Welcome home, Rockies. After a long winter, Colorado kicks off the season at Coors Field on Friday, playing host to the Cubs.
Chicago manager Joe Maddon is prepared for his first road trip. He stocked up on layers to stay warm as he adjusts from home games at Tropicana Field to life outside in the National League.
Last season, the Rockies won two of the seven meetings between the two teams, but they didn't have Troy Tulowitzki for any of those games. The shortstop was sidelined most of the season after needing left hip surgery. Tulowitzki has gotten off to a strong start so far, going 5-for-10 in the first two games with three doubles.
"They put together a pretty good squad over there," Chicago starter Travis Wood said. "We'll have to bring our A-game to beat them."
Coors Field should be rockin'; the game is sold out.
Three things to know about this game:
• Tulowitzki has a career .302 batting average, and has hit four home runs and driven in 33 runs in 34 games against the Cubs, while Carlos Gonzalez has a career .355 batting average and has smacked eight home runs and driven in 22 in 32 games against Chicago.
• Wood last faced the Rockies on Aug. 5, giving up three runs over six innings in a contest that went 12 innings, and which Chicago won on Javier Baez's home run in his Major League debut. Wood can't wait to hit there. Actually, the lefty likes to hit anywhere. He delivered two pinch-hit home runs this spring.
• Rockies starter Tyler Matzek was 4-4 with a 3.61 ERA in eight starts at Coors Field last season in his rookie year, which isn't bad considering the ballpark. He faced the Cubs in a bizarre 16-inning game on July 29 at Wrigley Field, taking the loss in his only relief appearance.