The Rockies have lost five games in a row and nine of their last ten, which prompted manager Walt Weiss to call a team meeting earlier today. The details, via Troy Renck:
He challenged the players to compete and play hard. He’s not one to criticize players through the media or call guys out. He wants them to take ownership as he certainly did as a player.
Weiss was direct in his responses to the media, looking straight ahead. He’s had enough of the streak.
The Rockies responded by jumping on Pirates starter Francisco Liriano, who entered the night with a 2.02 ERA. They scored four in the first inning five in the second, and one in the third. Liriano left after recording just seven outs, surrendering 12 hits and two walks while striking out only one batter. The ten runs allowed pushed his ERA all the way up to 2.83.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.