Cubs at Rockies April 17th, 2022

The first thing that happened going to the game yesterday is I missed my turn. I took my Father-in-Law, who is a big Cub fan and 88 and a half years old. He can name the starting lineup of the 1945 Cubs. I heard him do it more than once. So, the thing was we were having an interesting discussion and I was trying to watch for the exit, and I missed it. The good news is I found a better route to the parking lot that should save about 5 minutes next time. That is if I don’t screw that up.

Unlike Thursday night’s game, this one had nice weather. We dressed warm just in case. The weather is crazy in the mountains in the spring. Late in the game the wind did pick up and cooled it off some, but it didn’t get as cold as Thursday night.

My Father-in-Law bought me a hot dog. We did a different place, but these hot dogs still come fully loaded. I spilled on myself both games, but they do taste great.

Like the first game I went to the Cubs jumped out to an early lead. The score was 4-0 after three innings. The Cubs could have had more as they hit into double plays in each of the first two innings. To go with the 5 double plays, they hit into on Thursday, that means I saw the Cubs hit into 7 double players in 11 innings. Yet they won both games. However, they didn’t hit into another double play during the game.

The surprising thing was that the Cubs scored three runs in the first two innings while hitting into two double plays. Also, Nico Hoerner was thrown out at third on his two out double in the second. So, Cubs starter Austin Goomer only had to get three batters out in the first two innings. Still not a good start for Goomer as he had a game score of 27.

Meanwhile Drew Smyly pitched 4.2 innings of shut out ball to go with his 5 innings of shut out ball from an early effort. He threw what the board called a curveball about 75 miles an hour quite a bit. He would mix it was fastballs in the low 90s. The ball did move much to the chagrin of the Rockies batter. They say the ball doesn’t move but his seem to even from the angle I was sitting. Also, there were some big swings and misses from the Rockies batters. I think the pitch might be a change up, but don’t know for sure. Does, anybody know what he pitches?

Smyly was one out for being eligible for victory, but 2 men on base on not very hard hit balls. Smyly was responsible for one of them as a ground ball to the left of the pitcher’s mound wasn’t a difficult play, but he couldn’t pick the ball up. He could have been 2-0 if had made the play.

One thing I noticed last year and especially this year since he is leading off is Connor Joe has a real nice swing. I thought he was a young player trying to prove himself, but he is 29 years old. He didn’t start in the minors until age 22 and didn’t really hit there. He seems to be improving with age. Maybe he will have a fluke season, bring enough to get the Rockies into the playoffs.

Down 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth, the Rockies started to take advantage of Drew Smyly no longer being in the game. They scored 3 runs climaxed by a Ryan McMahon 2 run homer. Seiya Suzuki came back with a homerun to lead off the top of the seventh to make the game 6-3. Suzuki looks for real with the bat in his hand.

Now to me the key moment in the game, the bottom of the seventh. Down 3, the Rockies first two men get on base. Mychal Givens came in to pitch to the top of the lineup. He starts his mound appearance by walking Connor Joe the leadoff man and he doesn’t look calm doing it. Now the Rockies power guys are coming to the plate. Kris Bryant the DH, hits a sacrifice fly scoring a run. Interesting the fans cheer like crazy scoring a run, but I know this was actually a good play for the Cubs. However, I understand why they cheered. By the way, the play by play shows the Cubs chances for winning the game increased by 8 percent on that play. However, Givens walks C. J. Cron, more than making up the advantage of getting the sac fly. Next up is Elias Diaz the catcher who hit fourth for the game. Diaz is a free swinger but sometimes will work the pitcher to get his pitch. This is one of those at bats. This looks like it could be the Rockies moment, but Diaz takes strike three.

Now I was trying to count the number of batters Givens pitched to. I was thinking Diaz was the third, but he was actually the fourth. However, I knew that McMahon was coming up soon and that Givens would not pitch to McMahan, with the game on the line. He didn’t look that smooth, walking two batters and I didn’t think he was going to face a left hander. When I looked into the bullpen I thought I saw a left hander warming up. However, Givens was allowed to stay in the game to face Ryan McMahon with the game on the line. I was kind of shocked, but he got McMahon to ground to second in to me the key moment of the game.  I have to give Givens credit; he came through in a clutch situation.

This got me thinking of the Rockies lineup. As Smyly is a lefthander the Rockies built their lineup to take advantage of that by having five solid right-handed hitters leading off their lineup. However, late in the game doesn’t this make it easier to have a right-handed pitcher come in for relief during an inning. He has a good chance to face all right-handed hitters. Would it be better to mix the lineup, so the relief pitcher would lose the platoon advantage on one hitter? Or since the starter will make around two trips through the lineup build the lineup against the starter? I am leaning more to the second, but it might work the other way.

The Cubs held on the rest of the way. The biggest excitement for the rest of the game was when Charlie Blackmon came on as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 8th with one on. A homerun would tie the game, but Blackmon would strike out.

In the bottom of the ninth, David Robertson the veteran came in and got his third save for the Cubs. He looked really sharp. If he can keep this up the Cubs might be able to trade him for a prospect or two later in the season.

2 thoughts on “Cubs at Rockies April 17th, 2022

  1. NIce writeup, Doug … I can answer a couple of those things:

    Drew Smyly’s bread and butter pitch is, like you picked up on at the game, a Bugs Bunny changeup He’s been hurt so much in his career that it’s hard to track his effectiveness, but what it usually comes down to is the change; he gets tons of strikeouts, and gives up tons of home runs because that’s what changeup pitchers do unless they are Pedro Martinez and they can hurl 96-mph rockets at the corners all day long.

    He was with the M’s for a bit, and I always enjoyed watching him because he could make hitters look like monkeys when the change was really diving off the table.

    Connor Joe has been a major league hitter since 2018, but he was trapped in the Dodger system, much like players used to get trapped in the Yankee system, plus the 2020 season was cancelled. I think he’s good, and it would not be a fluke if he slashed .300-.400-.500. I love the guy.

    1. Thanks this is one thing great about the internet is getting information like this. I thought those looked like changeups.

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