Coming off of a wholly unsatisfying performance Monday, in which they were one hit by Ted Lilly and the Cubs, the Rockies had a day off from the cold yesterday. Today they resume their quest to win at Wrigley Field, a task that they have not accomplished since 2006, going 0-9 in the process. Troy Renck writes about this recent streak of ineptitude at Wrigley, as well as his concerns with the Rockies' starting pitching thus far.
In order to pick up their first win at Wrigley in ten tries (and to snap a three-game losing streak), the Rockies will likely need starter Jason Marquis to be at the very least solid against his former club, as Jack Etkin writes. Though Marquis managed a winning record at Wrigley as a Cub (13-12 with a 5.06 ERA lifetime in 36 games and 207 2/3 innings--23-18 with a 4.57 ERA overall), he was hardly beloved by the Wrigley faithful, as Renck notes.
The bottom line is that Marquis is an innings eater--not always quality innings--and the Rockies are paying him $5 million this year for that purpose. Well, that and his quest to win the Silver Slugger. As Renck noted in his article:
"Our lineup is full of tough outs, one through eight," third baseman Garrett Atkins said, "and it's one through nine when Marquis is in there."
If Marquis could replicate the performance he delivered in the Home Opener last week on the mound and with the bat, the Rockies would be well on their way to ending their Wrigley futility.
If the Rockies are to beat the Cubs today, they'll likely also need some potency from their lineup beyond the one hit they produced on Monday. It will be a tall order as they face one of baseball's most dominant pitchers (when healthy), Rich Harden. In addition, both Brad Hawpe and Todd Helton appear to have health issues that could mean they sit out today's game. Here's hoping that the weather is better for the final game in the series.
In minor league news, Greg Reynolds was placed on the AAA DL with an upper back inflammation. One can only hope that this injury will not result in prolonged absence or more serious troubles.
Finally, Franklin Morales will make an early start today for the Sky Sox. This will no doubt help determine whether or not the promising left-hander will be recalled to the Rockies on April 21st to make his second major league start of the year (on an extra day's rest).