Starting pitchers José Quintana and Peter Lambert squared off against one another for the second time in less than a week Tuesday night, resulting in the second loss for the Cubs in as many tries. Quintana struggled with control for much of the night, walking four Rockies hitters in just 4.2 innings. Things started off on a sour note for Q and the Cubs as Charlie Blackmon doubled to lead off the Rockies half of the 1st inning. Quintana retired the next two batters and appeared as though he may escape unscathed. But after a walk to Nolan Arenado, former Cub Daniel Murphy doubled to right field, driving in both Blackmon and Arenado to give the Rockies a 2-0 lead.
Jason Heyward cracked his 10th home run of the season in the 2nd inning, cutting the Colorado lead to 2-1. Lambert made the rest of the Cubs hitters look rather sheepish, holding them to just three hits over his five innings of work. That’s an impressive feat considering that this was just Lambert’s second career start, both of which have come against the Cubs.
The score remained 2-1 until the 5th inning, when Quintana walked the first two men he faced before giving up an RBI single to Trevor Story. Quintana was lifted in favor of Brad Brach with two outs in the inning, and he gave up an RBI single to Arenado to make it 4-1 Colorado.
Things got ugly from there, as the Rockies hung a five spot on the Cubs in the 6th inning. Brach took the brunt of the onslaught, as he was charged with four earned runs in just two-thirds of an inning.
Why the Cubs Lost
The Cubs did not play particularly well in any facet of tonight’s game. The most puzzling aspect is the lack of offense in hitter friendly Coors Field against a rookie pitcher. Especially since the Cubs just saw Lambert, you’d have hoped they would put together a better effort tonight.
With Arenado looming, Joe Maddon opted to remove Quintana with two outs and two men on in the bottom of the 5th inning with the Rockies up 3-1. Brach did give the Cubs a platoon advantage against the right handed Arenado, but the move didn’t work out as Arenado singled to drive in the Rockies fourth run.
Stats that Matter
- Heyward’s 10th homer of the season came at the earliest point in a season since his rookie year of 2010, when he cracked the double-digit plateau on May 29.
- The Cubs have lost 10 of their last 13 road games. Meanwhile, the Rockies have won 10 straight at Coors.
- Per @statsbystats, Colorado’s Lambert is the 2nd pitcher in the last 15 years to start and earn the win vs. the same opponent in each of his first 2 career pitching appearances.
After a 6-1 homestand last week, this seven game road trip is off to an inauspicious start. The starting pitching has been fine enough in these first two games, but it’s hard not to be disappointed by the overall offensive output, especially at Coors Field.
The Cubs look to salvage the finale of the three game series Wednesday when they send Cole Hamels to the mound to take on Rockies right hander Antonio Senzatela. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 CT. The game will be televised on NBC Sports Chicago, with the Score 670 handling the radio broadcast.