Game One Hundred Twenty-Two: Cubs (77-44) vs. Rockies (59-63)
- Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 187, 844
- Location – Coors Field, Denver
Mike Montgomery, LHP (4-5, 2.43/1.18/3.33; 1-1, 3.12/1.84/4.30) vs. Jeff Hoffman, RHP (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–)
Joe Maddon turns to Mike Montgomery and Trevor Cahill tonight as the Cubs look to get back in the win column against the Rockies.
The Cubs struggles in the eighth inning cost them another game Friday night. Maddon’s bullpen is a mess right now. With injuries to Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop and Joe Smith, Maddon’s pen doesn’t look anything like it did at the beginning of the month. Maddon has overused Travis Wood to the point he should not be available for the remainder of the series in Colorado. And the same could be said for Aroldis Chapman. Maddon has turned to Chapman too much over the past week and he barely resembled the pitcher he is supposed to be on Friday night.
Mike Montgomery and Trevor Cahill must step up tonight in a very difficult place to pitch. Coors Field is a nightmare for most pitchers and can burn up a pitching staff during a series. With limited options available in the pen, Montgomery and Cahill might have to take one for the team if the game does not go the Cubs way.
Jeff Hoffman makes his Major League debut tonight. The Cubs spent a lot of time with Hoffman leading up to the 2014 draft. Hoffman was high on the Cubs list until he was injured. All of the work that was done on the dynamic right-hander led them to taking his teammate at East Carolina, Ryan Williams in the 10th round of the draft.
Hoffman has incredible stuff and will cause a lot of problems for the Cubs tonight. Other than the Cardinals’ Alex Reyes, Hoffman is the best of rookie pitchers the Cubs will see this season.
Miguel Montero is expected to start tonight with the Montgomery-Cahill on the mound. Maddon and the Cubs could really use for Montgomery to keep the Rockies in check for five innings and for Cahill to pick-up the four-inning save.
Tonight all starts with Mike Montgomery …
Mike Montgomery makes his first start with the Cubs tonight. For all the angst in the media and from Cubs fans about Montgomery, he has done a very good job in each of his last four outings.
Montgomery piggybacked Trevor Cahill last Tuesday in game one of the twin bill with the Brewers. Montgomery pitched two-plus scoreless innings and gave up just one hit and one walk while striking out three.
Montgomery is 1-0 in his last three games with a 0.00 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Montgomery has given up just three hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in five innings.
With the Cubs, Montgomery is 1-1 in seven games with a 3.12 ERA and 1.85 WHIP.
Montgomery makes his third start of the season tonight. Montgomery is 1-1 as a starter with a 3.18 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.
Mike Montgomery faces the Rockies for the first time in a regular season game tonight. And no one on Walt Weiss’ active roster has faced Montgomery in a Major League game that counts.
Jeff Hoffman began the season as one of the top pitching prospects in the game. Hoffman was acquired from the Blue Jays last summer in the Troy Tulowitzki deal. Hoffman makes his big league debut tonight.
Hoffman was 6-9 with a 4.02 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 22 starts for Triple-A Albuquerque this season. In 118 2/3 innings, Hoffman struck out 124 batters with 44 walks and 117 hits allowed. Hoffman has excellent stuff and if he’s able to stay healthy he should have a very long and successful career.
Jeff Hoffman should not be evaluated by the high ERA and WHIP from 22 starts in the PCL when he plays his home games in Albuquerque. He features a fastball that sits in the 93-96 mph range and can touch 99 mph (or triple digits depending on the gun) when he needs a little extra. Hoffman gets incredible movement and generates one groundball after another. Hoffman also throws a power curveball in the low-80s that has been graded as a double-plus pitch, an excellent changeup (mid-80s) and an average slider.
The Cubs must make him work early. If he gets comfortable, Hoffman has the stuff to make Major League hitters look like a semi-pro travel team.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …