Cubs hope hits continue to rain down against Rockies (Apr 21, 2018)

April 21, 2018

DENVER -- Rain was in the forecast Friday night, which was the last thing the Chicago Cubs needed after having three games postponed this week.

So before the Cubs trampled the Colorado Rockies 16-5, manager Joe Maddon joked, "We're at the point now, we just want to play. You can call us the Chicago Bulls right now. We play like every third day, maybe twice a week. We'd like to get back to regular baseball schedule."

The temperature was in the 30s, and it rained heavily late in the game. But the Cubs (9-8) reached season-highs in runs and hits (18) and will try to win a season-high third straight game in Saturday's road contest against the Rockies.

Maddon has been preaching an opposite-field approach and was ecstatic that only four hits went to the pull side Friday in the wake of Chicago's 8-5 win Thursday against St. Louis.

"I wanted to not get rained out tonight," Maddon said. "I really wanted to see a follow-up, and we saw the follow-up. It's two games, but here's the thing. When the whole group adopts a method and they feed off one another and they're capable -- it's not like they're not capable.

"You could get an anomaly moment with guys that may be overachieving for a minute, just making their mark arriving on the major league level. You could see spurts. These guys have been to the World Series, they've won one. They've been to the NLCS several years. They know what's going on."

Yu Darvish (0-1, 6.00 ERA) will make his Coors Field debut and start for the Cubs against Tyler Anderson (0-0, 4.74). Darvish is 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA in one start against the Rockies. In his last start April 13, Darvish lost 4-0 to Atlanta and gave up nine hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings while throwing 105 pitches.

Anderson is 0-0 with a 6.43 ERA in one start against the Cubs, a 7-6 Rockies win on Aug. 19, 2016. In his last start Sunday at Washington, Anderson allowed a career-high six walks in 4 2/3 innings and allowed two hits and three runs (one earned) with six strikeouts while throwing 94 pitches. The Rockies won 6-5.

"I missed with every pitch," Anderson said. "Just one of those days when things were off. You had to compete, you know."

Referring to his six walks, Anderson said, "It was weird. I thought the ball was going to go there and then it wasn't there. Then I would make an adjustment, and I'd over adjust. We won, fortunately. "

The Rockies (11-10) haven't done much winning at Coors Field where they are 2-5. After serving a five-game suspension, third baseman Nolan Arenado returned and hit a two-run homer in the first on the first pitch he saw from Kyle Hendricks to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead Friday. Before the game, Arenado said it was vital for the Rockies to get rolling at Coors Field and establish dominance there.

"We want to make sure we have a good solid home-field advantage," Arenado said. "I think teams think they can come in and go, 'Hey we can hit here and get going with our bats.' We've got to change that narrative a little bit more, which I think our pitchers are going to do. But as an offense and as a team we probably should have a little more quality at-bats."

That wasn't the case Friday, when the Rockies were blasted by the Cubs. Chicago second baseman Javier Baez, who began his night with a two-run homer in the first, hit safely in his first four at-bats and went 4-for-6 with four RBIs and finished a triple shy of the cycle.

The four hits tied his career-high and left Baez 14-for-35 (.400) in his past eight games with three doubles, one triple, six homers and 16 RBIs. Driving the ball to right-center more frequently and better plate discipline have been keys to Baez's surge.

"When he starts swinging at pitches he's supposed to and laying off the ones he's not, heads up," Maddon said. "It's all in there. Plus, his defense and his baserunning skills are as good as it gets."