I can’t remember where, but yesterday I read a comment that said, “This series loss reminds me that the Cubs will always be the Cubs” I hope you are all doing well, and that none of you have jumped off the ledge just yet. It’s a good time to point out that this is a long season and that the Cubs will have games like these, and that’s ok. They will be ok. So, lets take a deep breath and look at the recap vs. the Rockies:
Rockies @ Cubs
Rockies 6, Cubs 1
W: Bettis (2-0) L: Hendricks (1-1)
Chad Bettis and the Rockies came in to Wrigley Field and cooled off what had been a very hot Cubs team. The Rockies’ starter pitched six scoreless innings, while striking out four, walking three and only giving up three hits. The Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks was outpitched but it certainly wasn’t a bad outing for the right-hander. He allowed four runs (two earned) in six innings. Hendricks threw 83 pitches, 67 for strikes, but that didn’t matter because it was a sloppy defensive game behind him. The Cubs committed four errors; Kris Bryant committed two of the errors, including a wild throw on a bunt that scored a run in the seventh inning. CarGo extended his hitting streak and Rockies’ first baseman, Ben Paulsen had a good game as he hit an RBI single and threw out a runner at the plate. The Rockies offense is not one to sleep on; with the wind blowing in and the Cubs miscues; the Rockies took full advantage of it and captured the 6-1 victory on Friday.
Cubs 6, Rockies 2
W: Arrieta (3-0) L: Bergman (0-2)
I was lucky enough to attend yet another game on this home stand, and my luck continued when I realized that Jake Arrieta would be the Cubs starter. When Jake is on the mound, the chances of the other team looking at a victory seem very improbable. And when Arrieta struck out the side in the first inning, it proved that the Rockies would have a tough task in front of them. Jake continued to be Jake as he proceeded to pitch eight scoreless innings. He gave up just five hits, struck out eight and walked just one. The Cubs have won his last 16 regular-season starts, the longest streak in franchise history since 1913, according to the Cubs. Another fun stat is that Arrieta has now gone 48 2/3 innings without giving up a run at home. The last time a team scored against him at Wrigley Field was on July 25, 2015, vs. the Phillies. Arrieta is now 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA. Even with a brilliant outing, Arrieta mentioned in his postgame interview, that he wasn’t happy because he had just pitched, OK. He says that the key for him is throwing a good mix of pitches to keep the hitters off balance. When he’s able to establish a mix early on in the game and throw those off-speed pitches early then it’s easier for him later on. Carlos Gonzalez continued his hitting streak and prevented a shutout as he hit a two-run homer in the ninth off reliever Travis Wood. Gonzalez has a 21-game hitting streak, dating back to last season. Rockies starter Christian Bergman pitched a decent game. He had seven strikeouts and walked one in his five innings of work. The Cubs only had four hits against Bergman, but two of those hits were enough to do damage. Anthony Rizzo led off the fourth with a homer to right and Jorge Soler followed by also hitting the first pitch he saw to deep right-center. Dexter Fowler put the game out of reach with a three-run homer off reliever David Hale in the seventh.
Rockies 2, Cubs 0
W: Chatwood (2-1) L: Lester (1-1) SV: McGee (3)
Nolan Arenado homered twice and Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood pitched a great game as he silenced the Cubs’ bats and outdueled Jon Lester for a 2-0 victory on Sunday at Wrigley Field. Chatwood pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walk and striking out seven in the game. He retired the first 14 Cubs he faced before walking Jorge Soler with two outs in the fifth. He missed all of 2015 and most of 2014 because of his elbow injury. Miguel Castro and Jake McGee finished Chatwood’s outing in the eighth and ninth. After Chatwood exited with a 1-0 lead, Miguel Castro retired the Cubs in order in the eighth and Nolan Arenado gave the Rockies some insurance with his second home run of the game against Cubs reliever Justin Grimm in the ninth. The Cubs tried to come back in the ninth as Jason Heyward doubled with one out and Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch with two outs before Rockies closer Jake McGee struck out Kris Bryant for his third save of the season. Jon Lester was impressive in allowing just one run on four hits with 10 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings but it wasn’t enough to avoid his first loss of the season. Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez went 0-for-4, ending an 11-game hitting streak this season and a career-high 21-game hitting streak dating back to last season.
Next up for the Cubs:
* As if the Cubs-Cards rivalry didn’t come with enough fireworks, the Cubs return to St. Louis with two former Cardinals to begin the three-game series. Cardinals’ hitters will have to face former teammate John Lackey, who was 11-4 with a 2.03 ERA at Busch Stadium in his two seasons with the Cardinals. Cardinals’ pitchers will have to face Jason Heyward, one of the biggest offensive threats the team had last year. The Cards will have starter Mike Leake on the mound. He is 9-2 with a 3.15 ERA in 19 starts against the Cubs. This is going to be a very fun series, and I can’t explain how excited I am. Let’s hope the Cubs can leave St. Louis, stealing a couple wins.
Chicago Cubs @ St. Louis Cardinals
Thanks for reading and as always, Go Cubs!