Series preview: Cubs at Rockies

Series preview: Cubs at Rockies

Friday, April 15, 2011Posted: 2 PM

Cubs (6-6) at Rockies (10-2)

Series schedule

Friday, 7:40 p.m. on WCIU
Saturday, 7:10 p.m. on WGN
Sunday, 2:10 p.m. on WGN
Starting pitchers

Friday: Matt Garza (0-1, 5.68) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (2-0, 2.77)
Saturday: Casey Coleman (0-0, 7.20) vs. Jason Hammel (1-0, 4.91)
Sunday: Ryan Dempster (1-2, 6.30) vs. TBA

Previous games

The Cubs took two of three against Houston this week, capped by Wednesday's 9-5 victory in which Alfonso Soriano hit a three-run homer and Starlin Castro and Aramis Ramirez finished with three hits apiece.

The Rockies swept the Mets in a four-game series, including a double-header sweep on Thursday. Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki went 10-for-16 with eight RBIs in the series, homering in each of the four games.


The Cubs went 2-3 against the Rockies last season, suffering a three-game sweep at Coors Field that included a 17-2 pounding in the series opener.

Who's hot?
Castro went 8-for-15 with four runs scored against the Astros. Darwin Barney has multi-hit efforts in three of his last four games. Lefty reliever Sean Marshall already has five holds on the young season.

Can Garza, who has allowed 20 hits in 12 23 innings this season, get his act together? Marlon Byrd is just a .219 career hitter against Colorado, with one home run in 73 career at-bats. On the other hand, Soriano is a career .359 hitter at Coors Field.

Sound off
How concerned are you about the Cubs' starting pitchers, given that their ERA is 5.80 ERA two weeks into the season?

Kris Bryant earns prestigious Hank Aaron Award as NL's top hitter

Kris Bryant earns prestigious Hank Aaron Award as NL's top hitter

CLEVELAND - The World Series isn't over yet, but the awards are already rolling in for the Cubs.

Kris Bryant was named the Hank Aaron Award winner Wednesday evening, an accolade for the best hitter in each league. Aaron was on hand at the World Series in Cleveland to hand the award to Bryant.

Bryant led the National League with 121 runs scored while also slugging 39 homers and driving in 102 runs. He hit .292 with a .385 on-base percentage and .554 slugging percentage (for a .939 OPS).

“Well, it’s ‘Hammerin’ KB,’” manager Joe Maddon said. “Just be a young player in KB’s shoes, and to win that award and then have that particular man present it to you, it’s impressive. It’s very impressive at a young age to be considered and then win it. There’s a lot of great competition out there."

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

After winning Rookie of the Year honors last season, Bryant may also be in line for the NL MVP this year as the anchor of a 103-win Cubs team.

“An award like this for KB could absolutely galvanize his thoughts about himself as a Major League Baseball player," Maddon said. "It’s a great achievement for him. I’m very happy for him. And I know he will humbly accept it in the right way.”

Josh Donaldson was the American League winner last season while Bryce Harper took home the NL honors.

Bryant is the second Cubs player to win the award after Sammy Sosa in 1999 (the first ever Hank Aaron Award). That season, Sosa hit 63 homers with 141 RBI, 114 rusn and a 1.002 OPS.

MLB official: World Series Game 2 to 'start on time' despite potential rain

MLB official: World Series Game 2 to 'start on time' despite potential rain

CLEVELAND -- Game 2 of the World Series is on -- for now.

With rain forecast for late Wednesday night, Major League Baseball officials said they have a contingency plan in place to suspend the contest in case it is disrupted by weather. MLB has only suspended one other World Series contest, Game 5 of the 2008 edition between the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies.

MLB already made an early decision Tuesday to move up Wednesday’s start time by an hour to 6:08 p.m. CST in order to improve chances of avoiding the weather. The current forecast calls for steady rain to start falling at 9 p.m. CST.

“The plan right now is to start on time,” said MLB’s Peter Woodfork. “Right now we hope it’s light, nothing heavy.

“As long as the field holds up, the integrity of the field, we’ll continue to play. If something happens and we can’t go, we’ll pull the tarp and see where we’re at. Most likely if it’s that heavy, we’re going to have to suspend the game and finish tomorrow.”

Woodfork said MLB wouldn’t announce a potential re-start for Game 2 until later Wednesday night, if necessary.

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

Cubs manager Joe Maddon and utility man Ben Zobrist were part of the 2008 Tampa Bay squad that waited two days for Game 5 to resume. Maddon said the Rays had already checked out of their hotel in preparation for the return trip to Tampa Bay for Game 6 and didn’t find a new hotel until after 1 a.m.

“You just have to play the game,” Maddon said. “There’s not a whole lot you can do about it. It’s one of those uncontrollable components. The game in Philadelphia was pretty severe. I don’t think it’s going to be Philadelphia-like weather conditions tonight. That game was very awkward to play. The rain was horizontal. It was freezing. There was actually standing water on the field.”

Woodfork said the current plan calls for Game 3 to begin on time in Chicago on Friday regardless if Thursday’s travel day is wiped out by a resumed game.

“When you’re playing the World Series, the weather is secondary,” Zobrist said.