I’m baaaack…and it feels so good! I’ve missed talking about baseball although I never really stopped. I hope you guys had a great offseason and are ready for this year and all the exciting things that the Cubs are about to do. Rice and Anno already covered the short opening series against the Cardinals (which they split), so let’s take a break on talking about Kris Bryant and look at the recap vs. the Rockies:
Chicago Cubs @ Colorado Rockies
Rockies 5, Cubs 1
W: Bergman (1-0) L: Wood (0-1)
The Cubs went on their first road trip to face the red-hot Rockies and the first game wasn’t too promising. Unfortunately, Cubs hitters weren’t exactly locked in with runners on base. On Friday, they went 1-for-9 with men in scoring position, but the lone hit didn’t even score a run. Of course this is something that will change and will be streaky. Much of the game was carried by the bullpens as both starters didn’t fare as well as they thought they would. Rockies starter Tyler Matzek struggled with command for four innings and was removed with two on and no outs in the fifth. But Christian Bergman, who earned the win, escaped that jam with a ground ball, and Brooks Brown followed with two strikeouts. Cubs’ starter Travis Wood struck out five and only walked two but gave up seven hits and lasted 4 2/3 innings. Troy Tulowitzki‘s two-run double came in the fifth and Justin Morneau, who came off the bench to replace Wilin Rosario, hit a 1-0 fastball off Brian Schlitter, which carried the Rockies to a 5-1 victory over the Cubs in the Coors Field opener Friday afternoon. Edwin Jackson, who lost out of a spot in the rotation, made his first relief appearance and gave up one hit in two innings.
Cubs 9, Rockies 5
W: Hammel (1-0) L: Kendrick, K (1-1)
The Rockies were attempting to improve to a 5-0 start for the first time but the Cubs’ bats came alive. Starlin Castro, Mike Olt and Chris Coghlan all went deep with solo shots and Dexter Fowler added a pair of triples to knock Rockies’ starter Kyle Kendrick out of the game. He was charged with eight earned runs and the Rockies were handed their first loss. The Cubs were about to lose one of their players though, when Mike Olt had to leave the game in the ninth after he was hit by a pitch on the right wrist. However, x-rays were negative, which was a good thing. Cubs’ starter Jason Hammel pitched six innings and gave up three earned runs on eight hits, walked none and struck out six.
Cubs 6, Rockies 5
W: Ramirez, N. (1-0) L: Hawkins (1-1) SV: Rondon (2)
The Cubs were down 5-3 in the ninth but Welington Castillo hit an RBI single and Dexter Fowler launched a go-ahead homer to lift the Cubs to a 6-5 come from behind win and clinch their first road-series win.
Rockies reliever LaTroy Hawkins walked Arismendy Alcantara, who moved up on a wild pitch. Hawkins then struck out pinch-hitter Mike Olt, but Castillo drove in Alcantara with a single to center. That’s when Dexter Fowler launched his first home run of the season. Cubs’ starter Kyle Hendricks made his 14th career start. He gave up five earned runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings. This was the first time he has given up more than four runs. D.J. LeMahieu drove in three and scored one of the Rockies five runs. The Cubs’ bullpen did a great job in holding the Rockies to give the offense a chance for the comeback win.
Next up for the Cubs:
* Cubs pitcher Jon Lester makes his second start of the season on Monday night as the Cubs open a six-game home stand against the Cincinnati Reds. This will be Lester’s first time facing the Reds. He will surely have to be looking to slow down Billy Hamilton, who hit .343 with eight extra-base hits, 12 RBIs and nine steals in 19 games against the Cubs last season. The Cubs offense will try to keep their bats alive against Mike Leake, who allowed three runs, five hits and six walks over 5 2/3 innings against the Pirates on Wednesday, which resulted in an extra-inning win. The right-hander has a 1.71 ERA in winning four consecutive starts against the Cubs. The Reds dominated the Cubs at Wrigley Field last season as they won 19 of 22 games.
Cincinnati Reds @ Chicago Cubs
Monday, April 13, 7:05 PM CDT
Mike Leake, RHP vs. Jon Lester, LHP
Tuesday, April 14, 7:05 PM CDT, Wrigley Field
Wednesday, April 15, 7:05 PM CDT, Wrigley Field
Jason Marquis, RHP vs. Travis Wood, LHP
Thanks for reading and as always, Go Cubs!