Rockies thrash Cubs in spring training action


by - Senior Writer -
Suzuki struck out in his first at-bat (Rick Scuteri - USA Today Sports)
Suzuki struck out in his first at-bat (Rick Scuteri - USA Today Sports)

In a game that was nearly over as quick as it began, the Chicago Cubs found themselves in a substantial early hole that was ultimately too large to climb out of. With Alec Mills trying to lock down a rotation spot and facing off with Rockies ace German Marquez, Mills took one on the chin after a promising first start.

Mills was rocked in his 1 2/3 innings of work as he allowed six runs, although three were unearned. That was more than enough for Marquez as he stymied the Cubs in his three innings of work to record three strikeouts in the process. Two batters into the game, and the Rockies built a 2-0 lead, with Charlie Blackmon leading things off with a single before coming home on the Brendan Rodgers homer for the early lead.

That was far from the end of the Rockies early onslaught as their offense was just getting started. If two runs in the first were not good enough, why not make it four more in the second with Ezequiel Tovar connecting for a two-run shot and then having Ryan McMahon and CJ Cron add a sacrifice fly and RBI double to make things 6-0.

One inning later, same results as Eric Yardley and Stephen Gonsalves struggled to contain the Rockies bats. Having a leadoff double and hit by pitch certainly didn't help, but add in a throwing error, and the lead was now 7-0.

Still batting in the third inning, the Rockies received a sacrifice fly from Blackmon before RBI doubles by McMahon and Cron built the Rockies lead to 10-0. After the rough start to begin the game, top 30 relief prospects Ethan Roberts and Ben Leeper came in to extinguish some of the flames as a pair of scoreless innings kept things at that 10-0 score.

While most of the Cubs offense was nonexistent, including Seiya Suzuki's 0-2 two strikeout debut, one man took it upon himself to try and jumpstart the offense. Nick Madrigal led the bottom of the fifth with a double putting a rare runner in scoring position for the Cubs. Still standing on second and with two outs, Frazier came through with a single to center, ending the shutout bid by making things 10-1. Frazier also took a walk earlier in the game and has arguably been the Cubs best hitter this spring.

Even though that run was a step in the right direction, it would be the lone run the CUbs would get as things never went their way. Wyatt Short was called on to pitch the sixth inning and was hoping to keep things at 10-1. Unfortunately, it would be a long inning for Short as he not only allowed the first two hitters to reach, but allowed three homers in that inning.

The first was a Connor Joe two-run shot to make things 12-1 before solo shots by Elehuris Montero and Coco Montes pushed the lead to 14-1. Blowout or not, the Cubs did their best to stay focused, with Michael Hermosillo coming up with a hit while the pitching started to settle in yet again.

Following a pair of scoreless innings from Eric Stout and Brandon Hughes, free-agent pickup Kevin McCarthey was called to pitch the ninth as he looks to earn a big-league bullpen role this season. McCarthy did run into some trouble in his previous outings, but managed to pitch out of that trouble to limit the damage done.

This was not one of those cases as McCarthy not only put himself in trouble again, but couldn't get out. With a pair of singles greeting McCarthy to open the inning, Hunter Stovall capped off the massive day for the Rockies offense in style as his three-run shot put Colorado up 17-1 before McCarthy settled down to finish the ninth.

The Cubs responded from that rough ninth inning by going down in order in the bottom half of the ninth as their worst performance of the spring came to an end 17-1. With just five hits, runs would be hard to come by as Frazier collected one of those hits to go with his RBI and a walk.

Madrigal led the offense with two hits, while Hermosillo and Nico Hoerner collected the other two for the five total hits. Although this is not the type of effort the Cubs were hoping for, there were some more promising results as the team trimmed their roster down to 44.

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