After stealing a series victory in Washington over the weekend, the flight back to Chicago must have been real enjoyable. The Cubs carried over the positive momentum into the game against the Rockies on Monday night. The home team jumped on Colorado starter Juan Nicasio for five runs in the first two innings alone and cruised to a three game winning streak.
David DeJesus got the party started with a double to lead off the first and Alfonso Soriano cashed him in with a two run bomb onto Waveland Avenue, his fourth of the season. Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez didn’t even both to turnaround as he was among many that knew the ball was gone as soon as it left the bat.
Fittingly for the second inning, the weapon of choice for the Cubs offense was the two base hit. Welington Castillo hit a one out double to left and was driven home by pitcher Travis Wood on a double, who has done a little bit of everything in the last two games. Starlin Castro made it 5-0 with a two run double and the Cubs looked like they were going to drop an avalanche of runs on the Rockies.
Instead the Cubs offense relaxed a bit and let their starter Wood operate on auto pilot. The Cubs lefty only allowed a skimpy two hits and three walks in seven innings, allowing the Rockies hitters to get themselves out in the field of play with only two strikeouts. Two of the Colorado runners were erased on double plays and two of the walks came in his final inning of work.
Nate Schierholtz added two more runs with a triple down the left field line that the Rockies Gonzalez could not pinch up against the side wall. Castillo had his second double of the night and was driven in on a two run single by DeJesus in the bottom of the eighth to round out the Cubs scoring.
Carlos Marmol came in to get an inning of work. The bad news? He did give up a solo home run to lose the shut out bid. The good news? He struck out three as well. After a history of wildness, Cubs fans will surely zone in on the home run allowed, but what is being overshadowed is that fact that he threw strikes. With a nine run lead I’m taking my chances with Marmol throwing fastballs over a fat part of the plate as long as he is attacking the hitters instead of avoiding a four pitch walk.
The Cubs picked up their second three game winning streak of the season and continue to nip at the heels of the Brewers in a bid to get out of the NL Central basement.