Probable Pitching Matchups
Matt Garza vs. Esmil Rogers
Garza is still searching for his first win. He ranks among the National League leaders in strikeouts, with 34 in 24 2/3 innings. He faced the Rockies April 15 and gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings. Rogers will try to bounce back from a rough start his last time out, when he gave up eight runs in just three innings in an 8-1 loss to the Giants. Rogers is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA on the road this season.
James Russell vs. Jorge De La Rosa
This will be Russell’s third big league start, and this time, the Cubs will make sure he throws a side session before the game. Before his last start, Russell made two relief appearances. He’s 1-2 with an 8.00 ERA. De La Rosa continued his strong start to the season with a four-hit, two-run performance over seven innings in the the Rockies’ 10-2 win over the Giants. The lefty is 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA in his career against the Cubs.
Casey Coleman vs Jhoulys Chacin
Coleman was roughed up in his last start, giving up six runs on six hits over 2 2/3 innings. All of the hits and runs came in the third inning. He threw 90 pitches in the shortened outing, including 51 in the third alone. In his last start, Chacin struggled with controlling his fastball. He allowed the first batter in each of the first four innings against the Marlins, and the 23-year-old took his first loss.
Logan Burdine’s Scouting Report on the Rockies
Who’s Hot – Todd Helton went 4-16 last week. While a .250 batting average is far below standard for Helton, all four hits were doubles. In addition to the doubles, he hit several balls on the screws. The solid contact is a good sign for an aging player with back trouble. So far this year, he’s been on the field and productive. Currently, he’s hitting .315/.377/.463 with five doubles and a homerun.
Who’s Not – Carlos Gonzalez is mired in a wretched 1-20 slump. He’s been swinging at everything in sight and making very little contact. Also, he’s been struggling against lefties – 2-23 on the season. It’s a little early to start worrying about CarGo, but it would be helpful if he was able to get something going against the Cubs. The good news for Rockies’ fans is that CarGo had a much better game on Sunday. The left-fielder pieced together four solid at bats. He was 0-2, but one of those outs was held up by the wind and would’ve been a line-drive run-scoring double in most stadiums. He also worked a walk and had a line-drive sacrifice fly. For the first time in over a week, it’s looking like he might bust out soon.
Interesting Note – In three of the Rockies’ last six games, the opposing pitcher has taken a no hitter into at least the sixth inning. It’s not surprising that the Rockies lost all three contests. The first was by Giants’ ace, Tiny Tim “Mitch Kramer” Lincecum. Last Monday, he dominated the Rox, holding them hitless until the seventh inning. On Friday, Anibal Sanchez didn’t allow a hit until the ninth inning. And, yesterday, Josh Johnson took a no-no into the sixth inning. Needless to say, I’m tired of watching hitless baseball. There has been far too much of it over the last week.
Prediction for the series – I’ve heard that there is a 100% chance of rain in Chicago on Monday; I’m predicting rain delays. If they get all three games in, the Rockies should take two of three. I’m guessing that most Cubs’ fans know this, but the pitching matchups on Tuesday and Wednesday aren’t exactly in their favor.