Game 34 Recap: Rockies 3, Cubs 0

What You Need To You Know: Coors Field is a hellmouth and you should be glad this series is over. That is all you need to know.

The Rockies had German Márquez face off against Kyle Hendricks. With the exception of rough fourth and seventh innings, Hendricks was effective against Colorado. In 6.1 innings pitched, Hendricks threw 92 pitches while holding the Rockies to four hits (he held the Rockies to two hits until the bottom of the seventh) and striking out seven.

Next Level: Kris Bryant hit his eleventh double of the season. In 162 plate appearances, Bryant is hitting .299/.401/.547 and is posting an impressive .343 TAv. His success this season can be attributed to improved plate discipline. Here are his swing rates throughout his career.

Year Swing% O-Swing% Z-Swing%
2015 48.95% 29.1% 73.8%
2016 48.8% 29.6% 73.1 %
2017 46.5% 26.6% 71.1%

This season, Bryant is swinging less at pitches both in and outside of the zone. With pitches outside of the zone, he is swinging 3.0 percent less often compared to last season. And with pitches in the zone, he is going after pitches 2.0 percent less than last year. Here are his contact rates over the same period.

Year Contact% O-Contact% Z-Contact%
2015 66.4% 43.8% 77.5%
2016 73.0% 53.4% 83.0%
2017 78.0% 60.2% 86.1%

His contact rate has dramatically improved, especially on pitches outside of the zone.

But where was the pitch that Bryant hit for extra bases?

German Marquez's strike zone plot from May 10, 2017

German Marquez strike zone plot 5.10.17

The first two pitches were taken for balls, with the second pitch right at the edge of the zone. Bryant held off until the third pitch, a changeup in the middle of the zone.

Top WPA Play: Entering the top of the seventh, Márquez had a no-hitter going and the Cubs were down 1-0. Bryant was at the plate and took two balls before lining a double to right. It was his eleventh double of the season and put the tying run in scoring position (+.101).

Bottom WPA Play: The Rockies opened up their lead in the bottom of the seventh. Up until this point, Hendricks had held the Rockies at one run. The inning started off with Mark Reynolds singling to left. Then Hendricks got Ian Desmond to flyout to right. However, his day was finished when he gave up another single to Pat Valaika, moving Reynolds into scoring position. Carl Edwards, Jr. came in to relieve Hendricks and got Ryan Hanigan to ground out; however, that put Reynolds at third and Valaika at second. Edwards, Jr. gave up another single to Márquez, scoring Reynolds and Valaika (-.143).

Up Next: The Cubs have an off day tomorrow. They head to St. Louis to face the Cardinals for their last series of this mini road trip. The first game of the series is on Friday with first pitch at 7:15 PM.

Lead photo courtesy Chris Humphreys—USA Today Sports

Related Articles

Leave a comment

Use your Baseball Prospectus username