The Colorado Rockies continue their final road trip of the season with the second of three games against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field today. They were most-recently swept by the San Diego Padres in three games, but went 5-2 on their homestand. They took two-of-three from the Cubs and three-of-four from the San Francisco Giants, essentially knocking the latter completely out of playoff contention. Interestingly, neither the Rockies nor the Cubs have swept each other in a series since the Rox won three-straight games from September 25-27, 2012 at Coors Field. That might bode well for the Rockies this afternoon.
Rookies Nolan Jones and Ezequiel Tovar continue their strong campaigns for NL Rookie of the Year. Jones stole three bases on Tuesday and became the third rookie in the last 25 years to record a season with 15 home runs, 15 stolen bases and 15 outfield assists. He joins Adolis García (2021) and Carlos Beltrán (1999). Jones ranks among NL rookie leaders in triple slash (.284/.375/.521; 2nd/1st/1st) and OPS (.896, 1st). He also leads all NL rookies in extra-base hits (41) and ranks second with 17 home runs and 174 total bases.
Tovar ranks among NL rookie leaders in doubles (34, T-1st), RBI (73, 2nd), hits (141, 3rd), extra-base hits (53, 3rd), games played (145, 3rd), triples (4, T-3rd), and homers (15, 8th). He still ranks among Rockies greats Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki in doubles, RBI, and extra-base hits.
Chris Flexen (1-8, 7.19 ERA) will take the mound for the Rockies. In his last outing against the Giants, Flexen pitched 5 1⁄3 innings and allowed four runs on five hits. He did not allow a home run, which marked his third homer-less start as a Rockie (second consecutive). Can he make it three-straight today? Today marks Flexen’s sixth appearance (third start) against the Cubs. In five games, Flexen has gone 0-1 with a 9.26 ERA and 2.657 WHIP.
Flexen will pitch against Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman (10-8, 3.76 ERA). Stroman was activated off the IL (right hip inflammation) on September 15 and has made two relief appearances since, allowing one unearned run in three innings. In his last start against the Cincinnati Reds on July 31, Stroman threw just three innings and allowed six runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Today marks Stroman’s seventh appearance (and start) against the Rockies. He is 4-2 with a 2.31 ERA and 0.846 WHIP.
Can the Rockies take Game 2 and stave off 100 losses for one more game?
First Pitch: 12:20 PM MDT
TV: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)