The Rockies defeated the Cubs 10-4 in the makeup for the rainout, the first of a split doubleheader. If you watched the game you know it didn’t feel as close as that score.
The Cubs actually had a 1-0 lead in this game, for about five minutes. Kyle Schwarber doubled leading off the third, advanced to third on a groundout by Kris Bryant and scored on a groundout by Anthony Rizzo. It is a statement on what sort of game this was that I actually am going to share with you that RBI ground ball [VIDEO].
Normally I wouldn’t make a big deal out of a run that scored after a couple of infield outs, but that was about the only Cubs highlight of the afternoon. The Cubs’ second run of the day also scored on an infield out, a force play hit into by Schwarber in the fourth inning with the bases loaded.
In between those runs was a disastrous six-run inning off Jake Arrieta in which the Rockies had six hits, including an unusual bases-clearing single. The inning also “featured” a throwing error by Javier Baez. The effect of that was to make five of the nine runs allowed by Arrieta unearned, not that it changed anything about the fact that those runs scored.
Should this make us worried about Jake? He did have a pretty good outing in his last start against the Phillies, and his only other start in Coors Field, back in 2014, was just about as bad (five innings, nine runs, all of those earned). Jake’s peripherals don’t look too bad, and his velocity seems fine, but the results have not been good.
The game also featured the Cubs debut of Dylan Floro, who was recalled from Triple-A Iowa when Jason Heyward hit the disabled list Monday. Floro threw reasonably well, 4⅓ innings, allowing one run (a homer by Mark Reynolds) with four strikeouts. He threw an efficient 61 pitches (40 strikes). Floro also had his first major-league at-bat (and just his second as a professional; he had one at Iowa this year). Unsurprisingly, he struck out.
Floro’s relief appearance was the longest by a Cub since Trevor Cahill threw 4⅔ innings of relief August 20, 2016 — also against the Rockies in Coors Field. The Cubs won that game, unlike this afternoon’s result.
The best thing about Floro’s outing is that it gave the entire rest of the bullpen the afternoon off, which I’m certain they all needed.
With the game pretty much out of reach in the seventh inning, Joe Maddon gave his stars, Bryant and Rizzo, the rest of the afternoon off. Willson Contreras batted for Bryant and stayed in at first base. Willson played first base three times for the Cubs last year. Jon Jay batted for Rizzo and remained in the game in right field. This was a good idea, given the long game Sunday and, with the doubleheader today and afternoon game Wednesday, three games within about 30 hours.
Usually, there’s more video to share or a couple of relevant tweets, but this one... nah. The Cubs drop back to the .500 mark, the first time they’ve been there since April 18 (7-7) and their run differential is now just +4 (158-154).
The good news is that the Cubs have to wait only a couple of hours to even up the series. Game 2 of the split doubleheader will be at 7:40 p.m. CT. John Lackey will go for the Cubs and Kyle Freeland for the Rockies. A game preview for Game 2 will post at 6:30 p.m. CT.