Colorado Rockies at Chicago Cubs: Game 1 observations

May 29, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood (32) catches a ball in the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
May 29, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood (32) catches a ball in the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Tonight, the Colorado Rockies (38-23) and the Chicago Cubs (30-28) met at Wrigley Field to begin a four-game weekend series. In the end, the Rockies won 4-1, but here are some observations that go beyond just the score.


Jon Lester (3-3, 3.91 ERA) had only given up two hits this year with two outs and a runner in scoring position. The Rockies doubled that number tonight with a string of hits in the second inning.

The inning began with two quick strikeouts from Lester, but was then followed by back-to-back singles from Tony Wolters and Tyler Chatwood. Charlie Blackmon followed with the first two out hit with runners in scoring position, a soft double that just made it down, despite a dive from Javier Baez.

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DJ LeMahieu worked a good four pitch at-bat that ended in him launching a meatball that caught too much of the plate to right field for a three-run homerun and the second two out, runners in scoring position hit. The Rockies are fortunate to have scored the runs when they did, as Lester ultimately retired the last ten batters he faced from the last out of the second to the end of the fifth inning.


Tyler Chatwood (5-7, 4.60 ERA) pitched with great confidence on Thursday, coming off of an eight inning, one run outing in San Diego last Saturday. Additionally, Chatwood has pitched phenomenally in two previous outings against the Cubs, going 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA.

Chatwood’s only error came in the bottom of the first, when he allowed Kris Bryant to launch a ball to deep center field on a mistaken location fastball. He settled quickly, retiring the next six batters in order. The next baserunner Chatwood allowed, on a walk to Schwarber in the third, was quickly erased on a double play from the next batter.

In the fourth, Chatwood was able to get revenge on Bryant, with an assist from Nolan Arenado. Bryant hit a chopper between third and short that was nicely barehanded and thrown onto first by Arenado. Despite giving up a base hit in both the fourth and fifth innings, Chatwood was able to work around them without giving up any runs in either inning.

Allowing two baserunners in the sixth, Chatwood was able to work out of trouble without giving up a run. After being pinch-hit for in the seventh, his evening was done. Chatwood ended up going six innings, allowing just one run on four hits and a pair of walks.

In addition, Chatwood has been seeing the ball well at the plate as of late. Entering his previous start last Saturday, Chatwood was 2-17 at the plate. On Saturday, he picked up a pair of hits, a single and a double, to bring his hit total to four for the year. On Thursday, Chatwood added another hit, a single off of Lester in the top of the second inning and eventually scored on LeMahieu’s home run.


Charlie Blackmon led off the game for the Rockies with a solid three-pitch at-bat that resulted in him driving a 92 MPH four-seam fastball from Lester over the head of the Kyle Schwarber for a leadoff double. The hit extended Blackmon’s hitting streak to six games.

In his next at-bat, Blackmon was up with two on and two out in the second. He flared a well-placed curveball into left field, just out of reach for a diving Javier Baez, for another double and an RBI. His second hit gave Blackmon six games in a row with multiple hits.

Blackmon finished his night by grounding out in his next at-bat and picking up a walk in his final at-bat.

As stated in a Colorado Rockies press release, Blackmon has collected multiple hits in six consecutive games for the second time in his career. His six game streak is tied for the third longest in franchise history and the longest in the majors this year.


Trevor Story entered the day with a six-game hitting streak, having gone 8-24 in his previous six contests. That streak came to an end on Thursday when he went 0-4 with four strikeouts.

Raimel Tapia has only had a few opportunities with the Rockies this year, most recently being recalled from AAA Albuquerque on Tuesday. On Thursday, Tapia pinch-hit for Chatwood in the seventh, but grounded out to second on the first pitch of the at-bat. With today’s statistics included, that brings Tapia’s yearly batting to 0-14.

After stringing together five straight hits in the second, the Rockies only got one baserunner, on a walk, from the third through the ninth innings.


The Rockies have gotten hot at the beginning of June, having won their fifth game in a row on Thursday after winning the last two in San Diego and sweeping the short two-game series with the Indians. In the month of June, the Rockies record now improves to 6-1.

Next: Rockies at Cubs: How The Series Will Play Out

The Rockies also continue their road dominance, improving to 22-10 (.688) on the year away from Coors Field. The Rockies hold the best record in baseball on the road.