Even after a tough loss Wednesday, the Cubs are off to an excellent 5-1 start on their 10-game homestand. Chicago’s offense has roared to life at Wrigley Field, averaging 5.5 runs a game during that time.
The degree of difficulty goes up this weekend as the first-place Colorado Rockies come in for four games. The Cubs lost two of three in Denver in early May (I know all too well because I was there) and the Rox have not slowed down. Their 38 wins lead the National League, though the Nationals have a higher winning percentage.
Centerfielder Charlie Blackmon is having a monster year from the leadoff spot, slashing .333/.374/.610. Nolan Arenado is hitting .291 with 14 homers and a league-leading 20 doubles.
Offensive numbers are nice, but the reason the Rockies are winning this year is pitching. While a 13th place team ERA of 4.15 seems pedestrian, it’s really not when your home games are played in the thin air of Coors Field.
The Cubs have had a good homestand so far. If they want to make it a great one they will need to finish strong this weekend.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Thursday, June 8 at 7:05 CT on CSN-C+
- Friday, June 9 at 1:20 CT on MLB Network and CSN-C
- Saturday, June 10 at 1:20 on ABC-7
- Sunday, June 11 at 1:20 on WGN
What To Watch For
- Anthony Rizzo has gotten on base nine times the last four games he’s played. Rizzo is a streaky hitter so this might be the start of a hot stretch.
- Kyle Schwarber had 3 hits in his last game, and all three were hard. With the Rockies starting four righties this series, War Bear should get plenty of at-bats. Some more solid contact would be helpful.
- Mike Montgomery has been piggybacking on Eddie Butler’s starts of late. Despite my objections, people have adopted the nickname Butgomery for these joint outings. Whatever you call it, they’ve produced two wins and you can expect to see it again. (Update): The Cubs just placed Kyle Hendricks on the 10-Day DL with right hand tendonitis so Montgomery will take his spot in the rotation.
- The Cubs bullpen has been outstanding in June. In 19.1 innings pitched, their relief corps has allowed 3 runs, which works out to a 1.41 ERA. Pedro Strop and Justin Grimm in particular have looked much better of late.