coors fieldThere is no sugarcoating the hill the Cubs have to climb tonight.

Coming into yesterday’s game, the bullpen was beat up and worn down. Then they had to throw five innings last night. And then today is, essentially, a bullpen game. In Colorado.

If it gets really ugly, you should be comforted by the fact that the circumstances and injuries dictated this moment as much as anything the Cubs actually might do wrong tonight.

… and, hey, they could still win! And it would be even more fun, because now you know about the hill!

Hopefully, the Cubs can get three or four strong innings from the starter, Mike Montgomery, who is going to have to be very efficient. If he’s crazy efficient, maybe he can go five innings, but I’m not necessarily counting on it. From there, if the Cubs can get another couple innings from Trevor Cahill – who is going on only three days rest after throwing 80+ pitches on Tuesday – you have to be happy about it. And then, somehow, the Cubs might still have to cobble together a few more innings. Justin Grimm didn’t go last night, so he should be available. Spencer Patton didn’t pitch either. The new guys, Rob Zastryzny and Felix Pena might be available again, but I highly doubt we see Travis Wood or Aroldis Chapman.

If the Cubs’ bats can do enough damage against young righty Jeff Hoffman, though, it might not matter. (It’s Coors Field, Brett. It always matters. (Shut up, Brett. I was just trying to transition.)) Hoffman, 23, was pegged as a top three pick in the 2014 draft until an injury set him up for Tommy John surgery – and he still went 9th. That’s how highly-regarded he is, and now, even after that surgery and despite being drafted just two years ago, he’s making his big league debut. The AAA numbers are only so-so, but the guy is a top 50ish prospect for a reason. He can be overpowering, so he’ll get his strikeouts. But he can also lose control, so the Cubs may be able to work him a bit. You’d love to see some nice, grinding at bats early, so that the youngster never gets comfortable.



Game Info

Chicago Cubs (77-44) at Colorado Rockies (59-63) – 8:10 CT on CSN-C, 670 The Score

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun this afternoon.

The Series Preview lives hereThe Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Mike Montgomery (L): 2.43 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 3.52 xFIP; 2.87 K/BB

versus

Rockies: Jeff Hoffman (L): Big league debut (4.02 ERA, 4.15 FIP, 2.82 K/BB at AAA this year)



Colorado Rockies Lineup:

  1. David Dahl, CF
  2. D.J. LeMahieu, 2B
  3. Nolan Arenado, 3B
  4. Carlos Gonzalez, RF
  5. Ryan Raburn, 1B
  6. Nick Hundley, C
  7. Gerardo Parra, LF
  8. Cristhian Adames, SS
  9. Jeff Hoffman, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  5. Addison Russell, SS
  6. Jorge Soler, RF
  7. Miguel Montero, C
  8. Matt Szczur, LF
  9. Mike Montgomery, P



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