In a game that was delayed for two hours and then ultimately called after 8 innings due to rain, Chris Volstad and the rest of the Cubs pitching dominated the Rockies on their way to a 5-0 victory and a series win.
While Volstad only struck out three hitters over the course of 6.2 innings, two of those K’s were perfect representations of how he handled the Colorado lineup on Sunday. Jordan Pacheco struck out looking on a wicked fastball on the outside corner, one where he walked to the dugout shaking his head in disgust. His frustration did not appear to be with the umpire, but rather with the fact that Volstad had thrown the perfect pitch. There was nothing Pacheco could have done with it. Similarly, Wilin Rosario went down looking on a breaking ball where he knew he was fooled and he knew it was a great pitch. He simply put his head down and walked away as soon as the pitch hit the catcher’s glove.
It is not so simple, however, to just tip your cap to Volstad and be resigned that the Rockies fell to a tough pitcher today. Why? Because it was his first victory in 24 starts and brought his record for the season to 1-9. Even still, if you had not known that going into the game you would have figured he is a solid pitcher who pounds the strike zone. Even the trouble he got into in the 7th inning was created by pitches that barely missed in the same locations where he had been painting strikes all afternoon.
The worst thing that happened: Manuel Corpas entered to bail Volstad out of trouble in the 7th…and was successful. Blah.
Jhoulys Chacin built on his successful debut by going another 5 innings and surrendering only 1 earned run. The Cubs tacked on their other 4 runs against the presumably exhausted Colorado bullpen.
Ultimately, this game reached the point where it just felt like nothing was going to change. Once it started raining again and the play on the field felt that much less like a real baseball game, the Rockies never gave us the sense that they had anything exciting up their sleeves. Any hopes to generate momentum would have had to overcome the dreariness of the day in addition to the solid Chicago pitching, and predictably that never happened.
Think of it this way: were you even that upset that the Rockies did not get a chance to try and stage a comeback in the 9th inning? Not at all, right?
The Rockies come home to Major League Baseball’s newest hype machine as the Los Angeles Dodgers roll into town.