The Cubs were able to avoid falling behind early today for what seemed like the first time in a while. Instead, they settled in a bit before Jake Arrieta and their defense conceded six runs to the Rockies in the 3rd inning. The Rockies kept manufacturing hits while the Cubs offense sputtered.
It may be the Coors Field effect, but Arrieta was simply not missing many bats today. The Rockies didn’t always get hard contact on the ball, but they were still able to find holes in the defense. Arrieta was consistently in the middle of the strike zone with his pitches, not the location you hope for when pitching in Denver.
The Cubs offense was patient with Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela, who at times was missing the strike zone badly. They were able to get runners on base against him, but were unable to get the big, multi-RBI hit they desperately needed.
In the 4rth inning, the Cubs loaded the bases with no outs and came away with only one run off a Kyle Schwarber fielder’s choice. Three of the four runs they scored today were on fielder’s choice groundouts to second base. The fourth was scored on a Willson Contreras double in the top of the 9th inning.
If there was a positive for the Cubs it was Dylan Floro, who was called up yesterday from Triple-A Iowa. He made his Cubs debut today and pitched well in relief of Arrieta. He provided the bullpen some much needed rest after a tough week of heavy usage. Fliro only allowed one run on a Mark Reynolds homer and struck out five while conceding six hits and no walks. If he stays with the team I’m looking forward to seeing how good he can be.
The Cubs did have a couple nice defensive plays in the game. Kyle Schwarber made an impressive throw to gun down Carlos Gonzalez at home in the 3rd inning. Albert Almora Jr. also had an outfield assist by throwing out Alexi Amarista at third base. Amarista tried to stretch a double into a triple and was beaten pretty easily by the throw.
Stats That Matter
- Arrieta has not been good at Coors Field, giving up nine runs in his only previous outing – 3.2IP, 9H, 9R (5 earned), 3BB, 3K
- The Cubs were 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position while the Rockies were 7-for-12.
- Cubs pitching gave up 15 hits, four of which were of the extra-base variety. Meanwhile, their offense could only manage eight hits.
There’s no denying it, the Cubs are struggling mightily right now. They’ve lost four straight, have a .500 record, are in third place in the division, and the offense and pitching haven’t performed anywhere near the level we saw last year. Never fear, however, because it’s only the beginning of May and there’s still a lot of baseball to be played this season.
The Cubs and Rockies play game two of their doubleheader, with John Lackey taking the hill for the Cubs and lefty Kyle Freeland starting for the Rockies. The game will start at 7:40 CDT, and will be broadcast on WGN.