Series Preview: Colorado Rockies, April 15-17

After sweeping the Cincinnati Reds in the first home series of the season, the Cubs look to face the Colorado Rockies in a three-game series. The Rockies are fresh off a homestand where they went 3-3, are 5-4 on the season, and have hot-hitting rookie Trevor Story starting at shortstop these days. Though the Rockies don’t look to be a contender in any race this season, they have young players like Story and Nolan Arenado coming through the ranks and veterans like Carlos Gonzalez rounding out the lineup. The Colorado pitching staff leaves a lot to be desired, however, with an average to below-average depth in the rotation.


Friday’s afternoon matchup sees Kyle Hendricks facing Chad Bettis. Hendricks is fresh off a strong season debut, where he threw 6 2/3 innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks and allowed two runs on four hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. Bettis, on the other hand, is making his third start of the season. Bettis fared better in his second start (7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) than his first (5.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R/ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 2 HR), but, as mentioned above, the Rockies’ rotation isn’t the greatest in the world.

Saturday sees Jake Arrieta on the mound against Christian Bergman. Arietta, who hit a monster home run against the Diamondbacks, is making his third start of the season and has been dominant so far, though of course in a small sample size. Bregman is making his first start of the season, having been in the bullpen previously. Bregman made two appearances out of the ‘pen, throwing three innings, and allowed four runs.

The Sunday matinee finale has Jon Lester opposing Tyler Chatwood. Chatwood’s season debut was a strong one—6.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K—but his second start exposed more of the Rockies’ problems, going six innings, with 11 hits allowed, five runs, one walk, two strikeouts, and two home runs. Jon Lester is coming off a no-decision against the Reds, in a start that was more notable by Brandon Finnegan’s no-hit bid on the other side. Lester held his own, though, going six innings, allowing five hits, three runs, two walks, five strikeouts and one home run.

What to Watch For

Home runs. Dingers. Rockets. Lasers. Whatever you want to call it, the Cubs have hit five of their nine home runs in the last seven days. Kris Bryant hit two home runs in the Reds series and Addison Russell hit one in the series opener to win the game. Arrieta and Jorge Soler both hit one apiece in the finale of the Diamondbacks series. Five in four games. With a pitching staff that’s not really a stable one, the Rockies have a lot of flaws and have allowed 14 home runs. That’s tied for second-worst in all of baseball. The Cubs might have a field day with this.

Also: Javier Baez is returning to the Cubs lineup.

Baez has been rehabbing in Triple-A Iowa the last few days, appearing in three games and going 2-for-11 with a home run and two runs scored.

On the Rockies side of things, the one exciting part of the team is rookie Trevor Story, who won the starting job at shortstop when Jose Reyes was placed on leave pending domestic violence charges. Story has hit home runs in five of the Rockies’ nine games this season, for a total of seven. Aside from a shortstop on a hitting streak, there’s not much to write back home about the Rockies right now. Jon Gray is on a rehab assignment and Nolan Arenado is still being Nolan Arenado, fielding the most seemingly unfieldable plays.

Broadcasting Information 

Friday, 1:20 p.m. on CSN, MLBN, and 670 AM; Saturday, 1:20 p.m. on CSN and 670 AM; Sunday, 1:20 p.m. on WGN and 670 AM.

Lead photo courtesy Isaiah J. Downing—USA Today Sports.

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