A series split in Colorado is always a fine outcome. Given how strong the Rockies have played at home the last several years – literally one of the best teams in baseball at home – you might even argue that a split is a really solid outcome.
What an outing for Drew Smyly. He was mixing his pitches really well, got some strikeouts, tons of terrible contact (like last outing), and was a swinging bunt dribbler away from completing five scoreless on his own. That’s always quite an outcome at Coors Field.
The bullpen was much shakier, particularly Michael Rucker (those two runs charged to Scott Effross were nothing-burger hits that were charged as runs after he left), whom David Ross wants to explore as a multi-inning guy in different types of games. It’s the kind of thing you have to do every April, and sometimes it’s going to mean a guy doesn’t pull it off (with Coors Field particularly unhelpful in that regard). We’ll see what happens next with Rucker.
Mychal Givens had some serious wildness in relief of Rucker, but it was a messy situation and he made some big pitches when necessary. Arguably, he saved the game in the 7th inning. Then Rowan Wick and David Robertson were excellent to finish it off.
Offensively, the Cubs continue to double the heck out of the ball (must be something about the word “double” that the bats really love … ), and once again put runners on base CONSTANTLY in this one. But, like the two games that preceded today, the Cubs never really came through with a big blow. I have to think some of that is flukey, but also some of it is the simple fact that it’s really HARD to string together four+ hits and walks to generate runs, so a team like this might have a lot of innings with loads of hits/walks, and also loads of runners stranded on base. (The record-setting pace of double-plays, however, likely won’t QUITE last.)
Fortunately, the Cubs got enough to win, but it was another game where you just kinda felt like … how do they not have 10 runs at this point?
Anyway, great win overall, and a perfectly swell outcome for the series.