Carlos Villanueva was so very good for parts of this season, but the last few times out have not gone so well. With the recent struggles it wouldn’t be surprising to see Villanueva head to the bullpen when Matt Garza returns. I know who he can replace, Shawn Camp , more on him later, he didn’t help his or the Cubs cause tonight. The Cubs were never in this one and it was over before it started it seemed as the Rockies jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the third inning. Things got worse in the fifth as the Rockies added two more to take a 7-0 lead, that’s when the Cubs woke up, with some help from the Rockies. The Cubs scored once in the fifth, and twice in the eighth to make it 7-3 but they wouldn’t get any closer. The Rockies tacked on two more runs in the ninth thanks to Carlos Gonzalez putting an exclamation point on his night with his second home run, he ended is evening 5-for-5 with two home runs, and three RBI’s. Seems about right when it comes to Car-Go and the Cubs. Two games in this series and two blow outs, one each way, wonder what tomorrow will bring.
At The Plate – The Cubs could only manage seven hits in this one, but they had their chances to score more than the four runs they did. The Cubs were only 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position in this one, and they left seven men on. David DeJesus was 2-for-5 with a run scored as he raised his average to .281 on the season. Darwin Barney found some magic in this one, he was 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI’s, that performance raised his average to .186, going to need a few more of those from Darwin.
On The Mound – Carlos Villanueva was hit hard all night, even the outs were loud outs. Villanueva worked five innings giving up seven runs on twelve hits while striking out one, the loss dropped his record to 1-3 on the season. Hector Rondon continues to prove he belongs out of the pen as he worked a scoreless inning while walking one and striking out one to lower his ERA to 3.68 on the season. Michael Bowden also seems to be finding a comfort zone out of the pen, he worked two scoreless inning giving up two hits while striking out one. The only thing comfortable about Shawn Camp is how opposing hitters feel in the box against him. Camp is getting really close to be designated for assignment, he worked one inning tonight giving up two runs on three hits while striking out one, his ERA climbed to a robust 7.31 for the season.
The Cubs are ready to go on a run, I really believe that considering it’s been about two years since they put together an honest to God winning streak. I think they have the opportunity to build on their last two wins in Washington, the next test won’t be easy, but the chance is there for the Cubs to reel off some wins here. The Rockies come to town for a three game series starting tonight, and it all starts with their offensive attack. The Rockies have scored 177 runs, that’s good for seventh best in the Majors, yeah I know, the Rockies always score runs as they play in a launching pad. While that’s true the Rockies have been equally as good on the road this year as they have scored 86 runs on the road compared to 91 at home, that’s not a normal Rockies attack. The Cubs starters will be tasked with shutting down that Rockies attack, and that plays a huge role in whether or not the Cubs will be successful in this series. The Cubs starters have an ERA of 3.50 which is sixth best in the Majors, that is where the Cubs hold the advantage in this series as the Rockies have a team starters ERA of 4.20 which is nineteenth best in baseball. Based on the numbers the Cubs have a really good chance to get late into the game with a lead, that is where the Cubs pen has to step up because if the Rockies have a lead late they usually don’t let it go. The Cubs bullpen ERA is 4.13 which is twenty-fourth best in baseball, the Rockies on the other hand have a bullpen ERA of 2.73, which is third in all of baseball. The Cubs need to get out to a quick lead, and hope their starters get deep enough to eliminate as much of their own bullpen as possible, if they do that it could be a very successful series.
The Cubs took two out of three games from the Nationals in Washington over the weekend.
The Rockies lost two out of three to the Cardinals in St. Louis, and have lost four out their last five.
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Monday, May 13, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on WCIU
- Tuesday, May 14, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on CSN Chicago
- Wednesday, May 15, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on CSN Chicago
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Travis Wood (3-2, 2.33)
– Career vs. Rockies (3 appearances, 2 GS) (0-1, 2.77)
Game Two – Carlos Villanueva (1-2, 3.02)
– Career vs. Rockies (11 appearances, 0 GS) (0-1, 10.05)
Game Three – Jeff Samardzija (1-5, 3.70)
– Career vs. Rockies (5 appearances, 1 GS) (0-0, 2.25)
Game One – Juan Nicasio (3-0, 4.72)
– Career vs. Cubs (first appearance)
Game Two – Jeff Francis (1-3, 6.90)
– Career vs. Cubs (6 GS) (1-0, 7.67)
Game Three – Jon Garland (3-3, 4.83)
– Career vs. Cubs (12 appearances, 8 GS) (4-4, 3.61)
The Cubs should carry the momentum they generated in Washington over the weekend into this series, at least I hope so. I really think they will, and I like the match ups on the mound to favor the Cubs. As long as the Cubs can play solid defense they have an outside shot to sweep this series, and I think that’s what they will do, sweep the Rockies. As in Washington, the only game the Cubs dropped was the one where they shot themselves in the foot defensively, that’s the only way I see the Cubs losing a game in this series.