Chicago Cubs can live with series opening loss to the Rockies

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs dropped the opening game of their series with the Colorado Rockies, but it’s one they can live with. At Coors Field, the ballpark can decide the winner, not always the team.

The Chicago Cubs are seeing not only improvement but consistency out of Yu Darvish. He’s cut down on his walks and has been able to pitch deeper into games. Last night against the Rockies, Darvish didn’t walk anyone. That’s how, as Len Kasper put it, it was ‘Coors Field’ quality start. Darvish allowed four runs on two two-run home runs. But the damage was minimized by not issuing a free pass. The ‘consistency’ part has also spread to his record–or lack of. Darvish took his eighth consecutive no-decision. His last decision was on April 27, a win versus the Arizona Diamondbacks.

As you come into a series against the Rockies in Coors Field, you have to hope your bullpen is well rested. The Cubs have been getting quality starts out of their rotation because you never know how a game in the Mile High city is going to go. Unfortunately, Mike Montgomery allowed the final run, and it may not have happened if Montgomery would have paid attention to Daniel Murphy.

In one of the most significant moments in the game, Montgomery paid little attention to Murphy, as he stole third. Ryan McMahon followed with an RBI single (he was thrown out by Jason Heyward attempting a double) and scored easily from third. If Monty had kept him at second, the slow-moving Murphy likely wouldn’t score on that play. It’s all hindsight, but I can guarantee Joe Maddon and Tommy Hottovy will talk about the bullpen guys keeping a closer eye on baserunners late in games.

The Cubs took advantage of the elevation in the third inning, slapping three home runs. Solo shots from David Bote and Kyle Schwarber, and a two-run home run from Anthony Rizzo. The Cubs would tie it at 5-5 in the eight on a Javier Baez ground out. Kris Bryant came across the score as Murphy dropped the ball as they tried for two.

When Murphy was in New York, he was a thorn in our side. After half a year in Chicago, he’s returned to that. He’s a great hitter, along the lines of Rizzo and Joey Votto. He’ll do everything in his power to put the ball in play, and good things (bad for the Cubs) often come of it.

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It’s a tough one-run loss, but in Denver to lose a game like that is forgivable.  The thing that stings the most is the Milwaukee Brewers had a day off, so the Cubs could have had sole possession of first. Instead, they start the day a half-game behind. The Chicago Cubs’ Jose Quintana (4-5, 3.77) will face the Rockies’ Peter Lambert (1-0, 1.29). Lambert made his debut against the Cubs last week, striking out nine and getting the win.