Posted August 23, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Eric Young Jr.
New York Mets
With the playoffs out of the picture, the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs both feature lineups full of inexperience as they look to the future.
Colorado's young team is currently outplaying Chicago's.
In their first meeting of the season, the Rockies look to win a sixth straight game for the first time in 16 months when they open a three-game series Friday against the slumping Cubs, who are returning home from a 1-6 road trip.
Jim Tracy's 75-pitch limit for his starters suddenly seems to be working for Colorado (50-73), which matched its longest winning streak of the season with Thursday's 1-0 victory over the New York Mets.
The Rockies, who haven't won six straight since reeling off seven from April 9-15, 2011, have yielded seven total runs during their winning streak after allowing an average of 6.4 in their previous eight.
"I think we're throwing the ball really well right now as a staff,'' said starter Tyler Chatwood, who was pulled after throwing 65 pitches in three innings Thursday.
Drew Pomeranz (1-7, 4.87 ERA), the key to the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland last season, has also seen an early exit in his last four starts, going four innings in each.
The left-hander, who has never faced Chicago, gave up two runs, three hits and a career-high tying four walks while racking up 76 pitches in Colorado's 3-2 win over Miami on Sunday.
The Rockies are winning despite regulars Dexter Fowler (right ankle), Eric Young Jr. (left ribcage strain), Josh Rutledge (left quad tightness) and Michael Cuddyer (right oblique strain) all getting injured since Sunday. Young and Cuddyer have landed on the disabled list, while Fowler is day-to-day and Rutledge has come off the bench in the last three games.
The influx of injuries caused the Rockies to start four rookies on Thursday - right fielder Charlie Blackmon, first baseman Jordan Pacheco, catcher Wilin Rosario and second baseman DJ LeMahieu.
A former Cub has been the one leading Colorado during its recent surge, as Tyler Colvin is batting .435 with a homer, four RBIs and five runs in the last six games.
Chicago (47-76) is giving regular time to top prospects Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters along with rookie first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and it hasn't led to many wins. The Cubs dropped to 4-18 since July 31 with Wednesday's 3-2 loss at Milwaukee.
Rizzo has cooled off after a hot start, batting .200 with two RBIs in his last eight games, while Jackson is hitting .164 with a homer and 29 strikeouts in 16 contests and Vitters is batting .119 with a home run in 13.
"We've got to start grinding at-bats and learn how to foul balls off, and get to another count, get to another pitch,'' manager Dale Sveum said.
Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.17), who is in his first season as a starter, will make his first career start against the Rockies after posting a 2.00 ERA in nine innings of relief in the series.
Samardzija gave up six hits and four runs - all on three homers - in five innings of Saturday's 5-3 loss at Cincinnati.
Returning to Wrigley Field could help him bounce back. In three home starts since the All-Star break, the right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 27 strikeouts over 18 innings, with the Cubs winning each.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Rockies continue to play well, but the 75 pitch limit remains.These Colorado Rockies are looking more like a good team than a team that was on a collision course with 100 loses less than two weeks ago.On Thursday afternoon in New York, the Rockies completed a four-game sweep of the Mets, their second in as many years. They won in a different fashion to complete the sweep, winning...
Anthony Giansanti slugged a two-run double off the CF Batter's Eye to cap a three-run 1st inning and Ryan McNeil and three relievers combined to throw a shutout, as the AZL Cubs whitewashed the AZL Diamondbacks 3-0 in Game #1, and then Giansanti hammered a lead-off walk-off HR off the base of the scoreboard in the bottom of the 7th that gave the Cubs a 1-0 victory in Game...
Rosario has been a bright spot.The Colorado Rockies, the team that went into August as just a few games better than the lowly Houston Astros has suddenly found their stride. The Rockies took their third straight game from the New York Mets 5-2 on Wednesday night.Colorado, with the win, has won six of their last nine games on the road, a place where even the best Rockies teams have...
Despite Friday's struggles, Belisle has been huge for the Rockies.Don't dust off the parade confetti just yet.The Colorado Rockies couldn't hold a 3-0 early lead over the Chicago Cubs. They were plagued by poor work from the bullpen, and the sloppy defensive play that Rockies fans have become accustomed to in the 2012 season.Starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz continues to...
Top pitching prospect Seth McClung was outstanding yesterday striking out 6 over 7 scoreless innings. We'll keep an eye on this kid as it seems like he has a bright future.
Jae Hoon Ha went 2-4 and Trey McNutt worked a scoreless inning out of the pen. Allen Webster (remember him?) struck out 8 of our guys in 6 IP.
Another. *******. Rainout.
THAT'S USING YOUR HEAD
Ouch. That’s gotta hurt. Leaving a chunk of your scalp on the playing surface while trying to snag a souvenir ball? So bad on so many levels. Although the video does not provide the precise date and game during which this Chicago Cubs fan went all topsy-turvy, chunk-of-hair-losey, it’s reasonable to surmise that it occurred during the [...]
In our continuing Iowa series of "That guys still playing?" we introduce Horacio Ramirez (yes that one) who went 7 IP allowing 1 ER and striking out 1. Not to blow Horacio's Horn or anything but he's probably our best pitching prospect now.
Matt Szczur hit a triple. Nobody else did anything.
Daytona Game 1
Christian Villanueva went 1-3 and PJ Francescon...
Blackmon RF, Herrera SS, Pachecho 1B, Gonzalez LF, Hernandez C, Colvin CF, Nelson 3B, LeMahieu 2B, Pomeranz P
Mather RF, Vitters 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, B. Jackson CF, Barney 2B, Samardzija P
The Rockies recent 5-game win streak and the Cubs continued excellence in losing has earned the Cubs a 3-game lead for the #2 spot in next year's draft for the...
Wilin Rosario hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning, and the Colorado Rockies beat the New York Mets 5-2 on Wednesday night for their seventh straight victory at Citi Field.
Rosario also had a sacrifice fly, and DJ LeMahieu drove in a run with a squeeze bunt to help the last-place Rockies win their fourth in a row and eighth in 11 games. Colorado will go for a four-game...
We have chosen the 5 finalists and each person responsible for writing it will receive a copy of The Essential Games of the Chicago Cubs. We're letting you vote on the winner who will also receive an Obstructed View t-shirt. Voting is open on Facebook through next Wednesday. You can access the poll directly by clicking this link. Thanks to everyone who submitted a slogan. Below...
Tickets are scalped and now so are Chicago Cubs fans.
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Twins career: Matt Walbeck, now 42, played with Minnesota from 1994-96. During his time with the Twins, Walbeck, a catcher, played in 275 games, the most he played for any team during his 11-year major league career. He batted .230 with 103 RBI and eight home runs during those three seasons.
After breaking into the league in 1993 with the Chicago Cubs, Walbeck was traded to Minnesota...
The author attended Wednesday night’s game — or, at least, the first eight innings of it — between the Class A Midwest League affiliates of the Minnesota Twins (the Beloit Snappers) and Chicago Cubs (the Peoria Chiefs) in Beloit, Wisconsin. Below are some notes on same.
Please note: none of what follows constitutes Official Prospect Analysis.
Regarding Miguel Sano and Jorge...