Jake Arrieta performed like the Cy Young winner he was last year and completely shut the Rockies down. Arrieta went 8 innings, allowed five hits and only one walk, and stuck out 8. There was never really a threat for the Rockies against Arrieta and it lead to a rather easy 6-2 win for the Cubbies.
Christian Bergman who made a spot start pitched admirably. Through 5 innings, Bergman allowed 2 runs on four hits, but the best part of this start for Bergman was his 7 strikeouts. Bergman is more of a contact pitcher and getting those 7 strikeouts comes as a surprise, but a welcome one against a very potent Cubs offense.
The two runs Bergman allowed came on back-to-back home runs in the 4th. Anthony Rizzo belted a ball to right field on the first pitch of the inning to score the first run of the game and Jorge Soler followed that up with a shot to center. That would put the Cubs up 2-0.
Recent call up David Hale would be brought into the game in the 6th. After one scoreless inning pitched, Hale ran into some trouble in the 7th. A single and a walk put two runners on and with two outs, ex-Rockie Dexter Fowler stepped up to the plate. With one mistake, Fowler would launch a ball to deep right and put the Cubs up 5-0. That would be more than enough for Arrieta, but the Cubs would add an insurance run on a sac fly in the 8th.
It took until the top of the 9th and Arrieta leaving for the Rockies to get on the board. With a man on, Carlos Gonzalez continued his great hitting at Wrigley and drove a ball out to left field. Cargo, who had two hits in the game, would up his hitting streak to 21 games and has a hit in each game the Rockies have played so far.
This is a healthy Carlos Gonzalez coming off a monster power season who seems to be returning to form from the Cargo that one the batting title. He is hitting the ball to all fields and while his power numbers aren’t outstanding, it is a much better sight to see watching Cargo spray the ball everywhere. Even against lefties, who Cargo struggled off of last year, he is getting hits. Staying back on the ball and smacking hits to left has been Cargo’s bread and butter off of lefties so far this season. If Cargo keeps this up, it will mean some tough decisions for the Rockies. Depending on their place in the standings come the trade deadline, they have to either commit to winning, which is only possible if they are close to competing in the division, or they have to commit the rebuild that they started when they traded Tulo away. Cargo will fetch a high price and could yield some good prospects, but he is a fan favorite and certainly a clubhouse presence.
I believe the Rockies won’t trade him and will wait until the offseason if they plan on trading him at all. There is still a lot of season left and if the Rockies continue to play like they have (doubtful based on their track record of starting hot and cooling off quick) they can compete. With Jon Gray returning soon and with how he has been pitching in his rehab starts, he may be the pitcher the Rockies wanted when they drafted him and could be a very welcomed boost to the rotation.
The Rockies will try and win the series on Sunday as Tyler Chatwood takes the mound against Jon Lester. Hopefully the Rockies offense can score early and often and get Lester off of the mound. Many of the Rockies hitters have faced Lester no more than a few times, but have had little success. The small sample size could lead to a surprising day for Cubs fans as the Rockies offense may come out swinging.
Trevor Story watch: After his torrid start, Story has cooled off and his recent string of at-bats could lead to some concern. Story is having contact issues and leads the league with 20 strikeouts. Adjustments need to be made often at the Major League level and this is Story’s first real challenged as a professional in the Bigs.