Rockies, crushed 12-2 by Cubs, are off to worst start in franchise history

Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post on

Published in Baseball

What are the Rockies doing for an encore? They’re following up the worst season in franchise history with the worst start in franchise history.

The Chicago Cubs pounded slumping starter Kyle Freeland and rolled to a 12-2 victory on a frigid Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. After losing 103 games last year, the Rockies have opened the season 1-5 for the third time, joining the 2005 and 2008 clubs.

The Rockies have been outscored 49-16, an astonishing minus-33 run differential that is the worst after six games in club history.

Freeland, one of Colorado’s fiercest competitors, is in a bad place; there’s no way around it. After getting hammered in the season-opener at Arizona, he got the hook Tuesday night after just 3 1/3 innings. He surrendered seven runs on nine hits, including two home runs. He walked three and struck out two.

After six games, Rockies starters own a 10.87 ERA. Sure, it’s early, but ugly is as ugly does.

Colorado’s offense has been nothing short of terrible. Kris Bryant went 0 for 2 Tuesday night had still doesn’t have a hit in the five games he’s played. It’s the longest hitless streak to begin a season of his career.

After six games, left fielder Nolan Jones is hitting .087 and has 11 strikeouts, while second baseman Brendan Rodgers is hitting .120 with seven strikeouts.

The Cubs blanked the Rockies, 5-0, Monday night. Tuesday night, the Rockies’ scoreless streak stretched to 19 2/3 innings (to the fifth inning in Game 4 at Arizona) before first baseman Michael Toglia crushed a two-run homer off Jose Cuas in the seventh.


Now that all of the bookkeeping is complete, let’s move on to some of the gory details of Tuesday night’s game.

Freeland walked Nico Hoerner to open the Cubs’ first, and the walk quickly haunted Freeland, when Seiya Suzuki promptly muscled a two-run homer to center.

The Cubs scored another run in the second on Garrett Cooper’s triple to right field, followed by Nick Madrigal’s RBI single.

The Cubs’ three-run third inning was a smorgasbord of ugly for Freeland and the Rockies. Christopher Morel led off with a homer to left. Then Dansby Swanson got an infield single when the Rockies were out of position to cover first base. Ian Happ followed up with another single and Madrigal cashed in with a two-run double when center fielder Brenton Doyle gambled and lost. Doyle dove for Madrigal’s sinking line drive and missed badly, and the Cubs led 6-0.

Chicago put the game on ice in the sixth when Cooper ripped a three-run homer off reliever Anthony Molina, the Rule-5 draft pick-up who has been roasted in his two appearances this season. Cooper also had a double in the eighth and came up a single short of hitting for the cycle.

Cody Bellinger launched a monster two-run homer off Molina in the seventh. Molina gave up five runs on four hits and walked three. He has a 29.70 ERA.

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