I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but the Cubs have now lost seven of their last eight road games.
Even though they have an excellent record at Wrigley Field (24-11), losing like this on the road isn’t going to cut it if the Cubs have World Series ambitions.
The 10-3 loss to the Rockies Tuesday evening didn’t have many bright spots. I’ll start with one of them. After Jose Quintana spotted the Rockies a 2-0 lead in the first inning, Jason Heyward came to bat with one out in the second [VIDEO].
J-Hey’s opposite-field homer didn’t make it by much, landing in the first row of the left-field seats, but a home run it was nevertheless. Check out the launch angle and height on that one!
Heyward is now just one home run short of his Cubs best, 11, set in 2017. After a great start to the season, Heyward went into a horrible slump, but has started to hit better lately. In 21 games since May 19: .300/.395/.500 (21-for-70) with 12 runs, 11 walks, two doubles and four home runs. His .782 OPS is better than his career average, and really, if he wound up the season in that area OPS-wise, it would be a very good year.
Oh, and Heyward’s homer gave the Cubs six players in double figures in homers. They join the following:
Most players with 10+ HR this season— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) June 12, 2019
David Bote has eight home runs and will likely soon be the seventh Cub with 10 or more.
I wrote a lot about J-Hey above because honestly, there isn’t much else good to note about the Cubs in this game. Quintana threw a lot of pitches, 86 in fewer than five innings, and was removed for Brad Brach with two out in the fifth.
If there was any doubt in your mind that Brach is going to be the pitcher taken off the 25-man roster when Craig Kimbrel is ready to go, that doubt should have been removed after yet another horrid outing from Brach. He faced six batters and five of them got hits; the only reason he recorded two outs during his outing is that Nolan Arenado turned toward second base after an RBI single and was tagged out by Anthony Rizzo to end the fifth inning. The month of June for Brach: three appearances, 13 batters faced, nine hits, one walk, nine runs allowed, 48.60 (!) ERA, 6.000 (!) WHIP.
Credit where credit is due: The other out Brach recorded was on this nifty defensive play [VIDEO].
Tyler Chatwood relieved Brach and didn’t help Brach’s ERA by serving up a three-run homer to Charlie Blackmon with two Brach runners on base. Chatwood did help the team by eating up some innings, but it was not a good outing for him in his first-ever appearance against his former team.
The Cubs scored a couple of runs in garbage time in the ninth inning off Phillip Diehl, who was making his major-league debut. You could tell Joe Maddon had cashed in this game when he took Heyward out after the top of the sixth and Rizzo and Javier Baez out after the top of the seventh. It gives those players some rest entering the series finale Wednesday.
Which leads me to wrap up this recap with info about Wednesday afternoon’s game. Cole Hamels will start for the Cubs and Antonio Senzatela will go for the Rockies. Game time is 2:10 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via NBC Sports Chicago, and also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Rockies market territories).
And hopefully, the result will be better. The Cubs still trail the Brewers by just half a game in the N.L. Central, as Milwaukee lost to the Astros Tuesday evening. This afternoon’s game preview will post at 12 noon CT.