Cubs at Rockies: Series Preview (6/10-6/12)

The Cubs are riding as high as you possibly can into Denver. Well I suppose that isn't true, but there is still certainly a post-St. Louis series sweep afterglow in the air. The starting pitching has been good to great again, and that can carry a team pretty far even without a lineup nearly as potent as the Cubs have. But the Cubs head to Colorado where the curveballs don't break and pop flies travel 400 plus feet. The fun house that is the third oldest National League stadium can derail even the best of staffs.

On the other hand the Cubs have already hit 102 home runs for the second most in the National League. David Bote should benefit from the spaciousness of Coors and the highly unscientific playing in front of family metric is why I think he might have a big series. The Cubs don't need any boost to help them leave the ballpark or put up runs, but it should be a long weekend for Colorado pitchers.

The Cubs should be the better team on paper, but Colorado has been tough at home as they usually are with their extreme home park effects. The Rockies return home after scuffling on their 6 game road trip. The Cubs helped the Rockies earn a 2-4 record the past week, but there is just something about pitching at altitude that makes the outcome feel even more random than normal.

Watch/Listen

Monday: 7:40 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Tuesday: 7:40 PM CT on WGN/670AM

Wednesday: 2:10 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Lineups

Rockies

1. Charlie Blackmon (L) RF
2. Trevor Story (R) SS
3. David Dahl (L) LF
4. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
5. Daniel Murphy (L) 1B
6. Ian Desmond (R) CF
7. Ryan McMahon (L) 2B
8. Tony Wolters (L) C
9. Germán Márquez (R) P

Cubs

1. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
2. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Javier Báez (R) SS
5. Carlos González (L) RF
6. Victor Caratini (S) C
7. Jason Heyward(L) CF
8. Yu Darvish (R) P
9. David Bote (R) 2B

Bullpen Usage

opponents

cubs-bullpen

Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitchers

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Germán Márquez: German Marquez has thrown 7,743 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2016 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (96mph) and Slider (87mph), also mixing in a Curve (84mph) and Sinker(95mph). He also rarely throws a Change (88mph).

His fourseam fastball is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has some natural sinking action and has well above average velo. His slider is much harder than usual, has primarily 12-6 movement and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders. His curve is thrown extremely hard, generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' curves, has primarily 12-6 movement and has little depth. His sinker generates a very high amount of groundballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers, generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has well above average velo and has less armside run than typical. His change is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' changeups, is much firmer than usual and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' changeups.

Mike's Note: The Cubs face a young group of pitchers with good stuff, but they are inexperienced. Cole Hamels has started more than twice as many games as the three Rockies starters have appeared. Márquez has the Rockies best pitcher this year and the 24 year old has built upon the solid 2018 campaign. The fact that he leads the staff with a 4.07 ERA tells about all you need to know about the season the Rockies starters are having though.

Peter Lambert: Peter Lambert has thrown 195 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system in 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (94mph) and Change (87mph), also mixing in a Curve (80mph). He also rarely throws a Slider (88mph).

His fourseam fastball is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' fourseamers and has essentially average velo. His change is much firmer than usual and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups. His curve has an exceptional bite, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves and has primarily 12-6 movement. His slider (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 4 of them in 2019) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' sliders, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' sliders, has short glove-side cut, is much harder than usual and has less than expected depth.

Mike's Note: Lambert has made one big league start and I am guessing you remember it too. Lambert baffled Cubs hitters for 7 strong innings at Wrigley, and gets the chance to duplicate the feat back at Coors. Hopefully familiarity will allow the Cubs bats to wake up this time around.

Antonio Senzatela: Antonio Senzatela has thrown 5,122 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2016 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (94mph), also mixing in a Slider (84mph), Curve (79mph) and Change (86mph).

His fourseam fastball has heavy sinking action, is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has less armside movement than typical and has essentially average velo. His slider has some two-plane movement. His change is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' changeups, has surprising cut action, is slightly firmer than usual and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' changeups. His curvehas little depth and has primarily 12-6 movement. 

Mike's Note: Senzatela's numbers for the season look pretty bad with an ERA nearing 5, but really it was two disaster outings that account for most of the bloated numbers. Senzatela has made three starts since giving up 8 runs to the Pirates in 3.1 innings. Since then it has been three quality starts with a 2.00 ERA. Even in this good stretch, Senzatela has been very hittable and a bit wild. This should be a game the Cubs bats enjoy. 

