The Chicago Cubs halted the Colorado Rockies winning streak at eight games, winning 6-3 in the first game of a three-game set between the two clubs.
Chicago belted a couple of home runs and received an offensive contribution from starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks en route to the victory.
Ahead are takeaways from the Rockies’ defeat.
Rockies square off against a familiar face
Franchise icon Carlos Gonzalez singed with the Cubs last week after being let go by the Cleveland Indians earlier in the season.
Tuesday’s game marks the first time Gonzalez squared off against his former team.
Gonzalez played for the Rockies from 2009-18 and is a franchise leader in a number of categories. He ranks 2nd in games played (1,247) and at-bats (4,586), 3rd in runs (769), hits (1,330) and doubles (2777) and fourth in RBIs (749).
Gonzalez did damage to his old team in the bottom of the second inning, smacking a base hit that sailed over the head of Ian Desmond to score Javier Beaz, establishing a lead for Chicago.
— Cachorros de Chicago (@cachorros) June 5, 2019
The RBI pushed Gonzalez into rare air as he’s now officially recorded an RBI against all 30 clubs in Major League Baseball.
Hoffman limits the damage
Although his mishaps ultimately led to the Rockies’ defeat, starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman did a good job of hanging with one of the best teams in the National League.
Hoffman made his fourth start of the season versus the Cubs as the Rockies offense established a 1-0 lead after the first inning. Hoffman managed to protect the lead through the first inning, but Chicago tagged him for a pair of runs in the second inning.
Baez started the inning with a single which followed with Hoffman’s former teammate, Carlos Gonzalez, ripping an RBI double to center field.
Hoffman proceeded to set down Victor Caratini and Jason Heyward before intentionally walking Addison Russell, opting to pitch to fellow starter Kyle Hendricks.
Hendricks squared up the first pitch he saw, hitting an RBI single to left field to give Chicago a 2-1 lead.
Chicago later belted two home runs off of Hoffman, ending his day with a line of six innings pitched, allowing five runs on five hits while striking out seven batters.
Overall, Hoffman put forward a strong showing on the mound outside of a couple of mistakes. Considering Hoffman’s career struggles, his performance was another step in the right direction towards making a difference in the club’s rotation.
Daniel Murphy continues to thrive
Rockies’ infielder Daniel Murphy stayed hot at the plate against his former club.
Murphy spent the second half of the 2018 season with the Cubs and was a part of last season’s infamous NL Wild Card game which resulted in a Rockies’ victory.
Now playing for the Rockies, Murphy was responsible for each of Colorado’s first two runs at Wrigley Field.
Murphy got the scoring started in the first inning, ripping a single to center field to bring home David Dahl.
Chicago wound up taking the lead in the second inning, but Murphy tied things up in the fourth, cranking a solo home run to even the game at two runs apiece.
Tie game! pic.twitter.com/up0YblrEBH
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) June 5, 2019
The Rockies signed Murphy to a two-year, $24 million contract this offseason. A broken finger halted Murphy’s season in April, but he has since managed to settle into a groove at the dish.
Murphy is hitting .360 in his last 14 games with four doubles, two home runs and 16 RBIs in that span.
Strikeouts cripple offense
The Rockies entered Wrigley Field riding high after an impressive 9-1 homestand.
A large factor of the Rockies success was their offense. Colorado averaged nearly seven runs per game over their the victorious stretch.
The Rockies lacked offensive production in their series-opening game versus the Cubs, tallying just three runs.
Part of the reason the Rockies’ offense stuttered was the spike in strikeouts. Cubs’ starter Kyle Hendricks fanned 10 batters while dismantling the Rockies’ lineup.
While the entire lineup struggled, the top of the lineup reigned supreme in the club’s woes. Raimel Tapia and Trevor Story combined for five strikeouts and were unable to generate any sort of momentum for the Rockies at the dish.