Game Three – Cubs 1, Rockies 5
WP – Christian Bergman (1-0) LP – Travis Wood (0-1) Save – None
The Cubs had plenty of opportunities to put runs on the board early in the game. The Cubs couldn’t capitalize while the Rockies took advantage of the opportunities they were given. And the Cubs dropped the opener of the three-game series in Denver on Friday afternoon.
The Cubs had a ton of traffic on the bases in the first five innings, but the only hit the team managed with runners in scoring position didn’t plate a run (1-for-9 with RISP, nine men left on base). The Cubs loaded the bases in the second and came away empty and again in the third and scored only one run on a sac fly by Matt Szczur (0-for-2 with a walk, a sac fly RBI and a stolen base).
The Cubs put nine runners on base against Rockies’ starter Tyler Matzek on four hits, three walks and two hit batsmen, but managed just the one run. The Rockies’ pen shut down the Cubs over the last five innings.
Jorge Soler (1-for-3 with a walk), Anthony Rizzo (2-for-2 with a walk, two hit by pitch and a run scored), Starlin Castro (1-for-4) and Mike Olt (1-for-4) collected hits and reached base Friday afternoon.
Travis Wood was serviceable over the 4 2/3 innings he pitched. The Cubs shaky outfield defense gave the Rockies their first run after Matt Szczur misplayed a fly to left by Tyler Matzek into a double and Dexter Fowler bobbled a grounder to center by D.J. LeMahieu that allowed Matzek to score without a throw.
Travis Wood was lifted with two outs in the fifth after Troy Tulowitzki doubled in a pair of runs and broke 1-1 tie. Wood was charged with three runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Wood threw 90 pitches, 56 for strikes, in 4 2/3 innings.
Travis Wood turned the game over to Jason Motte with a manageable deficit. Motte retired the only batter he faced. But the Rockies put the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth against the recently recalled Brian Schlitter.
Brian Schlitter had a bad outing. The Rockies squared up everything he threw in the strike zone. If not for a baserunning gaffe by Corey Dickerson, Schlitter’s final line would look a lot worse than it does. Schlitter allowed two runs on three hits with a walk in an inning of work.
Edwin Jackson was very sharp in the seventh and eighth innings. Jackson gave up a hit, struck out two batters and worked around an error by Starlin Castro without allowing the Rockies to add onto their lead.
While Matt Szczur, Dexter Fowler and Starlin Castro had issues in the field Friday, Jorge Soler threw out Nolan Arenado at second base trying to stretch a single into a double. Mike Olt made several excellent plays at third base. And Arismendy Alcantara made a head’s up play in the sixth that helped Schlitter out.
After Starlin Castro struck out swinging on a 1-2 pitch to end the first and stranding Anthony Rizzo at first base, Travis Wood worked in and out of a jam in the first inning. Troy Tulowitzki reached on a bloop single to center (1-2 pitch) and moved to third on a Carlos Gonzalez single to center with two down. Wood retired Wilin Rosario on a grounder to third to end the inning, 21 pitches for Wood in the first, 18 for strikes.
The Cubs loaded the bases in the second, but came away empty.
Mike Olt led off with a single to left. Matt Szczur just missed an extra basehit with a fly out to left. A wild pitch with Castillo at the plate allowed Olt to move up ninety feet. Welington Castillo walked and put runners on first and second with one down for Travis Wood. The Cubs starter worked a full count before popping out to right. Arismendy Alcantara walked on four pitches but with the bags loaded Dexter Fowler grounded out to second to end the inning.
The Rockies got on the board in the bottom of the second with help from the Cubs defense.
Wood struck out Drew Stubbs looking and Nick Hundley swinging and appeared to get out of the inning when Matzek hit a fly to left. Matt Szczur was playing shallow with the pitcher at the plate, misread the ball when he went back and Tyler Matzek ended up at second with a double. D.J. LeMahieu ripped a 1-1 pitch back up the middle. Fowler bobbled, Matzek scored and the Rockies took a 1-0 lead. Wood retired Corey Dickerson on a flyout to left to end the inning. Wood needed 38 pitches, 31 strikes, to get through two innings. And after two complete, the Rockies had a 1-0 lead.
Jorge Soler led off the third with a single to right center. Anthony Rizzo was hit for the second time. With runners on first and second with no outs, Starlin Castro hit a blooper to right. The ball went off LeMahieu’s glove when he tried to make a diving catch. Mike Olt stepped in with the bases loaded and no outs. Olt rolled a 0-2 pitch toward third that Arenado fielded and threw to the plate to force Soler. Matt Szczur lifted a 3-1 pitch to left. Dickerson caught the ball, Rizzo tagged and scored, game tied at one. Both Castro and Olt moved up ninety feet on the play but Castillo popped out to center to end the inning.
Travis Wood retired the side in order in the third (50 pitches, 39 strikes) and after three complete the game was tied at one.
After the Cubs wasted another scoring chance in the top of the fifth, the Rockies put runs on the board in the home half and knocked Wood out of the game.
Wood struck out Charlie Blackmon to start the fifth. LeMahieu ripped a 3-2 pitch into center for a single. Wood issued a four pitch walk to Dickerson and put two on with one down for Tulowitzki.
Troy Tulowitzki broke the 1-1 tie with a double into the left field corner. LeMahieu and Dickerson scored, 3-1 Rockies. Wood intentionally walked Nolan Arenado. Carlos Gonzalez stepped in with runners on first and second with one down and he flied out to center. Joe Maddon made the slow walk and went to his pen. Jason Motte replaced Wood with runners on first and second with two down. Wilin Rosario grounded out to second to end the inning.
After five, the Cubs trailed 3-1.
The Cubs wasted a Matt Szczur leadoff walk in the sixth and a stolen base. And the game was put out of reach in the bottom of the sixth.
Brian Schlitter, who was called up prior to Friday’s game for the injured Justin Grimm, pitched batting practice.
Justin Morneau led off the sixth with a solo homer to left, 4-1 Rockies. Nick Hundley smoked a 3-1 pitch toward third that Olt snared and threw across the diamond for the first out. Schlitter walked Blackmon and gave up a single to right center to LeMahieu on a hit and run. With runners on the corners and one out, Dickerson drove a 3-1 pitch into left center. LeMahieu scored easily but Alcantara tagged out Dickerson at second after he slid past the bag. Tulowitzki grounded a 3-2 pitch to Olt for the third out.
And that was the final score for game three of 162..
Jason Hammel takes on Kyle Kendrick on Saturday night.