Well, the Cubs were rained out last night at Coors (something they probably didn’t hate after Sunday night’s marathon), which means there’s a whole lot of baseball to be played today.
That’s right – the Cubs and Rockies are kicking off a day/night double-header this afternoon from Coors field. Game one starts at 1:10, and game two comes at its originally scheduled 7:40 CT start time.
Last night’s scheduled starting pitchers are the same for this afternoon’s contest, so I’ll leave what I wrote yesterday right here for your consumption:
Jake Arrieta takes the mound
tonightthis afternoon, after making what was actually his best start (by Game Score) since his first two of the season.
Against the Phillies at Wrigley Field, Arrieta allowed three earned runs in six innings, and continued to show solid command (1 walk) while striking a ton of batters out (7 Ks). As his strikeout rate continues to climb (27.9%) and his walk rate continues to fall (6.1%), I become increasingly more confused by his relatively poor results (4.63 ERA).
A deeper dive is becoming necessary, because his 2017 strikeout rate is actually better than both figures he put up in 2014 (27.2%) and his Cy Young winning 2015 campaign (27.1%). Similarly, his walk rate falls precisely in between his 2014 (6.7%) and 2015 (5.5%) marks, further proving that both of his biggest issues last season are a thing of the past.
To be sure, he’s getting far fewer ground balls this season than he has in the past, and is getting pretty unlucky with his sequencing (69.2 LOB%) and HR/FB ratio, but I’m not convinced that’s everything. After
tonightthis afternoon, perhaps, we can reevaluate what’s been going on.
Opposing Arrieta is the Rockies’ young right-hander and rookie Antonio Senzatela (his name is fun to say out loud, give it a go). Through his first six starts in the Majors, Senzatela’s results (2.84 ERA) have far exceeded his peripheral numbers (4.18 FIP). We’ll have to see if that holds up
As far as splits go, Senzatela has been much better against right handers (.277 wOBA) than left-handers (.309 wOBA), though neither has hit him very well. He’s also, as expected, been a lot better on the road (.284 wOBA) than at home (.302 wOBA).
The Cubs are working on a three-game losing streak and are now actually a full game behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central (and a half-game behind the Reds). The Cardinals, by the way, have won eight of their past eleven contests, including their last four straight.
So although it’s not easy to pull off a double-header sweep, it sure would be nice if the Cubs could find a way. And it would be even nicer, if Arrieta (and eventually John Lackey) could go deep into these games.
Game one’s coming up. Let’s go Cubs.
Chicago Cubs (16-15) at Colorado Rockies (20-12) – 1:10 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 today.
Cubs: Jake Arrieta (R): 4.63 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 3.12 xFIP; 4.56 K/BB
Rockies: Antonio Senzatela (R): 2.84 ERA, 4.18 FIP, 4.51 xFIP; 2.50 K/BB
- Charlie Blackmon, CF
- DJ LeMahieu, 2B
- Nolan Arenado, 3B
- Carlos Gonzalez, RF
- Mark Reynolds, 1B
- Ian Desmond, LF
- Trevor Story, SS
- Ryan Hanigan, C
- Antonio Senzatela, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, RF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Miguel Montero, C
- Tommy La Stella, 3B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Jake Arrieta, P
- Albert Almora Jr., CF