 

Comments

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  • There’s talk Bryant could be a game time scratch because of the ankle. Let’s hope not. And I read 2 lineups elsewhere that have Victor catching, not Willy. FWIW.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Yeah, I've seen Caratini is catching, and also that Darvish batting 8th and Bote 9th.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Caratini is catcher tonight.

  • In reply to stix:

    Does that have to do with Yu on the bump?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Who knows. Last time vs the Rockies Willy caught Darvish. Joe hasn’t been consistent on catcher pitcher matchups the last two weeks.

  • And off topic, I’m reading that the Cubs are looking at LHers Smith &/or Watson as possible trade candidates. Man if they got 1 of those guys...

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Yup great fit for the cubs as 2 reliable lefty relievers that aren’t so dominant that they should cost legit top prospects. Not that they’ll be cheap Smith is having a good year, but I’ve seen a lot of Smith with Milwaukee and I think he’s what he is. A reliable set up lefty that isn’t consistently dominant year to year. If the giants try to sell him high as if he’s a closer I’d pass. The good news is SF should be selling and that’s 2 lefties that fit the cubs needs perfectly

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yeah adding any lefty that is better than what we have to go to now would be nice.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Cubs could be in it just to drive up the cost as well. Win/win if they get one or drive the price up if they don’t. I’m thinking Watson could be the guy. Much like Archer was talked about, it was actually Snell that was the target. So maybe Smiths name in the rumors the most to throw off the scent of Watson... Who knows, just spit balling. We never know for sure what Theo n Jed are up to.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I’ve seen where will Smith rated as the top lefty reliever in the NL. Don’t remember where I saw or heard that.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    It's never off topic when we're talking Cubs. This FO is agressive in addressing the pen. We got our closer, but we are not done. A shut-down lefty to me is a foregone conclusion. The only question is what bait we use, and how big a fish we land.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Monty? Don’t they need a starter & doesn’t Monty want to start? He could be the new Monty Frisco.... haHa :o)

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Smith is a rental, Wilson could be rental plus one. Not sure what trading chip you want to give up. If you believe there’s help next year from the minors then maybe they trade Monty.

  • In reply to stix:

    Not me, the Cubs. I didn’t make the rumor. I didn’t see Wilson in in the rumor... Are you talking about Justin Wilson...? They’ve been there done that. I don’t see that happening.

    I saw Smith & Watson as the 2 possible targets. Both are good setup guys. Not sure what the Giants are looking for. But Monty is a chip if he’s insisting on starting... I don’t know... I’m not privy to names being discussed

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I wouldn’t go for too big a fish, I think it’s overkill. I like the idea of Tony Watson. He’ll fill the need and not cost so much. I saw someone suggest Happ, Amaya and Alzolay for Brad Hand. Umm no thank you. The other one is Happ and Alzolay for Will Smith. Also way too much. We’re going to have other needs both in the offseason and next year, tapping the keg dry seems silly when we signed Kimbrel to avoid that. An upgrade over Xavier Cedeno I get, a dominating lefty I don’t.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Yeah, I’m with you. I didn’t see any names going back, but Smith & Watson are not worth any of those names. We don’t need Hand either at that price either. Watson shouldn’t command that big of a price, if so forget it. Hamels didn’t even cost us a 3rd of that & at the time was a possible rental as well.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Depends some on what their new closer does too. Theo has traded big prospects in the past and he will do it again if he smells a WS.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    They got their Closer in Kimbrel. Their backup closer & set up in Strop. No need to trade top prospects for a rental set up. That would be silly.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Probably would, but that doesn't mean Theo won't do it. He has been watching opponents tee off on Ryan and Monty so some bullet biting might be in play for a lefty specialist.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Yeah those offers are quite lopsided... I wonder if Dillon Maples would be too much to give up? I'd hate to have to face him down the line, but you gotta give up a little value to get value.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I'm speaking for Tony Watson, since he has a team option for 2020.

  • For the nonChicago fans. TheMLB Network is carrying the cub game tonight.

