In Garza’s three starts to begin the season, the Cubs offense has only mustered 4 runs for him. Those 4 runs came in one game against the Pittsburgh Pirates two Sundays ago. Since then, the Cubs have been shut out in the last two games Garza has pitched.
It would be impossible to let Garza completely off the hook though as all of his starts thus far in 2011 have been particularly shaky. His strikeout totals have been high and he hasn’t been walking many batters but he has yet to give the Cubs consistent quality starts. Garza is now 0-2 with a 6.27 ERA and has given up 27 hits, the most in all of baseball at the moment.
“It’s going to turn. It’s going to turn. I know it’s a long season. It’s going to turn.” Garza said after the game.
Garza started the bottom of the second inning by allowing two straight singles from Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton before walking the third batter Seth Smith. Chris Iannetta then came up and tripled to center, scoring both Tulowitzki and Helton. Iannetta was able to score himself moments later after a throwing error by Starlin Castro ended up in the dugout.
After giving up the four runs in the second, Garza calmed down for the most part allowing only one more run in the fifth inning. Garza was pulled after six innings and the Cubs bullpen continued its strong play of late by keeping the Rockies from scoring again for the rest of the game.
But the Cubs offense had no answer for Rockies starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin, whose first name is just as lethal as his pitching performance against the Cubs last night. Chacin struck out seven batters and pitched a complete game shutout.
“We have to do a better job,” Marlon Byrd said. “It seems like the innings we did get to Chacin, he kept making pitches and going a little bit slower and slower and threw us off. We have to come back tomorrow and bounce back, but his next start, we need to put up a five-spot.”
The Cubs have their work cut out for them if they do want to bounce back; the Rockies are playing some of the best baseball that 2011 has to offer up to this point. They’ve won seven straight games and are in first place at 11-2, the best start in their franchise’s history.
Casey Coleman will get his second start of the year tonight filling in for the injured Randy Wells while the Rockies will try to win their eighth straight game by sending Jason Hammel to the mound.