In a meeting of two of the hottest offenses in baseball on an unseasonably warm April weekend at Wrigley, it would be easy to predict a high-scoring game.
But baseball rarely plays out how it's supposed to.
The Cubs (9-3) and Rockies (7-5) entered Sunday's series finale at Wrigley Field as the second and fourth-best offenses in baseball, respectively, but the Cubs found themselves on the losing end of a 2-0 game in front of 41,678 fans.
The Cubs spoiled Jon Lester's stellar outing by tallying just five baserunners against Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood and a pair of relievers.
"I don't think we played a bad game," Cubs catcher David Ross said. "Their guy was just better than us today."
Lester's only mistake was a solo home run into the left-field basket off the bat of Rockies slugger Nolan Arenado in the fourth inning. Beyond that blemish, the veteran southpaw allowed just three other hits and two walks while striking out 10 in 7.1 innings.
But Chatwood was even better, taking a perfect game into the fifth inning before Jorge Soler walked and Javy Baez singled. The only other Cubs hitter to reach base against Chatwood was Lester with a leadoff double in the sixth and he was subsequently stranded on second base.
"I closed my eyes and hit it pretty good," Lester said. "It is what it is. Trying to get something going. You gotta tip your hat sometimes. Sometimes, the other guy makes better pitches throughout the game than you do."
The Cubs mounted a rally in the ninth inning when Jason Heyward doubled and Anthony Rizzo was hit with a pitch, but Kris Bryant struck out to end the game.
"We had some good at-bats, it seemed, as the game went on," Lester said. "We just weren't able to capitalize on it. That happens sometimes."
Lester picked up his first loss of the year, but continued to exhibit the improved comfort level he talked about in spring training.
Now in his second year with the Cubs - and without that "dead arm" period that slowed him down in spring training last season - Lester is off to a hot start to 2016.
Over his first three starts, the veteran lefty sports a 2.21 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. That's a far cry from the 6.89 ERA he had through his first three starts of 2015.
"[My comfort level] hasn't changed from spring training," Lester said. "I think anytime you spend eight months with these guys, you just feel that much more comfortable around guys.
"It makes things easier. It makes you relax. It makes you go out there and enjoy playing baseball with these guys against last year, just trying to show them what you've done in your career as opposed to just going out and playing."
At the end of the day, it was the offense that spoiled Lester's third straight quality start of the season.
The Cubs entered the series averaging seven runs per contest, but managed just seven runs total over three games against a Colorado pitching staff that ranked last in Major League Baseball in ERA, even after Sunday's shutout.
Still, Cubs manager Joe Maddon isn't concerned.
"Some guys have not hit their stride, but they will," Maddon said. "We lose the series, which is not good, but we still won the homestand."
The Cubs head to St. Louis Monday to begin a big three-game series with the division rival Cardinals.