innings against the Giants.
The 26-year-old has made 10 starts and 17 relief appearances this season.
Cubs: Barney gets day off after making rare error
• Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney didn't start on Saturday after making his first error in 141 games on Friday. That error-free stretch ties a Major League single-season record for second baseman, set in 2007 by Placido Polanco.
"I had to make that throw," Barney said on Saturday. "The one thing I questioned myself on after it happened was if I had rushed it, and after looking at [the replay], I didn't rush it. I had the chance to make that play, and if the ball is on line, then [the runner is] out."
First baseman Anthony Rizzo seemed more upset than Barney about the play, because he wasn't able to pick the throw out of the dirt.
"I think there were a lot of emotions that a lot of these guys have probably never had on the baseball side of things," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "As soon as he made that error, you could hear a pin drop. You couldn't believe it happened, especially that way. Everyone was quiet and reflected on what went on, and obviously the emotions carried on after the game, as well."
D-backs: Stiff back forces Goldschmidt to the bench again
• First baseman Paul Goldschmidt was out of the starting lineup Saturday for the second straight day with a stiff back.
The D-backs aren't too concerned about the injury.
"He takes care of himself probably as good as anybody, he's really on the program," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's not like he did something and felt something, it just tightened up, it's never happened before."
Goldschmidt reported stiffness in the back after taking grounders during batting practice on Friday.
"He's much better today, but we're not going to play him," Gibson said. "It just stiffened up yesterday. Took ground balls and got stiff, kind of locked up last night, much better today."