CHICAGO -- By allowing just two earned runs in six-plus innings on Friday, Kyle Hendricks recorded the ninth quality start in the first 10 games for the Chicago Cubs. Hendricks’ stat line, though, was about the only thing of quality for the Cubs in a stinker of a 6-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley.
The Cubs had as many errors as they did hits -- four each -- in dropping just their second game of the season and seeing their five-game winning streak snapped.
“We had a bad day; it’s not always going to be an oil painting,” manager Joe Maddon said. “I really believe in the power of 24 hours. So, we’ll just throw that one in the can and come back out tomorrow and play our normal game.
“Give their pitcher credit. He was really good. He made good pitches, he did not permit us to get into that game.”
Rockies starter Chad Bettis (2-0) baffled the previously torrid Chicago lineup to earn the win. The right-hander allowed just three hits -- a soft single by Kris Bryant against the shift and two infield hits -- in six strong innings.
Maddon also believes that Hendricks pitched well enough to win -- especially considering the Cubs entered averaging a league-best 7.1 runs a game.
“He had great stuff,” Maddon said. “They had primarily singles. A couple of balls up the middle, a couple of infield hits, a couple of bunts. They executed well -- I’m not denigrating that whatsoever -- I’m just saying I thought Kyle threw the ball extremely well. A lot of bad swings, a lot of well-placed pitches. He did good. He definitely pitched well enough to win. We just didn’t have our typical offensive day -- or defensive day.”
Hendricks was responsible for one error when he failed to field a dribbler by Nolan Arenado leading off the second inning. Arenado later scored the game’s first run.
That was a tough error -- it could have been ruled a hit -- but the others were no-brainers. Bryant, who was back at third base after playing left field on Thursday, committed two errors (one fielding and one throwing) and shortstop Addison Russell had the other.
“It was a weird game all around,” Hendricks said. “The few errors. I even had a couple where I just felt like my glove had a hole in it or something.”
Hendricks (1-1) suffered the loss, but was encouraged by the performance.
“Overall, I felt pretty good,” he said. “I felt like I threw all right. My fastball command was pretty good, which I always think is a key for me. That guy over there threw a hell of a game, and that’s tough to beat.”
The Rockies also took a surprising small-ball approach, which included Arenado, the cleanup hitter, beating out a bunt for a base hit with a runner on first and none out in the sixth inning. That was a key play in a two-run rally as Colorado stretched the lead to 3-0.
“We just didn’t adjust to them playing small ball and we had a few errors,” Russell said. “If we cut down on that, we would have had a shot at winning.”
Still, at 8-2, it’s doubtful the Cubs will fret much over the loss, especially with Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta scheduled to pitch on Saturday.
“We’re fine,” Hendricks said. “We’ve got Jake on the mound tomorrow. We’ll be OK.”