The Chicago Cubs got a stellar effort from John Lackey after a big second inning was enough as the Cubs went on to defeat the Colorado Rockies, 8-1.
First, the Chicago Cubs survived the first inning, not allowing a run to the Colorado Rockies. Then the Cubs offense poured it on in the second, benefitting from a D.J. LeMahieu error to take an early five-run lead. John Lackey was dominant, even opening the scoring with a RBI single to right field. But his performance on the mound was the most surprising.
The Cubs (17-16) needed a quality start from Lackey (3-3, 4.29) and that got that and more from the veteran right-hander. He struck out 10 over seven innings while allowing just four hits in getting the win. The Rockies (21-13) Kyle Freeland (3-2, 2.93) had one bad inning, but that’s all it takes at Coors Field. Lemahieu’s error on a deflected ball from Mark Reynold’s glove opened the gates and did in Freeland.
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Only three of the five runs that scored in the second were earned. Freeland managed to stop the bleeding and keep the game close, backed up by superb defense from Nolan Arenado. The Cubs kept hitting it his way, and he kept retiring the Cubs hitters. A little piece of advice guys, stop hitting it to him.
Adding on matters
Javier Baez added a two-run shot in the eighth for some late insurance to give the Cubs a 7-0 lead. Kris Bryant added a solo shot in the ninth to make it 8-1. The Cubs scored seven runs on seven hits and outscored by the Rockies in the doubleheader (12-10).
The Rockies pushed across an unearned run in the eighth off of Felix Pena to break the shutout. The “unearned” part could be debated as Jon Jay made a great effort on a ball hit to the left field corner. After initially making the catch, the ball popped out of his mitt. As of this moment, it’s still an error–but shouldn’t have been.
The effort by Lackey was a historic one. He became just the second visiting pitcher EVER in the history of Coors Field to pitch seven scoreless innings while striking out 10. The other to do it was Pedro Martinez in 1997 as a member of the Montreal Expos.