DENVER – With his own production, the Cubs would have come home with a victory.
Of course, it takes more than just one player, but Cole Hamels did a lot to help his team win at Coors Field on Sunday. It could be argued that it was his best day of the 2019 season to date, considering how the park is traditionally unkind to pitchers.
Yet the left-hander was able to shutdown Rockies hitters during his seven innings on the mound and even contributed a two-RBI single in the fifth inning. That’s all the Cubs would have needed, since Hamels didn’t allow a run and the bullpen surrendered just one in a 10-1 rout in Colorado Wednesday afternoon.
Hamels’ efforts were good enough for his sixth win of the season as his ERA drops to 2.98 on the season. Meanwhile, the Cubs’ five-game road losing streak is history as they avoid the sweep at the hands of the Rockies before a four-game series with the National League-leading Dodgers in Los Angeles starting Thursday.
Joe Maddon has Hamels to thank a lot for that as the pitcher put together his third-straight quality start for the Cubs. He scattered six hits but only allowed one walk and struck out nine batters while keeping the Rockies – who had 16 runs in the first to games – off the scoreboard.
This followed his ten strikeout-one walk performance over eight innings last Friday in a win over the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. On June 2nd in St. Louis, Hamels allowed just one run over seven innings but had to settle with a no-decision.
Oh, and he could hit on Thursday, too. With one out he smacked a single to left-center to bring home Javier Baez and Carlos Gonzalez to extend the Cubs’ lead to 7-0. It was just his second and third runs driven in all year long.
Hamels got plenty of help before and after that from an offense that came alive after a rough night on Tuesday. Jason Heyward’s two-run single and Kyle Schwarber’s three-run homer in the second inning gave Hamels all the cushion he would need. The red hot Schwarber would add a sacrifice fly in the fifth to end his four RBI day, then Javier Baez hit a two-run homer in the 8th to finish off the rout.
It took more than one man to get it done, but Hamels certainly did his share to make this sweep-preventing victory come to pass.