AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
If there was ever any ugly win, Friday’s victory against the Cubs would qualify. Colorado came away with a 5-3 victory, they tallied ten hits, and they held the Cubs to only three runs, but it was not easy, nor was it pretty.
With a combination of a terrible umpire behind home plate and some sporadic pitching, the Rockies staff walked nine batters in the game, while also hitting two and recording two errors in the game. The Cubs had a free runner reach in every inning except the seventh, yet the Rockies still came away with a win, mainly due to the Cubs lack of clutch hits.
Chicago had plenty of baserunners, but they came away with only three hits and were 1-11 with RISP. The first two of their three runs came in the first inning, an inning in which at least three balls were called that were obviously strikes. One pitch to Anthony Rizzo was so obvious, that even he had though he had struck out and was walking back to the dugout before realizing it was called a ball.
German Marquez was getting no help from the umpire, but Ryan Hanigan was also not framing pitches very well. Marquez did not have great control which made it harder on Hanigan, but it was still not the best defensive game from the veteran catcher.
Hanigan cannot be faulted too much, as he had one of the big hits in the game with a second inning two-run home run. It came right after the blown calls by the ump, so it was nice to see Hanigan take the game into his own hands and get back some cheap runs.
The Rockies got another two runs from a Charlie Blackmon home run, a player who now leads the league in the RBI despite being a leadoff hitter. Blackmon has 14 home runs on the year, is batting .336, and his 52 RBI. The leadoff man is looking at his best season ever and would have to be considered as MVP if the season ended today.
The final run for Colorado came when Raimel Tapia scored on a Arenado single. Tapia reached after being hit by a pitch and then stole second and advanced on to third on a throwing error by the catcher. The Cubs only other run came on a ground out in the fifth.
Greg Holland came on to work the ninth, but he did not have an easy save. He got the leadoff man Schwarber to strike out, but then walked the next three batters to load the base. Ben Zobrist then swung at the first pitch, a big mistake from a veteran, and flied out to short left field. The game ended with a Jason Heyward strike out for a Rockies win.
The Rockies send Jeff Hoffman to the mound to face ex-Rockie Eddie Butler. Hoffman has been terrific this year and will look to continue his dominance. Butler has been good, but has not been good at getting deep into games, so that is what the Cubs will try to get out of the righty.