Chicago Cubs: Offense falls flat as the Rockies even up the series

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs offense looked lost at the dish Tuesday night, wasting a quality start from right-hander Kyle Hendricks in a loss to the Rockies.

Back-to-back home runs in the top of the first proved to be enough for the Colorado Rockies, as they snapped the Chicago Cubs’ five-game winning streak, evening the series at one game apiece.

Colorado (16-15) jumped all over Kyle Hendricks in the first with a pair of solo homers. Charlie Blackmon blasted his 10th home run of the year to get things started. Then, outfielder David Dahl went to left-center with a blast to make it 2-0 Rockies.

From there on, Hendricks settled in, pitching into the eighth. Colorado managed just one more run – a third solo home run. This one came in the top of the fourth off the bat of Nolan Arenado, getting back a run the Cubs had stolen back in the bottom of the first.

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How did the Cubs score that run, you ask?

Via the world’s greatest leadoff hitter, of course. Struggling badly through the first month of the season, Anthony Rizzo led off on Tuesday after talking with Joe Maddon before the game. The Chicago first baseman responded by hitting a fly ball to left field that, thanks to the wind, carried into the bleachers.

And that was about it.

Chicago (16-11) failed to score again against starter Jon Gray and the Rockies bullpen. The longer Gray pitched, the better he looked. The big right-hander departed after seven innings of one-run ball. He allowed just three hits and struck out six.

As for Hendricks, he came one out shy of finishing eight frames on a very hitter-friendly night at Wrigley Field. He allowed only four hits – but three of them left the yard. He walked two and struck out five in the losing effort. His outing marked the Cubs’ 14th quality start of the season.

What Stood Out

During the team’s five-game win streak, no one talked about how quiet the offense had been. Why? Because the Cubs were winning. Nobody complains when things are going well.

But, with the 3-1 loss, Chicago has not scored more than three runs in a game since last Tuesday in Cleveland. Thankfully, the pitching has been downright dominant during that stretch, picking up the slack. But the bats need to wake up and get going – and soon.

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What’s Next

Chicago and Colorado conclude the three-game series Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Yu Darvish (0-2, 6.86) looks for his first win as a Cub and Tyler Anderson (1-0, 4.10) opposes him for Colorado. First pitch is set for 1:20 p.m.