Two games in five days so far for the Cubs as the descend upon Coors Field for a three game set with the Rockies this weekend. The Rockies spent their first week in baseball embarrassing the Brewers pitching staff to the tune of twenty(!) runs in three games, good for a sweep. By comparison the Cubs have scored just twice this season, but they have only given up three while splitting a rain shortened series with the Cardinals. The weather is actually supposed to be pretty nice in Colorado, and I would expect that translates to a few more runs being scored, hopefully by the Cubs.
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Who is Hot:
- Rockies: All of them? Seven regulars are hitting over .385 on the season, and they started on the road. Nolan Arenado is picking up where he left off last year, he’s hitting .462 (6-for-13) with three doubles, a dinger, and five RBI’s. Corey Dickerson is not impressed, all he has done is hit .417 (5-for-12) with two doubles, two dingers, and has six RBI’s so far this season.
- Cubs: I’m not going to talk about anyone that has to use a bat regularly here. It’s the Cubs pen, they have been brilliant so far, they have yet to allow an earned run in 6.2 innings, and have only allowed three hits.
Who is Not:
- Rockies: I found someone! Justin Morneau is one of just a couple of guys not to join the party so far. Morneau is hitting .077 (1-for-13) in the early going, he’s only struck out once so he appears to be a victim of BABIP (Batting average on balls in play).
- Cubs: The whole offense, the Cubs are hitting .125 (7-for-56) as a team, and have walked just three times while striking out 23 times. It’s super early, and the conditions were not great for hitting, so I’m not worried, yet.
The Cubs quest for a five game winning streak fell short last night thanks in large part to the Cubs not being able to get out of their own way. Justin Germano got the ball for the Cubs and turned in one of his best outings of the year. Germano lasted five innings giving up one run, unearned, on three hits while walking two and striking out eight. Unfortunately that wasn’t good enough for a victory, not even a no decision as the Cubs couldn’t push a run across all night. It’s not like the Cubs didn’t have their chances as they were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 guys on base in the loss. They had a wonderful opportunity to tie the game in the 6th inning with runners on second and third with only one out. Darwin Barney hit was seemed to be a sacrifice fly to center, inexplicably Dave Sappelt tried to tag up from second and make it to third. In true Cubs fashion Sappelt was thrown out at third before Castro could cross the plate meaning the run doesn’t count. There was no reason for Sappelt to tag, I like being aggressive but there was no reason for it, he was already in scoring position and the important run was Castro. As I mentioned the Cubs had their chances but they weren’t really generating any offense, they only had six hits. The Astros did all they could to give this one to the Cubs by committing four errors and walking two. This loss could have been even more costly as Anthony Rizzo had to leave the game in the third inning after a violent collision at first base with Brett Wallace. All reports after the game seemed to indicate that Rizzo was going to be fine and was just sore, let’s hope so.
FULL BOX SCORE
Five First Responders Throw Out First Pitch
Rizzo’s Scary Collision
Cubs Cost Themselves a Run
Germano’s Solid Outing
Thanks for reading,
The Cubs are heading into this series on a high note coming off a three game sweep in Pittsburgh, a sweep that put a major dent in the Pirates playoff hopes. It will be quite the different atmosphere in Houston as this three game set will be a battle for the first pick in the draft. Huge crowds usually don’t turn out for these types of series, couple that with the NFL season getting underway and it could be a very empty ballpark. The Cubs shouldn’t worry about that, they should worry about going out there and getting better with each game, and trying to win a job for next year. Two guys that have jobs locked up for next year, Starlin Castro, and Anthony Rizzo, are leading the Cubs charge as both are red-hot at the plate. Castro is hitting .333 in September, and Rizzo is hitting a whopping .382 during the month, unfortunately that hasn’t translated to many win as the Cubs are a less than stellar 3-6. If the Cubs want to extend their winning streak this week they are going to need the starting staff to step up as it will now be without Samardzija for the rest of 2012.
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Here are the pitching matchups for the four game series.
Monday September 10, 2012
Cubs: Chris Volstad (2-10, 6.23 ERA)
Houston: Dallas Keuchel (1-7, 5.54 ERA)
Tuesday September 11, 2012
Cubs: Justin Germano (2-6, 6.95 ERA)
Houston: Jordan Lyles (3-11, 5.55 ERA)
Wednesday September 12, 2012
Cubs: Travis Wood (5-11, 4.42 ERA)
Houston: Fernando Abad (0-3, 5.30 ERA)
Season Series: Chicago leads 5-4
Prediction: Cubs win series 2-1
Thanks for reading,