CHICAGO — With the wind blowing out on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, there were plenty of thoughts about the potential for a home run derby between the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies. The home runs did come during the game, but they were few and there wasn’t much else happening for either franchise thanks to two strong starting pitching performances.
Cubs starter Marcus Stroman held the Colorado Rockies without a hit for the first 5.2 innings of the contest, and the Rockies could only muster Ryan McMahon’s solo home run as Chicago posted a 2-1 victory inside the Friendly Confines.
The Colorado Rockies logged just four hits in a Friday afternoon loss to the Chicago Cubs
While some may look at the box score and think Friday’s lack of offense may just once again be the Rockies struggling away from Coors Field, Stroman was on his game, going 7.0 innings for just the second time this season.
“Good, good movement on all of his pitches,” Colorado manager Bud Black said of Stroman. “I think the fastball had exceptional life to it, which he has when he is on.”
McMahon belted his 17th home run of the season in the top of the sixth to break up the no-hitter and the shutout. He has now hit a home run in four of his last six games and hit safely in six of his last seven games with an at-bat.
“Honestly, that felt like the one mistake that he made today,” McMahon said of his home run swing. “Most of his pitches were moving a lot today. He was throwing some sinkers that were really running and his cutter was coming up and in. He was executing and doing a good job of keeping us off-balance.”
As well as Stroman was pitching, Rockies starter German Márquez matched him after a first inning where the Cubs logged three hits, including a leadoff triple by Zach McKinstry. Ian Happ followed with a single to give the Cubs a quick 1-0 lead.
McKinstry would sting Márquez again in the fifth inning, taking a 1-2 pitch over the left center wall to give the Cubs a 2-0 advantage.
It was the first time all season that Marquez had thrown seven innings and lost, going seven innings and giving up six hits and two runs. He was 5-0 in starts of that length before today.
With the loss, Colorado fell to 62-82 and secured its fourth consecutive losing season.