Cubs' pitching could be challenging for Rockies
CHICAGO -- The way the Chicago Cubs' starting pitching has been rolling, any shortage of offense has not caused negative results.
That may be bad news for the Colorado Rockies, who Monday at Wrigley Field struggling to score runs.
The Cubs got another stellar outing from its starting rotation Sunday when they completed a four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers. Tyler Chatwood allowed just two hits in a 2-0 victory.
During the four-game series, Cubs pitching allowed just two runs, which represents the lowest the team has allowed in a four-game series since surrendering three in 1973 against the New York Mets.
The Cubs have now registered six straight quality starts.
Left-hander Jon Lester will look to extend the Cubs' winning streak when he takes the mound on Monday. Lester (2-1, 3.29 ERA) is coming off his first loss of the season when he gave up three runs and four hits as the Cubs failed to produce much offense in a 4-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians on April 25.
Lester, however, allowed three solo home runs.
"It's like I struggled," Lester told reporters after the loss, according to the Chicago Tribune. "Whoever said solo home runs can't beat you is full of (expletive)."
Despite allowing the three solo shots, Lester -- who is 1-3 in four career starts against the Rockies -- believes he is on the right track.
"I feel good where I'm at right now," Lester said. "There's not a lot to work on. There was early on. I feel like I was pretty inconsistent with my mechanics. But I feel pretty good now."
The Rockies enter the series having lost two straight, and have only managed two runs in their past three games. Colorado was beaten 3-0 on Sunday by the Miami Marlins, who got a gem from starter Caleb Smith.
Colorado will attempt to get its offense rolling against Chicago, which was also limited in offense during the weekend against Milwaukee.
Kyle Freeland (1-3, 4.33) will start for the Rockies and look to put together his second straight strong outing.
He threw seven shutout innings on April 24 against the San Diego Padres and allowed just three hits while striking out eight.
Freeland took a line drive off his left heel during the start, which left some uncertainty about his ability to make his next start. But Freeland -- who is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in his lone career start against the Cubs -- told reporters on Sunday that he won't be impacted.
But the lack of run support the Rockies are providing their starters remains a concern, although their lack of offense has the Rockies confused.
"It's tough to say right now (what's wrong)," shortstop Trevor Story told reporters Sunday, according to the team's official website. "We're definitely a better team than we've been playing lately. It's tough to say what the problem is."
Manager Bud Black said reversing the Rockies' recent trend comes down to fundamentals.
"It just comes down to having good at-bats, good approaches and realizing the importance of situational hitting, putting the ball in play, advancing runners, those sorts of things," Black told reporters.
Updated April 29, 2018