Lambert shines as Rockies shellack Cubs, clinch series victory

Jun 11, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Peter Lambert (23) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A trip back home is the leading remedy for the Colorado Rockies’ troubles.

In their latest 10-3 win, the Rockies routed the Chicago Cubs, tallying multiple runs against all three of the pitchers Joe Maddon sent to the mound.

The club’s rookie sensation shined once again, as the offense backed the outing in grand fashion. The Rockies moved to 35-31 with the win, once again bringing their season record to four games over .500 and tying their 2019 high.

Ahead are takeaways from the win.

Lambert bulldogs his way through cluttered outing

Of the many words one could use to describe Peter Lambert’s second outing, resilient comes to mind. As the replacement for Kyle Freeland in the rotation, his rough-headed nature is only fitting.

In his five innings, Lambert allowed a baserunner in each of them. He allowed three hits, walked two and hit Kris Bryant twice. Though the basepaths were far more crowded than his debut, the youngster battled.

Across 83 pitches, Lambert threw 51 strikes, inducing a swing and miss on four of his changeups. Against his curveball – a pitch that Bud Black was pleased with in his debut – the Cubs’ average exit velocity was 78.3, the lowest tally of any of his four offerings.

Lambert even flashed the leather in the start, sliding into foul territory to snag a pop fly off the bat of Wilson Contreras. On the play, he got caught in the grass and appeared to injure his ankle, an ailment he fought through for his final five outs.

The Chicago Cubs came into the game with the fourth-highest run total among National League clubs (340) and the third-highest slugging percentage (.455). In two games against the powerhouse, Lambert has thrown 12 innings and allowed only two earned runs.

Cubs suffer from a bevy of body blows from hosts

In a matchup of heavyweight boxers, each landed swing to the gut does damage, a toll that catches up as the fight goes on.

With only one home run in their rout, the Rockies chose to go in smaller increments. Of their nine runs, four were scored on RBI singles, one on a sac fly. In all, they bludgeoned Cubs’ pitchers around for 13 hits, the 33rd time this year they’ve tallied double-digit knocks.

The final knockout blow came courtesy of a Charlie Blackmon 418-foot homer off former Rockies’ starter, Tyler Chatwood:

Against the Cubs, Blackmon has broken out of his short-lived slump after coming off the injured list. He’s 5-for-9 (.556) with five RBIs in the club’s last two wins, bumping his season average back up to .306.

Murphy continues to slaughter former club

The Cubs knew that Daniel Murphy could hit when they were on the same field as the infielder, a primary reason for his acquisition last season. Now, facing them as an opposing hitter once again, he’s making the club pay.

In 223 at-bats against the Cubs in his 11-plus year career, Murphy is hitting .341 after a 3-for-4 showing in their latest matchup.

The opening damage from Murphy came after Nolan Arenado was pitched around. After being hand-picked by the Cubs’ staff to end the threat, he made them regret the walk, slashing a double into the right-field corner to drive in a pair of runs.

Since May 21st, the veteran is hitting .365 and has driven in 20 runs in that span. In other words, he’s been the force at the plate that Jeff Bridich anticipated when he picked up Murphy before the year.

Rockies home win streak reaches milestone height

There’s no place like home. In the Rockies’ last 10 games at 20th and Blake, they’ve yet to lose. In turn, they’ve pushed their single-season home win streak to double digits for only the second time in franchise history.

The last time they went on a similar spree was 1996. The Blake Street Bombers were heading the charge, with a .343 home average to show for their efforts.

In their latest span, Black’s club has scored 72 and allowed 43 runs. That +29 run differential is 12 runs better than their season mark (+17).

Last season, the Rockies went 47-34 at home, a catalyst to their contention in the NL West. This year, they’re on pace to go 51-30, a mark that would be the club’s best since their illustrious 2009 campaign. 

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