Series Review 4/15/11-4/17/11: Colorado Rockies


This past weekend the Cubs were faced with the difficult task of going up against the hottest team in baseball in the Colorado Rockies. This series may have been the first actual test for the Cubs, when it comes to how good they are compared to the top-tier teams in the league. Even if the series did not turn out in favor of the Cubs there still was plenty reasons to be optimistic about what the Cubs have the potential to do this season.

Game 1– Garza’s Struggles Reach a “RockieMountain High as Cubs Lose 6-0

  • Neither the Cubs offense nor the Cubs defense supported starting pitcher Matt Garza on friday as the Cubs were shutout 5-0 and made a couple of defensive mistakes that led to the Rockies getting the victory. Some may point out that the Cubs only committed one error, but on Chris Iannetta’s triple, a center-fielder should have made the catch at least nine times out of ten.

Game 2–Castro and Coleman carry the Cubs to a 8-3 Victory

  • Making his second start of the season, Casey Coleman was stellar against the streaking Colorado Rockies. Obviously Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner will have the priority once they both return from the disabled list, but Coleman should be a mainstay in the rotation. Starlin Castro led the way offensively as he went 4 for 5 out of the leadoff hit as the Cubs cruised to a 5 run victory.

Game 3–Rockies storm ahead in the Eighth to Win 9-5

  • Starting pitcher Ryan Dempster again was not on top of his game, as Dempster was only able to go 5 innings giving up 5 runs on 7 hits. Marcos Mateo was responsible for the other 4 runs by the Rockies that were scored in the eighth inning. Castro once again had an impressive game at the top of the lineup as he went 3 for 4 in the Cubs loss.

It is always hard to find negatives in a series in which the Cubs lost, but the Cubs were impressive against one of the leagues’ top teams. That alone is reason enough to be encouraged for the rest of the season. The Cubs most certainly will not be among the upper-echelon of teams in the National League, but they could be one of the teams to keep an eye on as the postseason draws closer. Obviously we are a long away from that point, but the Cubs were competitive against the Rockies. Which is all that can be asked for from fans as the Cubs continue on with their season.

Things To Take From The Series

  • The Cubs starting pitching has been less than impressive to start the season. Those struggles continued against the Rockies, with the exception of temporary starter Casey Coleman. Neither Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza have gotten off to the starts that the Cubs would have hoped they would have. Especially in a time with two of your five starters on the disabled list, the top three in the rotation need to step up.

Who’s Hot?

  • Alfonso Soriano–Criticize his defensive play all you want, but Soriano appears to be turning into the middle-of-the order hitter that the most Cubs fans wanted him to be. Granted he is only hitting .268 for the season, but, he already has 5 home runs and 12 runs batted in for the first month of the season. At this rate, Soriano is on pace to hit 54 home runs and drive in 130 runners. Obviously that maybe thinking too far ahead, but Soriano’s swing does appear to be much more potent than it has been in recent seasons.

Who’s Not?

  • Starting Pitchers–With the idea of not wanting to sound redundant, the Starting Pitchers are latest victims in the “Who’s Not” category. There is seemingly no point to continue to stress on Tyler Colvin or Carlos Pena struggling. But what is even more concerning is that the Cubs starting pitchers have not been that impressive this season. The Cubs only have three quality starts out of their starting pitchers, which is tied for last in the majors. Carlos Zambrano, Garza, and Dempster all have an ERA over 6. We knew coming into the season that the Cubs offense is a reason to panic, but the Cubs rotation was supposed to be a strong point. Granted Wells and Cashner are injured, but that only increases the need for other three starters to pick up the slack. Hopefully the Cubs’ starting pitchers can get it going against the offensively inept San Diego Padres this week.