This game was one of those that those of us of “a certain age” will remember Jack Brickhouse saying on TV, “When you come by, bring my stomach!” The Cubs took a five-run lead early and then had to hang on through a Rockies comeback and a lot of Colorado traffic on the basepaths, but did so and wound up with a 6-4 win and a series split.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of this Cubs victory.
Willson Contreras put the Cubs out in front with a solo homer in the first inning [VIDEO].
The Cubs extended their lead to 3-0 in the second. After a double play erased a leadoff walk by Seiya Suzuki, Patrick Wisdom doubled and Michael Hermosillo walked. Then this happened [VIDEO].
Nico Hoerner got caught in a rundown after his two-run double, but that was a nice piece of hitting.
It went to 4-0 in the third. Nick Madrigal doubled with one out, and one out after that Frank Schwindel singled him in [VIDEO].
Meanwhile, Drew Smyly was cruising. He looked like he was going to finish five shutout innings, but on the play that could have ended the fifth inning, a dribbler down the third-base line, Smyly couldn’t handle the ball. With two runners on and Smyly at 74 pitches, David Ross brought Scott Effross in to finish the inning, which he did with a ground out.
Unfortunately, Effross and Michael Rucker gave back a chunk of that lead. Three Rockies runs came across the plate in the sixth, two on a home run by Ryan McMahon, cutting the lead to two.
Suzuki is having himself quite the MLB debut:
From @ESPNStatsInfo: Seiya Suzuki is the 3rd Cubs player in the last 100 seasons to start his career with an 8-game hit streak, joining Andy Pafko (9 in 1943) and Joe Munson (8 in 1925).— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) April 17, 2022
He's the 2nd Japanese player with an 8-game hit streak to begin his MLB career.
(The other Japanese player to do that was Akinori Iwamura, who had a nine-game streak to start his MLB career with Tampa Bay in 2007.)
Seiya Suzuki already commanding respect in the batter's box. For the second time this series, the Rockies intentionally walk Suzuki to load the bases.— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) April 17, 2022
Suzuki is the only MLB player at this point to be intentionally walked more than once.
Seiya Suzuki: 40 swings so far this year...— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) April 17, 2022
4 homers, 2 doubles, 4 singles!
Best ratio of total bases to swings in all of MLB!pic.twitter.com/fMb7MhA9yu
The Cubs have made an excellent signing with Suzuki.
Mychal Givens was summoned with two out and nobody on in the bottom of the seventh and even though he issued two walks, he managed to get out of the inning with only one run scoring, that on a sac fly by Kris Bryant.
Rowan Wick threw a scoreless eighth, finishing it with a called strikeout of Charlie Blackmon...
Well. Pitch 4 wasn’t a strike, but the Cubs will take it. Ron Kulpa was pretty bad behind the plate in this one, for both teams.
David Robertson threw an easy 1-2-3 ninth (just eight pitches!) for his third save, and it does look like Robertson is now the official closer, with Givens and Wick as his setup guys.
The Cubs thus finish their road trip at 3-3, a decent result considering how hard it is for visiting teams in general to win at Coors Field. They’ll come home to Wrigley Field to begin a seven-game homestand against the Tampa Bay Rays. A three-game set with the Rays starts Monday evening. Kyle Hendricks will go for the Cubs and Shane McClanahan will start for Tampa Bay. Game time Monday is 6:40 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.