The Chicago Cubs have been bad enough on the road as it is, but facing any team in the NL West away from the Windy City seems to bring out their worst.
Chicago looks to record its first road win in 16 games against NL West opponents this season in Thursday’s series finale with the Colorado Rockies.
The Cubs are a dismal 22-55 outside of Wrigley Field with four road games remaining, equaling the second-worst mark in franchise history in a non-strike-shortened season.
Since baseball went to a 162-game schedule, the Cubs haven’t finished with fewer than the 26 road victories the 1997 team struggled to achieve.
Chicago (59-96) fell 6-0 to Colorado on Wednesday and has been outscored 75-30 while dropping all 15 away games versus NL West foes. It begins a three-game set in Arizona on Friday to close out its road schedule.
The Cubs mustered only five hits in the latest defeat as they inched closer to the dubious 100-loss mark.
“I’m not going to feel any better about a 96-loss season or a 98-loss season or a 100-loss season. In any way, shape or form, we have to get better,” general manager Jed Hoyer told the team’s official website. “I don’t want to lose 100 games either. That’s something people talk about and it’s a round number we clearly want to avoid.”
Runs were hard to come by the last time Chicago faced Jhoulys Chacin at Coors Field, and he’ll be on the mound again Thursday.
Chacin (2-5, 4.73 ERA) pitched his lone career shutout against the Cubs on April 15, 2011, giving up six hits and striking out seven for a 5-0 victory. The right-hander, though, hasn’t been nearly as good over his last four overall starts, going 0-1 with a 4.41 ERA in that stretch after giving up three runs in four innings of Saturday’s 8-7 loss to Arizona.
“I started throwing strikes in the first inning,” Chacin said. “They just started swinging and got me. They just hit it where nobody was.”
Chacin allowed one run in five innings of the Cubs’ 5-0 win Aug. 26, as Chris Volstad earned a long-awaited victory.
Volstad (3-10, 6.22) ended a 24-start winless streak by allowing three hits in 6 2-3 innings in that contest, and he’ll look to snap out of a slump in a rematch with Chacin.
The right-hander has received only five runs of support over his last four starts, though he hasn’t done himself any favors by posting a 6.86 ERA in that stretch. He gave up three runs while throwing 116 pitches in five innings of the Cubs’ 5-4, 11-inning victory over St. Louis on Friday.
Colorado (61-94) got two hits apiece from former Cubs Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu, as well as Jordan Pacheco and Chris Nelson in Wednesday’s victory as the Rockies posted their second home shutout of the season.
“We want to end on a good note and give us something to be hungry about in the offseason,” Colvin said.