Hammel shellacked as Rockies rout Cubs


by - Associate Editor -
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Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel endured a woeful outing on Sunday, giving up 10 runs in 3.1 innings on the rubber.

DENVER -- The rubber match of the three-game series between the Chicago Cubs (78-45) and the Colorado Rockies (60-64) was practically over before it began on Sunday, with the Rockies scoring seven runs in the opening inning and going on to win by a final score of 11-4.

Entering Sunday afternoon’s matchup, Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel sported the lowest ERA (.95) of any Major League starter since the All-Star break and also boasted an impressive 6-0 record during that stretch. In fact, Hammel, who took the mound this afternoon with a 13-5 record, has already eclipsed his previous career high for wins in a single season. However, Hammel was a shell of himself today, allowing 10 runs to score (six of them earned) in only 3.1 innings on the mound.

Interestingly enough, Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado entered today’s affair trailing only Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant in terms of home runs hit by a National League player. Much to Bryant and Hammel’s chagrin, Arenado staked his claim atop the NL home run leaderboard in Sunday’s game, hitting two round-trippers to give him 32 overall and drop Bryant, who has hit 31 home runs thus far, to second in the NL.

Both of Arenado’s long balls were three-run homers, and both came off of Hammel, who saw his ERA rise to 3.07 on the year. Arenado was a spectacular 4-5 with two runs scored and six RBI on the day, leading the charge for the Rockies in their shellacking of the Cubs.

Arenado’s first moonshot was hit to left in the first inning, providing Colorado with an early 3-0 lead. Later in the inning, Rockies catcher Tony Wolters hit a two-run double, and pitcher Jorge De La Rosa came through with a two-run single. The Rockies maintained this 7-0 lead until Arenado hit his second three-run bomb in the bottom of the fourth, putting Colorado up 10-0.

Chicago shortstop Addison Russell, the lone bright spot for the Cubs on Sunday, hit his 16th and 17th home runs of the year to give the Cubs their only runs of the game, as well as two of the seven measly hits that they amassed. Aside from Russell, the Cubs were impotent on Sunday in every facet of the game, with a seven-run loss to show for it, accentuated by an unimpressive four errors that the North Siders committed.

With his team already leading 10-2, Rockies second baseman D.J. LeMahieu added insult to injury by powering a solo home run to left in the bottom of the eighth off of Cubs reliever Spencer Patton. Thereafter, in the top of the ninth, the Cubs put two meaningless runs on the board via a deep single off the bat of second baseman Ben Zobrist and a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Jorge Soler. But, by that point in the game, the Cubs’ sizable deficit was virtually insurmountable.

Winning 11-4, the Rockies took two out of three from the Cubs in the weekend series at Coors Field. After a solid outing in which he struck out six and only gave up four hits in eight innings on the hill, De La Rosa earned the win and moved to 8-7 overall. Hammel, of course, accrued the loss and fell to 13-6 on the year.



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