DENVER, Co — The Chicago Cubs flew into Denver in the wee hours of Monday morning to open their three game series with the Rockies, and were graced with a night off courtesy of mother nature on Monday evening. On Tuesday afternoon in the first game of a day/night double-header, the Cubs sent Jake Arrieta to the mound looking to eat some major innings and help give the taxed Cubs’ bullpen some extra rest.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, Arrieta only lasted 3.2 innings before being chased by the Rockies potent offense after the Cubs fell behind the Rockies 9-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning at Coors Field. After an RBI-double by DJ LeMahieu put the Rockies on the board in the bottom of the third inning, Carlos Gonzalez and Mark Reynolds followed him up with a pair of RBI-singles to make it 3-1 Colorado. The Rockies blew the game wide open when Ryan Hanigan slapped a single into left-center field that bounced off of the glove of a diving Kyle Schwarber, scoring Mark Reynolds, Ian Desmond and Trevor Story to push the Rockies lead to 6-1.
In the top of the fourth inning the Cubs loaded the bases with no one out, and were only able to come up with one run against the Rockies who then plated three more in the bottom of the fourth to make it 9-2. Mark Reynolds tacked on one more for the Rox’ in the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run against reliever Dylan Floro, and the Rockies would go on to win the first game by a final of 10-2. Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela kept the Cubs at bay for six innings allowing a pair of runs on five hits before the Rockies bullpen slammed the door.
The second game of the double-header on Tuesday evening was a much different story as the Cubs dominated the game the entire way after a five-run second inning put them up early-on. That second inning was started by Jeimer Candelario who singled, and then later picked up an RBI on a bases-load walk in that same second inning. More on Candelario in a little bit.
John Lackey took the lead and ran with it for the Cubs, tossing seven scoreless innings en route to a 8-1 victory for the Cubs. Kris Bryant homered in the ballgame and drove in a pair, while Jeimer Candelario, Javier Baez, John Lackey and Albert Almora all picked up RBIs as well.
The Rockies would take the rubber-match on Wednesday afternoon on the strength of eight scoreless innings by their starting pitcher, German Marquez. Marquez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Kris Bryant doubled to lead off the frame, ending the no-hit bid. The Rockies would score once in the fourth and twice in the seventh inning to ensure a 3-0 victory.
The Cubs have now lost five of their last six games and are just 4-6 in the month of May. In 2016 the Cubs had already reached the 40-win plateu before their 17th loss of the season, but Joe Maddon and company are still not showing any sign of concern with some of the holes on the roster, and neither should you. With roughly 10 weeks left before this summer’s trade deadline, the Cubs have plenty of time to make the necessary moves.
Jeimer Candelario Remains on the 25-Man Roster
Candelario, the 96th overall prospect in all of baseball was called up to serve as the Cubs 26th man for the double-header on Tuesday, and started at third base and hit cleanup in the Cubs evening victory. Candelario was kept on the Cubs’ 25-man roster as the club sent reliever Dylan Floro to Triple-A Iowa this morning.
Candelario started again on Wednesday, this time playing first base and hitting cleanup, and Manager Joe Maddon had this to say about the promotion,
“He was playing that well in Triple-A,” manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s not an anomaly. We’ve seen him in Spring Training, we saw him last year. He can be a very, very good player. I’m very comfortable with him in the cleanup spot. Switch-hitter; his OPS is 1.000 on both sides, or better. He’s off to a good start this season, so why not?”
Candelario was hitting .340 at Iowa with 12 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 22 RBIs in 28 games. Candelario went 1-8 with an RBI, a walk, and three strikeouts in his first two games with the Cubs this past series, and was ranked 4th in the Cubs farm system heading into the 2017 season.
The Cubs will have Thursday off before opening a weekend series with the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday evening at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO. Eddie Butler (0-0, —) will oppose Mike Leake (4-1, 1.79) in the series opener on Friday evening, as the Cubs look to find a solution at the bottom of the starting rotation now that the dreadful Brett Anderson experiment seems to be over.
The Cubs will enter the series with the Cardinals on the outside-looking-in, entering play at 17-17, currently sitting in fourth place in the National League Central. The Cardinals are currently sitting in first place at 18-14 with the Reds (18-15) and the Brewers (17-16) sandwiched between the two clubs.
Check back Friday morning for out full Cubs, Cardinals series preview!