  • I I like watching the Rockies left said of the infield. 1 of the best in the game.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Side

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    On the subject what a play by arenado robbed the cubs of a legit rally

  • This is going to be a tough week.....I’m hoping to get back 4-3.....anything better would be gravy. Just hoping it’s not a 2-5 or 1-6.

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    I mentioned one prospect bit in the last thread and I have more to add. Nico has moved from 59 to 50 in the latest prospect list. Isaac Paredes, who we traded to Detroit is #81, and Willson's brother William is #92.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    To me that’s telling because Nico hasn’t even played much this year. But when we have seen him in the AFL and AA he’s clearly been a standout talent. Just needs to overcome injuries but the contact skills, bat speed, defensive versatility, and speed stand out. Seems like a real interesting leadoff candidate down the line

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    A bunch of those above him have been called to the bigs. Not sure when they lose their prospect status.

  • In reply to stix:

    That’s true but it isn’t so many that I think he rose by default. Prospects typically lose a few spots when they go down due to injury. I just think his tape warrants top 50 consideration. To put up the offensive numbers he has in the AFL and AA without playing in A ball really indicates a kid on the fast track. I feel very good about his chances to be a solid major leaguer if he just stays healthy

  • In reply to stix:

    You lose prospect status after I think half a season of service time in MLB. Not positive though. I know guys like Tatis Jr. and Guerrero Jr. are still prospects.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Thanks. I wasn’t sure if they needed to lose rookie status fir the following yr. which would be something like 150 plate appearances or 45 days on the roster.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Just checked I think JR has enough plate appearances to lose prospect status.

  • In reply to stix:

    Guerrero.

  • I don't know if you noticed, but dabs pinch-hit for Sean on this series preview. Sean says he makes the Cubs games when they travel to Denver. I expect this is the case. Enjoy yourself, Sean!

    Tough road trip. Three in Denver and then a four-game set in LA to feel out who holds what in the NL. Cubber said he'd be happy winning 4 of 7. I'd be "happy" winning 3, and thrilled after that.

    "Bases are loaded and Casey's at bat.
    Playin' it play by play.
    Time to change the batter."

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Indeed that is the case this time out. I hope he is enjoying his well earned time off.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    Can I ask why your nickname is Dabs?

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I used to use a pseudonym when writing with the last name Dabynsky, which was also something I used for a number of social media accounts. Many took to shortening that to dabs and it is a bit more identifiable since my actual first name is so common that we have had multiple ones.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Reason I said 4 wins, was because I feel like we literally could sweep the Rockies, and then get swept by the Dodgers. So I wanna win at least 1 against the Dodgers. However, my optimist/unrealist in me says we take 2 out of 3 in Denver, and split in LA.

    **I'm not watching tonight in real time so I'm only slowly scrolling down here a little as to not find spoilers.**

  • Back to backers. That was swell!

  • In reply to TC154:

    Three straight official at bat HR. Is that like back to back to back?LOL

  • *ahem*

  • A lot of Cub fans at Coors. Sounds like a home game.

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    We better score as many as we can because you know the Rockies are not going to be shut out.
    Terrible call on Anthony. What can’t we have robo umps?

  • fb_avatar

    We’ve got some power too Rockies.
    Javy needs a break, just swing calmly and the ball will go out—but when did Javy ever swing calmly?

  • Red Sox blew another ninth inning lead. Hope they didn’t know something about Kimbrel.

  • In reply to stix:

    I heard Dombrowski interviewed on the radio yesterday, said they would have considered Kimbrel at the price he signed for but that even that was a stretch for a one inning guy which he said they no longer believe in. Might be rethinking that one...

  • In reply to TC154:

    Thanks

  • Three big dingers. I haven't measured, but I think over 1200 very, very happy feet.

    I'm with Pat and Ron, and Pat is delighting again with a professional call and lyrical references. I like this guy.

  • Well, fiddlesticks. This is going to be a high scoring affair.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Just went to their schedule. Lowest total runs in a home game this yr in Denver is 6 runs. I would guess 10 total today might be low.

  • In reply to stix:

    Yeah, I kind of hate this park but I know we’re not done.

  • The Cubs need to get the home run swings out of their thinking now and maybe then they will start hitting, including home runs.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    You bitch about Schwarber striking out alot now you bitch about too many homeruns......

