Through three games the Cubs have a total of seven hits, that’s not so good, the numbers with runners in scoring position are even worse. I guess the good news is that the Cubs continue to get opportunities with guys in scoring position, but they are less than clutch right now. The struggles were front and center this afternoon against the Rockies as the Cubs were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. In a park where walks are more dangerous than usual, the Cubs earned four of them, and Rizzo was hit by a pitch twice, that’s six free passes, but not one guy could come up with a big hit. Not so for the Rockies as they managed to push five runs across the plate on eleven hits en route to a 5-1 victory, Travis Wood picked up the loss.
FIRST PITCH: 3:10 PM CST • TV: WGN TV (9) • RADIO: WBBM-780 AM
1. Fowler – CF
2. Soler – RF
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Castro – SS
5. Olt – 3B
6. Szczur – LF
7. Castillo – C
8. Wood – SP
9. Alcantara – 2B
1. Dickerson – LF
2. Tulowitzki – SS
3. Arenado – 3B
4. Gonzalez – RF
5. Rosario – 1B
6. Stubbs – CF
7. Hundley – C
8. Matzek – SP
9. LeMahieu – 2B
Both pitchers hitting 8th, modern baseball.
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.
- Friday, April 10, 2015 – 3:10 PM CST – WGN TV (Local 9)
- Saturday, April 11, 2015 – 7:10 PM CST – CSN+ (Channel Finder)
- Sunday, April 12, 2015 – 3:10 PM CST – WGN TV (Local 9)
- Game One: Travis Wood (0-0, 0.00) vs. Tyler Matzek (0-0, 0.00)
- Game Two: Jason Hammel (0-0, 0.00) vs. Kyle Kendrick (1-0, 0.00)
- Game Three: Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 0.00) vs. Jordan Lyles (1-0, 3.00)
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 have been busy so far today, mostly off the field. The club has announced that Brian Schlitter, Junior Lake, and Zac Rosscup have all been optioned to Iowa. The news was expected for the most part as all three guys have options left, but there was an outside chance that Lake would make the team. What this does mean is that Matt Szczur is all but a lock for the opening night roster, as Cubs beat writers pointed out on twitter, it’s down to three guys for two spots (Szczur, Sweeney, and Herrera). I think Szczur and Jonathan Herrera have the edge right now, Szczur can play all over the outfield with a tremendous glove, and Hererra would be only the second guy off the bench that can play the infield. This leaves Sweeney as the odd man out, the only thing that he really brings to the table is the left handed bat, but I don’t think that is enough to keep him around. The Cubs also made it clear today that they will be starting the season with three catchers, so Miguel Montero, David Ross, and Welington Castillo will all be in Chicago.
The bullpen is also starting to come together, but the question of what do with Edwin Jackson remains. Jackson will not be a member of the five man staff, and will not act in some sort of piggyback role with Travis Wood, so what to do? The Cubs have already made a huge financial commitment to Jackson so cutting him doesn’t seem to be an option, but the Cubs could admit the mistake and move on. If I had to guess, I think that Drake Britton will be waived, and the bullpen will have Jackson as a long guy which means the Cubs will carry only one left-handed arm in the pen, Phil Coke. Still a lot to figure out as we are now only four days from the start of the season.
Nothing was going right for the Cubs early on as Travis Wood couldn’t keep the ball down, and the Sox took advantage. A three spot for the Sox in the first put the Cubs in a hole but they successfully dug out with the long ball. On the day, the Cubs “B” lineup cracked four dingers, turning that 3-0 deficit into a 10-7 victory. Back to Wood, he worked in and out of trouble all day, he tossed 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on eleven (!) hits while walking none, and striking out two. Back to the dingers, David Ross, Arismendy Alcantara, Taylor Teagarden, and Anthony Giansanti all left the yard, tasty. It was another strong game from Albert Almora, no he didn’t take a lot of pitches, but finished the day 2-for-4 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .381 on the spring.
It’s the first taste of the 2015 Cubs/White Sox rivalry today at 3:05 PM CST on Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Travis Wood gets the ball for the Cubs as he closes in on the 5th spot in the rotation, if his arm doesn’t fall off today then I think he’s announced as said 5th starter shortly. A number of regulars are on the bench today after playing last night against the D-Backs, still some exciting players to watch. One of those players is Albert Almora, he’s having a tremendous spring and looks to be healthy and ready to break out this year.
1. La Stella – 3B
2. Alcantara – 2B
3. Sweeney – RF
4. Lake – LF
5. Baxter – 1B
6. Almora – CF
7. Ross – C
8. Herrera – SS
9. Wood – SP
The Cubs and Diamondbacks battle under the lights tonight, 8:40 PM CST to be exact, and the game is on CSN Chicago. Edwin Jackson gets the ball for the Cubs tonight looking to build on a strong start his last time out. Decisions are looming in regards to who makes the team, and specifically who makes the rotation. The 5th spot looks to be coming down to Travis Wood, and Edwin Jackson, I think Wood has that spot nailed down, but then that leaves a question mark of what to do with Jackson. A good start might go a long way for Jackson who I don’t think will be an effective arm out of the pen, he really hasn’t been effective in the rotation either, we’ll see.
1. Fowler – CF
2. Coghlan – LF
3. Castro – SS
4. Rizzo – 1B
5. Soler – RF
6. Olt – 3B
7. Baez – 2B
8. Castillo – C
9. Jackson – SP