Game Ninety-Six – Cubs 3, Rockies 4
WP – Tyler Chatwood (6-3) LP – Edwin Jackson (6-11) Save – Rex Brothers (5)
The Cubs dropped the series and season finale to the Rockies on Sunday afternoon. Edwin Jackson put together a quality start but the only two walks he issued both scored in the sixth inning and was the difference in the game.
The Cubs’ offense continued to struggle with runners on base and in scoring position. After going 1-for-15 with RISP over the first two games, the Cubs went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Sunday and left 12 men on base. The Cubs were 1-for-24 with RISP and managed only nine runs in the three game series at Coors Field.
The Cubs outhit the Rockies 10-5 on Sunday and walked seven times but managed only three runs.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with a home run and a walk) put the Cubs on the board in the sixth with his 14th homer of the season. Darwin Barney (0-for-2 with a sac fly RBI and a walk) tied the game at two with a sacrifice fly. But that would be all of the runs the Cubs would score until the ninth despite putting runner after runner on base.
Starlin Castro (4-for-5 with a double and a run scored) collected his first four-hit game since September 19, 2012 in Cincinnati and scored the Cubs’ third run after leading off the ninth with a double. Alfonso Soriano (1-for-5 with a RBI) plated Castro with a groundout but two of the Cubs’ three runs scored with outs on Sunday afternoon. Junior Lake (1-for-5) and Nate Schierholtz (1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk) also collected hits while Welington Castillo (0-for-1 with two walks) reached base with a pair of walks.
Edwin Jackson put together a good outing but what had made him successful of late cost him on Sunday. After a rough first inning in which he allowed two runs, Jackson settled down and put zeros on the board until the sixth inning. Jackson issued back-to-back two out walks to Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer before giving up a single to Nolan Arenado. Junior Lake airmailed his throw to the plate that allowed Cuddyer to score what would end up being the difference in the game.
Edwin Jackson recorded a quality start after allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts in seven innings. Jackson threw 93 pitches, 60 for strikes.
James Russell and Matt Guerrier combined on a scoreless eighth inning.
The Cubs split the season series with the Rockies (3-3) and with Sunday’s loss (6-10 on Sundays in 2013) the Cubs dropped back to 10 games under .500 with a 43-53 record.
The Cubs jumped on Tyler Chatwood in the first inning but could not capitalize. Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo reached on back-to-back singles to right with one out. Soriano grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice. With runners on the corners and two down, Chatwood issued a four-pitch walk to Schierholtz to load the bases. Junior Lake struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.
Edwin Jackson struck out Dexter Fowler swinging to start his afternoon. But Alfonso Soriano misplayed a deep fly to left into a ground rule double. Soriano misjudged the ball off the bat of Charlie Blackmon then short-armed the ball as he went to the wall. The ball hit on the track and skipped over the fence. Jackson retired Tulowitzki on a grounder to third but Carlos Gonzalez drove Jackson’s first pitch into left. Blackmon scored, 1-0 Rockies. Michael Cuddyer drove a double into right center. Gonzalez scored, 2-0 Rockies. Arenado popped out to Barney to end the inning. Jackson survived the first inning and threw 16 pitches, 12 for strikes.
The game remained 2-0 Colorado until the sixth inning. Jackson really settled down after the first inning. Jackson retired seven in a row after the rough first inning. The Cubs offense put runners on base against Chatwood but could not string together any hits. After five at bats, the Cubs offense was 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base. And Edwin Jackson retired the side in order in the fifth and needed only 56 pitches, 40 for strikes, to complete five innings on Sunday afternoon.
Anthony Rizzo led off the sixth with a homer to left, his 14th of the season. Rizzo drove a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left. Just the third homer hit off of Tyler Chatwood this season cut the Rockies’ lead to 2-1. Soriano grounded out to third on a 3-1 pitch for the first out. Nate Schierholtz followed with a single to left and Junior Lake collected another hit with a single to left.
Tyler Chatwood caught Schierholtz leaning before a 2-0 pitch to Barney. Chatwood wheeled and threw toward second but the ball got past Tulowitzki and ended up in center. Schierholtz and Lake moved up ninety feet. With runners on second and third with one down, Darwin Barney lifted a 2-1 pitch out to left. Gonzalez caught the ball, and Schierholtz scampered home with the tying run. Chatwood intentionally walked Welington Castillo but with runners on first and second with two down, Jackson rolled Chatwood’s first pitch out to Tulowitzki for the third out. The Cubs took advantage of Chatwood elevating the ball and tied the game.
Edwin Jackson retired Blackmon (swinging strikeout) and Tulowitzki (grounder to short) to start the sixth. But he issued back-to-back walks to Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer. Nolan Arenado ripped a 1-0 pitch into center. Junior Lake fielded the ball and threw home. Lake airmailed his throw and it sailed over both Castillo and Jackson. The ball hit the backstop and rolled toward the Rockies’ dugout. Gonzalez and Cuddyer scored, 4-2 Rockies. Arenado was going to score until the ball rolled out of play. Arenado was originally sent back to third but after a conference by the umps, by rule, Arenado was sent to second base. Torrealba grounded out to Castro for the third out. Jackson needed 79 pitches, 51 for strikes, to complete six innings.
After six complete, the Cubs trailed 4-2.
The Cubs wasted another scoring chance in the seventh. Starlin Castro singled to left with one out. Josh Outman then walked Anthony Rizzo. Walt Weiss went to his pen for Edgmer Escalona. Soriano fouled out to Cuddyer and Schierholtz flied out to Gonzalez in left to end the inning. The Cubs were 0-for-6 with RISP and left nine men on base over the first seven innings.
Edwin Jackson retired the side in order in the seventh.
The Cubs once again put two runners on base in the eighth and once again walked away without any runs. Darwin Barney worked a one-out walk. Dioner Navarro hit for Castillo and Matt Belisle struck him out swinging for the second out. Julio Borbon hit for Edwin Jackson and reached on a swinging bunt on the third base side of the mound. Valbuena rolled the first pitch he saw out to second for the third out … after eight at bats, the Cubs were 0-for-7 with RISP and left 11 on base.
James Russell and Matt Guerrier kept the Rockies from tacking on in the eighth … and Rex Brothers took the hill in the ninth with the Rockies up 4-2.
Starlin Castro led off the ninth with a double to right. Anthony Rizzo grounded out to second (0-2 pitch), Castro advanced to third and scored when Alfonso Soriano grounded out to short. Cody Ransom hit for Schierholtz and worked a walk after falling behind 0-2 earlier in the at bat. Junior Lake struck out swinging to end the game.
The Cubs open a four-game series on Monday night in Phoenix. Matt Garza is scheduled to face lefty Tyler Skaggs in game one.