RECORDS: Cubs 37-27 Rockies 33-31
GAMETIMES: Monday and Tuesday 7:40, Wednesday 2:10
TV: NBCSN Monday and Wednesday, WGN Tuesday
PROBABLY HAVE NEVER HEARD OF JOE WALSH: Purple Row
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
PROBABLE CUBS LINEUP
Kyle Schwarber – LF
Kris Bryant – 3B
Anthony Rizzo – 1B
Javier Baez – SS
Victor Caratini – C
Addison Russell – 2B
Carlos Gonzalez – RF
Jason Heyward – CF
PROBABLE ROCKIES LINEUP
Charlie Blackmon – RF
Trevor Story – SS
David Dahl – CF
Nolan Arenado – 3B
Daniel Murphy – 1B
Raimel Tapia – LF
Ryan McMahon – 2B
Tony Wolters – C
After a successful homestand that seemed to wash away the struggles of the previous week, the Cubs head out on a not particularly pleasant road trip. The first stop is the baseball funhouse that is Coors Field, where the hope is to get out alive as much as winning the series. Something stupid always happens during the course of these, and it feels like there’s almost always at least one 13-11 loss where the lead changes with every half inning starting in the 6th. The Cubs will do their best to avoid that, as the Brewers aren’t going anywhere.
The Rocky Tops spent the interim between these series with a weekend in Queens (what a fate), losing two of three to the mystery box Mets. But hey, sometimes you just get Thor’d and Matz’d, even if the latter’s elbow is made of wishes and dreams at this point. That’s the annoying thing about the Mets. The Cubs will worry about that next week, though.
The Cubs will get another look at Peter Lambert, whom they didn’t have an answer for at Wrigley and helped the Rockies avoid a sweep. The difference this time around is they’ll also see Antonio Senzatela, who’s had a small home run problem, which is actually a big problem. They got past German Marquez last week, and will have to do so again tonight which is generally not what you’d choose.
The Rockies are in something of a tough spot. The Dodgers are already over the hills and far away, and barring something completely inexplicable they won’t be caught. The deficit is 11 games. Which leaves them wondering just how hard to push for a coin-flip spot, which would be their third in a row. It got them…well, a quick exit last year, and they assuredly had higher hopes this time around. But are you giving up assets for half a playoff spot? You wouldn’t think so, and there’s plenty of competition with whichever of the Cubs or Brewers don’t get there, the Braves, if the Nats can ever get their head out of their ass, and the Diamondbacks are ahead of them as we speak.
As strange as it might sound, the Rockies could probably use another bat or two. The numbers make it look better than it is thanks to altitude, but they have holes in center, left, and the right side of the infield because Daniel Murphy is very crisp at the moment. Getting David Dahl more playing time would help, and they’re going to try and stick him in center and hold their nose and hope nothing explodes. He did play there in the minors, and maybe the improvement in his bat is enough to keep Ian Desmond on the bench, as one of the more boneheaded signings in recent memory.
The Rockies should be putting up boxcar numbers every night. Right now they only put up good ones. If Gray can avoid blister problems they probably have enough in the rotation and pen to make a run at the coin flip spot, but that is just about the height of their expectations right now.
For the Cubs, they’ll just try and not have a shredded pitching staff to roll into Los Angeles with, which is the last place you’d want to do that. Joe Maddon will give Carlos Gonzalez at least one start you’d think in his old stomping ground, which…fine. Just not going to waste the breath. There will also be a game where he deploys the hands team in the outfield for the whole thing because he might have to. Yu Darvish looks for an actual decision this time, maybe even a win.
These are always silly. Try and enjoy the ride.