Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Series Preview: Colorodo Rockies at Chicago Cubs, May 17-18, 2010

Series Preview
The Rockies swing into Chicago for a brief two game series against the Cubs.  The Rockies are fresh off of taking 3 out of 4 from the Washington Nationals while at home, due largely in part to great starting pitching in the series.  Last night, the Rockies got a great start out of former "ace-until-ubaldo-threw-a-no-hitter" of the staff Jeff Francis.  Colorado has been struggling away from home and look to bring some of that momentum from the Washington series into the Windy City.  If the strong pitching holds up for the Rockies, this could be a rough (albeit short) series for the Cubs.

Monday, May 17, 2010- Aaron Cook (1-3, 5.80) vs. Randy Wells (3-2, 4.57)
Cook is a junkerballer that frustrates hitters because of how many times he seems to induce the weak groundball.  Usually a model of consistency for the Rockies, Cook has struggled mightily this year through his first seven starts.  In his last start he did hold a potent Phils lineup to three runs over six innings, but his sinker has not been nearly as effective this year.  If Cook continues to struggle with his sinker, the Cubs could be in for a treat of the run-scoring variety.

Wells is similar to Cook in the sense that he doesn't really have anything "overpowering" but can really frustrate the heck out of hitters with his control.  Wells notched a quality start in his last outing against the Marlins but got the loss despite throwing eight innings of three-run ball.  He looks to build on the success and get a win this time around.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010- Jhoulys Chacin (2-1, 2.66) vs. Carlos Silva (4-0, 3.40)
Jhoulys' career as a starting pitcher took a meteoric rise to legitimacy when he threw 15 1/3 scoreless innings out of the gate.  He couldn't keep the gig up on Thursday as the Nationals tagged him for six runs over five innings.  Still, Chacin has been a very pleasant surprise for an already good Rockies pitching staff, and looked pretty composed even in his worst outing of the year.  He throws a devastating change up, usually late in counts, after he sets it up with a 90-92 MPH fastball.  His slider is still a work in progress, and when it is off it can lead to starts like the one against the Nationals.  Regardless, his career upside has been compared to that of a Ben Sheets without the injury problems.

Carlos Silva has also been a great suprise for his ballclub.  Silva threw his fifth quality start of the year against the Marlins.  There really isn't much to Silva's success: he keeps the ball around the plate and induces contact.  With balls being hit into play, he will have some bad days, but overall, he has been keeping the ball down and getting hitters to hit "his" pitches.  Hope to see more of the same in this game.

The Cubs really could use a series sweep to right the ship.  Hopefully they run into the Chacin that struggled against the Rockies and get their mojo back on the offensive front.

Coast to Coast, sponsor of the Goat Riders Series Previews, is a trustworthy World Baseball Classic and Cubs ticket broker with great prices!

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award