  • Schwarber caught looking at 3rd strike again. He wasn't even ready to swing again. When is he going to learn? We need him hitting.

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    I really think Yu should have been left in.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    I agree but I am tired of pointing this out. What makes it even worse, Joe replaced him with Descalso which is pretty much a sure out anymore.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    Yeah he sure seemed to be settling in. Montgomery hasn’t looked good all season. I don’t know if it’s injury related but they’ve been squaring him up all year. He doesn’t seem to get the weak grounders that we’re accustomed to from him

  • In reply to John Winter:

    Idk. That’s a tough call. He’s leading off the 7th inning of a tie game. You need to score and you’ll only get 1 more inning max out of him, so the right call is probably hitting for him. But that’s what’s great about the NL. Managers have to make those tough calls

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Agreed I actually was leaning pinch hit until I saw Descalso. Let’s just say I had an immediate change of heart lol although he put on a good swing. I think that time off to work on the side should be good for him, plus I think dan has been beat up.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    So when you need a hit, you put Descalso in?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    He hit a line drive. Unfortunately it was at the left fielder but if it’s a few feet more toward center it’s a double. And he’s one of only 4 guys on your bench, so yes.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    With all due respect, he was one of 4 guys on the bench with the worst batting stats by far or doesn't that matter when you need a hit like you said?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    He was also their only LH bat. Sorry clark, you can keep trying but you’re never going to convince me you’re a smarter baseball mind than Maddon

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Darn and I thought I was.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I know

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    So you are one of those guys who thinks he can do no wrong? I'm sorry but I can guarantee he is NOT perfect.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Nor are any of us. But your only comments seem to be how stupid you think Maddon’s decisions are. If Descalso’s ball is a few feet over and it’s a double is it still a bad move. Or if he pinch hits Almora, Russell or Contreras and they make an out is that then stupid? Or if he lets Darvish hit and he gets lit up in bottom of 7th was it crazy he let him hit?
    It’s fine to question moves. We all do it. But your comments are so condescending and you talk like your way is so obviously right.
    I guess I just wish you’d realize that Maddon is significantly smarter (baseball wise) and has a ton more info than you do and then you can quit ripping him

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I am not ripping Maddon. I am just pointing out what I thought of that particular move. Is that OK with you?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    By The Way Cubpack, I make a bunch of comments and not all of them are about Maddon. And as far as you thinking Maddon is "significantly smarter (baseball wise)" then SPEAK FOR YOURSELF!

  • I think Montgomery has joined Brach and Ryan as not reliable. All 3 need to be replaced. Montgomery has looked off all year.

  • Another quality Schwarber at bat.
    Take strike 3 at least twice a game.

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    I have to say that Clark has a point with Schwarber striking out looking. It’s happening enough where it’s becoming a real issue.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    My point is why is this continuing? Doesn't the Coaching and/or management see this as obvious as it is? OOOps sorry Cubpack, I don't want it to seem like I am smarter than Maddon. Just wondering why something hasn't been done by now. Doesn't it make you wonder since Maddon is so smart?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    What do you recommend Maddon do? Bring in a pinch hitter every time he gets 2 strikes on him? I’m guessing they’re working on it with Kyle. He’s not trying with two strikes to freeze when he’s fooled. But, unfortunately, hitting a baseball isn’t as easy as many seem to think.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    YEAH BUT ITS A WHOLE LOT EASIER TO HIT THE BALL WHEN YOU SWING, DON'T YOU THINK?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    East on the all caps. It’s too late for your yelling

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    OK, but I am not yelling. I am laughing.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    And yes. It’s easier to hit the ball when you swing. So I guess we agree that we both should be mlb hitting coaches

  • Kyle with another 3rd strike looking

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    He either watches the ball go out of the park or right into the catcher’s mitt. Didn’t he take all 3 pitches? Oh that park just hit the ball, it can go through the gaps for a double or triple or get on base. Teams pay for mistakes and we did a little but not enough.
    As for Yu, he’s now limiting his bad pitching to only one inning and at least he’s improving there, but we still have to count that inning so we lose again.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    We also tied the game back up after Montgomery gave up the tie. Lost it with the bullpen. Darvish 4 runs over 6, bullpen 2 runs over 3.

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