Yesterday, I wrote this: “I am vaguely aware of Rockies starter Chad Bettis, but if I tried to speak intelligently about what it’ll be like for the Cubs to face him, I’d be faking it. In years past, that would be precisely the type of starter I’d be afraid to see the Cubs facing.”
Once again, I know nothing off-hand about today’s Rockies starter Christian Bergman, so does that mean I should be nervous today?
After a lackluster showing yesterday, the Cubs’ offense will look to break back out with a unique lineup, loaded with righties. And that should tell you something about righty Bergman, even if you were unfamiliar with him before today: he’s got an extreme reverse split. I should probably bold and underline and capitalize “extreme”: in his career, lefties have posted a .299 wOBA off of Bergman, but righties have been up at a holy-crap-so-high .425. He has decent numbers across the board against lefties, but against righties, his strikeout rate is an abysmal 8.9%. You simply cannot succeed when you allow virtually every ball to go into play (and, based on the numbers, those balls are being really well-struck, too).
Normally, I’d expect all of this to be the product of a guy with a killer changeup and nothing else, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for Bergman, who uses a four-seamer, a two-seamer, a changeup, a slider, and a curveball. I wonder if we’ll immediately see from his delivery why he’s been so easy for righties to blow up. Either way, good on Joe Maddon for stacking the lineup with righties – including Javy Baez, who makes his 2016 debut.
Meanwhile, on the Cubs’ side of the bump … HAPPY JAKE ARRIETA DAY!
He didn’t have his best go last time out in Arizona (though he did hit a monster homer), but here’s hoping he looks good for his 2016 Wrigley Field debut.
Colorado Rockies (6-4) at Chicago Cubs (8-2), 1:20 CT on CSN, 670 The Score.
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?
Cubs: Jake Arrieta (R)
- 2016: 1.93 ERA, 3.51 FIP, 2.31 xFIP; 12.00 K/BB
- 2015: 1.77 ERA, 2.35 FIP, 2.61 xFIP; 4.92 K/BB
Rockies: Christian Bergman (R)
- 2016: 12.00 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 4.85 xFIP; 2.00 K/BB
- 2015: 4.74 ERA, 4.23 FIP, 4.50 xFIP; 2.47 K/BB
Colorado Rockies Lineup
1. Cristhian Adames, 2B
2. Trevor Story, SS
3. Carlos Gonzalez, RF
4. Nolan Arenado, 3B
5. Gerardo Parra, CF
6. Mark Reynolds, 1B
7. Ryan Raburn, LF
8. Dustin Garneau, C
9. Christian Bergman, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Kris Bryant, 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Jorge Soler, LF
5. Javier Baez, 2B
6. Addison Russell, SS
7. Matt Szczur, RF
8. David Ross, C
9. Jake Arrieta, P