In an unusual twist, pitching was the theme of the game today at Coors Field. Rockies starter German Márquez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and Kyle Hendricks pitched an absolute gem in what reminded me of an old fashioned pitcher’s duel.
Hendricks was as good as he’s been so far this year and on par with what we saw from him last season. He had batters off balance and was able to work his changeup in to consistently get swings and misses. His fastball started out around 84 mph, but as the game progressed he was consistently pumping fastballs between 87-88 mph.
The Rockies scored their first run off Hendricks in the bottom of the 4th inning on a sacrifice fly. It was an unearned run due to a fielding error by Javy Baez with one out in the inning. For Hendricks, his final line is not indicative of how dominant he really was. Carl Edwards Jr. came on in the bottom of the 7th inning and allowed Márquez to hit a two-run single. Both of those runs were charged to Hendricks.
The Cubs offense was off balance virtually the entire game. Marquez was consistently hitting the strikezone, so the Cubs had little ability to be patient like they usually are. They had opportunities to score runs in the 7th and 8th innings, but were unable to capitalize. They squandered a lead off double by Kris Bryant in the 7th, and two straight singles by Tommy La Stella and Ben Zobrist to start the 8th. It was truly a lackluster performance by the Cubs offense, who could muster only three hits in the game.
Stats that Matter
- The Cubs were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
- Four, which was the total number of runners allowed today by the Rockies. It was a dominant performance by an normally unimpressive German Márquez.
- Ten, which was the number of times the Cubs’ offense struck out today, walking only once.
The Cubs pitching has begun to improve which is encouraging to see. Outside of the big second inning in game two of the doubleheader yesterday, the offense was unable to muster much of anything against the Rockies in this series. The bright side to all of this is the offense is still one of the tops in the Major Leagues, ranking 4th in total runs. If the starting pitching can continue to improve, things will come together soon for this team.
Tomorrow the Cubs have an off day and will travel to St. Louis on Friday. As as we’ve just learned, Eddie Butler will make his Cubs debut as they face Mike Leake and the first place Cardinals. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 central time, and will be broadcast on CSN Chicago.