Looking to snap a three-game skid, the Chicago Cubs turned to former Rockie Eddie Butler, who looked to silence his old team.
Six down, five up and now four down. At this point, you sense a pattern with the Chicago Cubs. That’s the win and loss mark over the Cubs’ last 15 games, highlighting their streakiness on the season.
With the wind blowing straight out to center on Saturday, the Chicago offense fell flat yet again in a 9-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies that got out of hand late.
Chicago manager Joe Maddon changed his lineup with the hopes of igniting a stagnant offense that managed just three hits Friday. Things didn’t fare better early on, as Chicago only managed one hit through the first six innings Saturday – and finished with a total of five.
Former Rockies hurler, Eddie Butler, took to the hill looking to capitalize on his most recent start (5+ IP, 1 ER, 4 K) and also string together successive consistent outings.
Butler had only made it out of the fifth inning two times in five starts entering Saturday.
First inning woes
Coming into the day, Cubs’ pitchers had a 7.50 first-inning ERA, third-to-last in baseball.
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In the bottom half, Chicago had an opportunity to tie the game with runners on second and third but could not come through. Bryant continued to up his on-base percentage with a first-inning walk. Of the teams’ nine walks Friday, he had three of them.
Kyle Schwarber, two nights removed from his best game of the season and with five walks in his last five games, found himself back atop the lineup. He was 0-for-4 on the day.
In the fourth inning, Reynolds ambushed a pitch to left to put the Rockies ahead 3-0. It was almost 4-0 later in the fourth, but Addison Russell, playing his first game since June 6, made a key play at second to beat Tony Wolters to the base. Joe Maddon, already 1-0 with replay reviews on the day, won his second challenge as Wolters was ruled out.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4) struck out twice, just his third game this season with multiple strikeouts, and first since May 7.
In the seventh, Chicago finally broke through, stringing together three consecutive singles as Willson Contreras scored Jason Heyward. The rally ended shortly after, as Jon Jay stranded runners on the corners. Entering the day, Chicago’s average with runners on and two outs sat at .209.
The team batting average with a runner on third is .190, last in all of Major League Baseball.
Butler threw five innings on the day. He allowed three runs on six hits and struck out three. Justin Grimm pitched a clean sixth. Brian Duensing was tagged by Charlie Blackmon with a home run in the seventh. Blackmon leads Major League Baseball in both hits and extra-base hits.
The Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies conclude the season finale Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field. First pitch is at 1:20 p.m. CT.