National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, July 21st
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (43-52) at Colorado Rockies (47-51), 4:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Edwin Jackson (6-10, 5.11)
Colorado - Tyler Chatwood (5-3, 2.56)
(Sports Network) - Tyler Chatwood hopes to secure a series victory for the
Colorado Rockies on Sunday afternoon in the finale of a three-game series
versus the Chicago Cubs.
Chatwood was outstanding in his first-half finale, even if it did result in a
loss as the righty dropped a 1-0 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Zack
Greinke last Saturday.
Chatwood gave up the lone run of the game in the first inning and yielded four
hits and two walks over the eight-frame complete game.
"That was definitely a tough one," said Chatwood, who recorded 16 of his 24
outs on the ground. "My stuff was the same all game and I attacked, but you
have to tip your cap to Zack. He pitched a good game."
It did mark the 10th time in 12 starts this year that the 23-year-old has
given up two runs or fewer and he stands 5-3 with a 2.56 earned run average on
Chatwood has never before faced the Cubs.
The Cubs turn to right-hander Edwin Jackson, who looks to extend the late
momentum he seemed to create at the end of the first half.
Jackson lost eight of his first nine decisions to begin the season, but has
won five of his last six starts. The includes a current three-outing winning
streak and he closed the first half by holding the St. Louis Cardinals to just
three hits over seven innings of a 3-0 decision. Jackson also did not walk a
batter and fanned five.
"Things have been coming together for him," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum about
Jackson. "He was obviously sharp against the best lineup in baseball."
The 29-year-old is 6-10 with a 5.11 ERA in 18 starts this season and today
hopes to put an end to some career-long struggles versus Colorado.
In seven career starts versus the Rockies, Jackson is 1-2 with a 15.12 ERA,
having been hammered for 42 earned runs over 25 innings. A good bulk of that
damage has come at Coors Field, where Jackson has allowed 29 runs in 15
innings over four starts, going 0-1 with a 17.40 ERA.
The Rockies offense broke out in Saturday's 9-3 win, ending with 13 hits.
Dexter Fowler had three RBI, Troy Tulowitzki drove in a pair of runs and
Carlos Gonzalez launched his NL-leading 26th homer of the season.
That made for a comfortable day on the mound for Juan Nicasio, who yielded one
run over five innings of work. He was lifted after 93 pitches.
"He had to work hard early ... he didn't have his best command early," said
Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "But the bottom of the line is, he gave up one
Colorado, 3 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West, will try to win
consecutive games for the first time since June 28-29. It is 6-10 since.
The Rockies placed closer Rafael Betancourt on the 15-day disabled list on
Saturday following an emergency appendectomy. Rex Brothers is expected to fill
the closer role in this absence.
Chicago starter Carlos Villanueva struggled in giving up seven runs over just
four-plus frames of work.
"I didn't really feel like myself out there," Villanueva admitted. "I tried to
do some things different to see if I could give the team a chance to win but
it didn't work again."
Luis Valbuena had a home run and two RBI while Nate Schierholtz drove in one
run for the Cubs. Though they have won three of five versus the Rockies this
season, the Cubs are 4-15 in their past 19 in Colorado.
07/21 10:25:14 ET