Cubs vs. Rockies Preview, Monday 5/13, 7:05 CT: A Winnable Matchup

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs open a homestand coming off two well-played wins in Washington. Can they keep it going?

The Colorado Rockies started out hot this year, winning 13 of their first 18 (as opposed to the Cubs, who lost 13 of their first 18; Cubs are 10-9 since then, Rockies are 7-12). Colorado was 2½ games in first place on April 20.

Now, however, they have lost six of their last nine, and they had a streak of 28 consecutive scoreless innings from Thursday through Sunday -- which included getting one-hit Friday and two-hit Saturday. Then Rockies starter Jorge de la Rosa allowed the Cardinals just two hits through seven innings Sunday.

What a weird team. They appear to be on the downswing, while the Cubs are on the upswing. And it's time to beat this team -- the Cubs have lost four of the last six games played between the two teams, including getting swept in Denver last September (of course, the starters in those three games were Chris Rusin, Justin Germano and Chris Volstad -- nuff said, I suspect).

Also, ICYMI (and you probably did because I put it in the FanShots, you should check out today's Tank McNamara comic strip. Cubs-related, and amusing.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Schierholtz RF, Ransom 3B, Castillo C, Barney 2B, Wood P

Luis Valbuena is out of the lineup again -- apparently still unable to play after jamming a finger during Saturday's game.

Rockies lineup:

Young CF, Rutledge 2B, Gonzalez LF, Tulowitzki SS, Rosario C, Helton 1B, Arenado 3B, Blackmon RF, Nicasio P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Travis Wood

Travis Wood


Cubs

vs. Juan Nicasio

Juan Nicasio


Rockies

vs. Col

--

vs. Cubs


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Travis Wood 3-2 9 7 0 0 0 0 46.1 29 13 12 4 14 34 2.33 .93


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Juan Nicasio 3-0 7 7 0 0 0 0 34.1 32 20 18 7 16 25 4.72 1.40

Travis Wood has been the Cubs' most consistent starter all year. He's gone at least six innings in all seven of his starts, posting a "quality start" (for whatever that's worth) in all seven. The Cubs have won just four of those games, primarily because they've given Wood low run support -- just 22 total runs scored in those starts. Wood ranks 55th of 68 qualified starters in the National League in run support. He did not face the Rockies last year, and overall current Rockies are 2-for-24 against him. Perhaps we're not doomed tonight.

Remember the old song? "If it wasn't for bad luck..." That's Juan Nicasio. He came back from a scary injury in 2011 when he was hit in the head with a line drive, only to miss half of 2012 with a knee injury. He's had a mediocre start to 2013, and since his first start of the year has failed to get out of the fifth inning. Due to all the injuries and missed time, he has never faced the Cubs and current Cubs are just 2-for-9 overall against him. In short, who knows?

Today's game is on WCIU (this time for sure). You can also see this game in the following cities: Springfield/Decatur/Champaign WCIX 49.2; Peoria WAOE 59.1; Des Moines WHO 13.2; Quad Cities (Davenport/Moline) WQAD 8.2 or 8.3; Ft. Wayne WANE 15.2 and South Bend, WMYS, 69.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Rockies site Purple Row.

Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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