Rizzo's leadoff HR not enough to rally Cubs

Win streak snapped at 5; Hendricks surrenders 3 solo shots

May 2nd, 2018

CHICAGO -- provided a spark in his first at-bat at the top of the Cubs' lineup, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Rockies' efficient home run surge on Tuesday night.
Charlie Blackmon, and each hit solo homers to power the Rockies to a 3-1 victory at Wrigley Field over the Cubs and Rizzo, who opened the Chicago first with a blast of his own. The loss ended the Cubs' winning streak at five games.
Rizzo was surprised more balls didn't land in the bleachers or beyond because of the 16-mph southwest wind.
"It's crazy about Wrigley Field -- the wind's howling out and only [four] balls go out," Rizzo said.
Rizzo's HR had 1 percent hit probability
Cubs manager Joe Maddon moved Rizzo into the No. 1 spot for the first time this season, and the first baseman launched the first pitch from Rockies starter into the left-field bleachers. It was his first homer since Opening Day and his second extra-base hit of the year.

"You go up there and [the score is] 2-0, which means you probably should take a pitch, but Joe put me up there to swing," Rizzo said. "Just go up there loose, have fun. I'm not a typical speed guy leading off."
But he was 0-for-3 the rest of the game, and the Cubs totaled just three hits against three Rockies pitchers, including closer , who had that role in Chicago last year.

"It was all there and I felt good about it," Maddon said of having Rizzo in the leadoff spot. "We weren't striking out, we were moving the ball. Gray got better, game in progress. He seemed to get sharper. The thing he did well today from the side was first-pitch breaking-ball strike, whether it was his slider or curve. It was uncanny getting the call on that pitch. That was the separator for me. Whenever you get a starter who continually throws his breaking-ball pitch [for] strike one, it really sets them up after that."
Rizzo will be back at either third or fourth in the Cubs batting order on Wednesday against lefty in the series finale.
There had been no home runs hit at Wrigley Field in the previous four games, partly because of the elements. On Tuesday, the wind favored the hitters and was blowing out for the second straight day, and the Rockies found the jet stream. Blackmon and Dahl connected against Hendricks in the first, and Arenado launched his fifth of the season leading off the fourth.
"It was a bad pitch to Blackmon -- I didn't want to walk him -- and the wrong pitch to Dahl but not a bad one," Hendricks said. "Overall, I felt really good about [the outing]. The fastball command was good. I got quick outs, went deep into the game. I've got to take the positives from that one."

"Those were good momentum-builders for us early in the game," Rockies manager Bud Black said of the first-inning home runs, "but we sort of slowed down after that. That was a product of Hendricks. He pitched very well."
With the win, Gray evened the score against Hendricks. Tuesday's game was a rematch from April 20 in Denver when Hendricks beat Gray, 16-5. Both starters lasted five innings in that game, which was played in 44-degree temperatures. It was a summery 84 degrees at game time on Tuesday, and Gray gave up three hits over seven innings. Hendricks went 7 2/3 innings, the longest outing by a Cubs starter this season.

Hendricks didn't think either team had an edge because of the recent meeting.
"They already know who I am and I know who they are for the most part," Hendricks said. "Facing them back to back, I really didn't pitch great in Colorado and didn't get to do everything I wanted [there], which maybe is good when you have to face a team back to back. When you're facing a team, no matter who it is, if you make good pitches, you'll get outs."

Leading off with liftoff: Cubs pitchers had not given up an earned run in three straight games for the second time in 25 years. The Rockies ended that streak quickly.
Blackmon led off the game with his 10th home run, tied for the National League lead, when he launched Hendricks' seventh pitch into the seats. Dahl followed with his first, connecting on a 73.3-mph curveball for a 2-0 lead. Hendricks is the first Cubs pitcher to serve up back-to-back home runs to lead off a game since Tex Carleton did so on Aug. 6, 1937, in the first game of a doubleheader.

"If you make good pitches and get soft contact, you'll get outs," Hendricks said. "Those balls were barreled up and hit hard, and they're going to go out."
Rally tripped up: The Cubs missed an opportunity in the seventh. tripled with one out against Gray, but the Rockies' starter then struck out and got to pop up to catcher Tony Wolters and end the threat. It was Schwarber's third career triple.

Tuesday was the second time Hendricks has given up three home runs in a game in his career. He also served up a trio to the Pirates on Sept. 17, 2015.

"I rode my bike into [the wind], and I can validate it. That was pretty firm." -- Maddon, of the windy conditions
is still looking for his first win with the Cubs, and the right-hander will start Wednesday in the series finale against the Rockies. Darvish is coming off a solid start in which he gave up one unearned run over six innings against the Brewers, striking out eight. He also showed some skill at the plate with his second career double, which was his first hit with the Cubs. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CT.