Game Twenty-Two: Cubs (10-11) vs. Rockies (14-7)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Matt Garza (2-0, 4.21/1.66) vs. Esmil Rogers (2-1, 6.75/1.50)
Weather permitting … the Cubs open a three-game series tonight against a team they just faced ten days ago. The Rockies took two of three from the Cubs in Colorado but after splitting the first two, Q’s squad was in position in the third game to win the series … they just couldn’t put the game away.
After Wednesday the Cubs will not see the Rockies again during the regular season … and anything less than a season series split would end the Cubs homestand on a negative note (3-3 on current nine-game homestand).
The Cubs need a long outing from Matt Garza tonight. With another ‘Bullpen Day‘ on the horizon for Tuesday, anything less than a quality start from Garza will put more stress on an overworked pen. Q’s starters simply are not getting the job done … just a combined 17 1/3 innings over the last four games.
Tonight it all starts with Matt Garza … Matt Garza is coming off his best outing of the season … and what should have been his second victory in a Cubs’ uniform. Carlos Marmol could not save Garza’s game for the second time after a solid six-inning performance in which he left with a 1-0 lead. The Cubs ended up winning the first of the day-night doubleheader on Reed Johnson’s walk-off in the 11th.
Garza was very, very good through the first five but labored through a 30-plus sixth inning. Garza struck out nine and gave up six hits, all singles, with three walks over the six-shutout innings. Mike Quade needs a similar performance tonight but maybe an inning or two longer. Garza benefited from a poor Padres offense in his last start. If Garza struggles with his command and starts issuing free passes the Rockies will take advantage.
Garza struggled in his first outing against the Rockies back on April 15. Troy Tulowitzki and company scored five runs on seven hits in six innings off Garza (four on the triple by Chris Iannetta). Jhoulys Chacin took care of the rest and the Rockies won 5-0. The Cubs offense needs to back their pitcher tonight … they have scored a total of one run in Garza’s last three starts.
The Rockies have had their way with Matt Garza (0-2 in two starts with a 7.36 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP), maybe the third time will be the charm for Garza.
Rockies Career Numbers against Matt Garza
- Dexter Fowler – 1-for-3 with a double
- Jason Giambi – 1-for-9 with 4 walks
- Carlos Gonzalez – 1-for-5 with a home run
- Todd Helton – 3-for-5 with a home run and a walk
- Jonathan Herrera – 1-for-2
- Chris Iannetta – 1-for-3 with a triple
- Jose Lopez – 6-for-21 with a double and a triple
- Seth Smith – 0-for-5 with a walk
- Ian Stewart – 0-for-2
- Troy Tulowitzki – 1-for-5
- Ty Wigginton – 4-for-16 with a double and a home run
The Cubs will get their first look at Esmil Rogers. Q’s squad faced Rogers during Spring Training but that is the only time they’ve faced the rookie right-hander. Rogers had two excellent starts to begin the season. Rogers allowed one run on four hits in 7 1/3 innings to the Pirates in Pittsburgh (one walk, seven strikeouts) then held the Mets to three runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings (four walks and two strikeouts). Rogers hit a wall in his last start at Coors.
The Giants knocked Rogers out after scoring eight runs on six hits in three innings (three home runs, two walks and two strikeouts).
Esmil Rogers has been extremely good on the road in a small sample size this season (2-0 with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP), the Cubs must be patient tonight and not allow him to get comfortable.
Blake DeWitt (0-for-3) and Reed Johnson (0-for-3) are the only active Cubs that have faced Esmil Rogers during a regular season game.
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