CHICAGO (The Sports Xchange) – The Colorado Rockies’ road record has suddenly surged way above sea level.
The Rockies lead the National League with 40 wins and are 23-10 away from Denver’s mile-high Coors Field. Only once in the team’s 25-year history has it had a winning record on the road — 41-40 in 2009.
“I think we have the mentality of we’re going to win every day,” second baseman DJ LeMahieu said. “I just feel like we expect to win, which has really been different. We expect to win road, home, whatever.”
The NL West leaders look to extend their upbeat traveling show on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The Rockies have won six straight overall, including two in the home park of the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs.
Chicago, meanwhile, has dropped three straight following a five-game winning streak.
Pitching is the big reason for Colorado’s dramatic turnaround after six straight losing seasons, according to Cubs manager Joe Maddon. He points to Rockies manager Bud Black — a major league lefty for 15 seasons — for making it happen.
“He’s a very calm individual, very smart and he’s very good with pitchers,” Maddon said on Friday. “And the big difference is how well they’re pitching.
“A lot of times in the past, they might have scored four (runs), but the other team might have scored six or seven. They’re just pitching at a different level.”
The bullpen bailed out the Rockies again on Friday in 5-3 win as five relievers limited the Cubs to one hit. It got exciting though when closer Greg Holland walked the bases loaded in the ninth and then escaped the jam to earn his major league-leading 23rd save in as many chances.
The Cubs used four relievers after Mike Montgomery went four innings in a spot start for righty Kyle Hendricks, who’s on the disabled list with tendinitis in his pitching hand.