Cubs vs. Rockies: Darvish vs. Marquez (Game 60)

CHC (33-26): RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.02 ERA)
COL (31-28): RHP German Marquez (6-2, 3.48 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Yu Darvish goes to the hill against the Rockies for game two of the series. He's had a string of four OK starts besmirched only by a bad beginning of the 8th on May 25. Last time out, he pitched six one-run innings striking out six and walking three against the Cardinals. The Rockies have seen little of him. Arenado is 3-8 and Trevor Story is 2-6, each with a homerun.

Cubs vs. Rockies: Hendricks vs. Hoffman (Game 59)

CHC (32-26): RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.09 ERA)
COL (31-27): RHP Jeff Hoffman (1-1, 7.20 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Hendricks held off the Astros for eight innings last time out, allowing only one run and earning the lone Cubs' win of the series. He won't have to face the injured Blackmon, who is 5-16 with 4 walks against him. Former Cub Daniel Murphy is 6-16 with two homeruns. Nolan Arenado is 6-22 with two homeruns. The Rockies are fifth in the majors in runs scored but have a team wRC+ of 89, good for 21st in the majors. Their offense has been lively lately. Since May 1st, they've posted an .883 OPS and 114 wRC+. That's on the back of a .359 BABIP. Their team OPS on the road is only .679.

Cubs vs. Angels: Lester vs. Bedrosian/Cahill (Game 58)

CHC (31-26): LHP Jon Lester (3-4, 3.59 ERA)
LAA (29-30): RHP Cam Bedrosian (2-3, 3.08 ERA) / RHP Trevor Cahill (2-5, 6.92 ERA)
First pitch 3:05pmCDT

The Cubs just finished a series which I seem to have blacked out. Weird. Instead of the scheduled off-day, they play a make-up game against the Angels back at Wrigley. Jon Lester takes the mound with an ERA inflated following three rough starts. Last time out he allowed a season-high seven earned runs to the Astros. He allowed three walks and eight hits in 5.1 innings pitched. I don't think anyone expected him to go undefeated with a sub-2 ERA on the season, but the three-game implosion has been hard to explain. He's held Mike Trout to 2-14 with five strikeouts.

Cubs Have Little to Show for 2017 First-Round Pick

Eddy Julio Martinez reached base on a HBP, tripled, singled, stole a base, and scored, and collected an RBI with a sacrifice fly, Yonathan Perlaza tripled, singled, stole a base, and scored a run, Oswaldo Pina ripped a two-run double and a single, and SP Brendon Little tossed two perfect innings and combined with five relievers on a two-hitter, as the Cubs "A" team defeated the Giants Orange squad 5-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Saturday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest. 

The Cubs 2017 1st round draft pick out of SCF - Sarasota-Manatee, Little saw his first game action of the season after suffering a lat strain in his first "live" BP session the first week of Minor League Camp in March. And Little didn't miss a beat, either, easily retiring all six Giants he faced (P-2, F-8, K * F-9, 4-3, 5-3) on just 14 pitches. He displayed a 92-94 MPH FB, a plus-CV, and a CH, and he had command of all three of his pitches and threw all three pitches for strikes. In fact he was so efficient that after he finished his two innings, he was sent down to the bullpen to throw an additional 15 pitches (five FB, five CV, and five CH). So things are looking up for Little. 

Prior to the Cactus League EXST game on Field #1, RHSP Keegan Thompson (on AA Tennessee 7-day IL since April 11th) threw a two-inning "sim" game on Field #5. 

Here is the abridged box score from the Cactus League EXST game on Field #1 (Cubs players only): 

Cubs and Angels Tie-Up Loose Ends After Nine

Rafael Mejia walloped a line-drive three-run HR over the LF fence to give the Cubs "B" team a 3-1 lead in the 5th, but Cam Williams (RBI double) and Michael Hermosillo (RBI single) stroked consecutive two-out run-scoring hits in the 7th for the Angels, as the two teams played to a 3-3 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Friday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after nine innings of play. 

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only): 

Cubs @ Cards: Series Thread (Games 55-57)

The Cubs swoop into St. Louis to pick off a few Cardinals this weekend. Kris Bryant and I this weekend!

The Cubs have dropped six out of their last ten games, but they remain atop the NL central and 4.5 games ahead of the Cards. Bryant returned to the lineup on Wednesday as DH, after taking some time off to recover from an outfield collision with Heyward. Javy played the field on Wednesday, but he played 3rd base after DH-ing a few games to rest his injured heel. The Cubs have been on a heck of a homerun streak, but have only occasionally translated that into a win. On Wednesday, Kyle Hendricks's strong performance helped the Cubs take advantage of early homeruns by Schwarber and Bryant.

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