The Cubs lost an incredibly sloppy game to the Rockies at Coors Field Tuesday night. They gave Colorado free runners with walks and made several costly baserunning mistakes to short-circuit potential rallies.
Chicago grabbed a lead in the 2nd inning when Dansby Swanson tripled and came home on a single by Seiya Suzuki. After a Yan Gomes hit, Pete Crow-Armstrong grounded into fielder’s choice to pick up his first career RBI and put his team up by two runs.
Cubs starter Javier Assad appears to be tiring down the stretch and he struggled Tuesday, finally running out of steam in the bottom of the 4th inning. Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases with nobody out. Old friend Kris Bryant came up with one out and hit an excuse-me check-swing blooper that somehow landed perfectly behind first base to tie the game.
Luke Little took over for Assad and gave up two more runs on an RBI groundout and a run-scoring single by Elias Diaz. The North Siders evened the contest in the 6th when Suzuki blasted an opposite-field two-run homer to right off of Jake Bird.
Bryant continued to get his revenge in the bottom of the frame, taking Daniel Palencia deep for a go-ahead solo shot. Crow-Armstrong then made one of the most amazing catches you’ll ever see to rob Nolan Jones of extra bases and possibly keep the Rox from scoring more.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 13, 2023
Brenton Doyle punched an RBI single to center in the 7th to increase Colorado’s advantage to 6-4. The Cubs got the tying runs on base with two down in the final inning but Justin Lawrence froze Nico Hoerner on strikes to seal the victory. (Box score)
Nick Madrigal led off the 5th inning with a line drive into the right field corner, then ignored a stop sign from the third base coach and attempted to get a triple. The relay throw from Brendan Rodgers was right on the money and Madrigal was called out even though replay review seemed to show he was safe.
This isn’t the first time he’s run into an out on the bases and it was compounded when Nico Hoerner hit what otherwise might have been an RBI single. Regardless of how you view the play at third, Madrigal had no business stretching for a triple with no outs and his team down two runs.
Why the Cubs Lost
They did a lot of the little stuff wrong Tuesday and it cost them dearly. They did not get a good starting pitching effort and it put more strain on a suddenly shaky bullpen.
Stats That Matter
- Assad is way past his career high in innings pitched and he looks worn down in his last two starts: 3.1 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 4 K, and 4 BB.
- Suzuki is hitting .400 in September and has been huge lately.
- Swanson now has four consecutive multi-hit games which is a very promising development.
- PCA displayed his incredible defensive ability, making two of the best catches of the season in this game. The first of them came on a ball that had a .970 xBA.
This was a classic stupid Coors Field loss, with weak contact finding grass in the massive outfield. It’s what makes walking people so costly in Denver. The Cubs have to shake it off and make sure they win the series. Dropping two of three to a team this bad would be very costly in the playoff chase.