ARENADO HOMER SAVES SUNDAY REPRIEVE; CLINT AND THE BUCS ON IN LODO
“I’m not feeling good about playing in Busch Stadium this week. We’ve always had trouble winning there,” RMH stated presciently as he headed out for a week at some sort of island paradise, where hopefully he was unable to check the daily baseball scores. The Colorado Rockies were true-to-form. They lost 3 of 4 to the Cardinals in St Louis, then hiked it up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they dropped 2 of 3 to the Brewers. That “elephant in the corner of the room” we’ve been assiduously avoiding eye-contact with, the Colorado bullpen, made itself awfully difficult to ignore during the debacle, and even I have to admit Jeff Bridich hasn’t had real good success with signing expensive Caucasian veteran free-agent relief pitchers.
Shaky Jake McGee and Walkin’ Wade Davis played the principal villains in last week’s dramatics. On Monday the Rockies had given back a 4-0 5th inning lead over the Cards, and found themselves in a 4-4 bottom of 10 standoff when McGee served-up a 1-1 fastball that Marcel Osuna drove over the center-field wall at Busch for a 5-4 St Louis walk-off. Jake was back for more glory in the 8th on Wednesday when he surrendered a Harrison Bader single, walked Matt Carpenter and let Yadier Molina drive them both home with a double. Molina scored on a 2-out Osuna single off of Yency Almonte and the Cardinals waltzed to the lockers with a 6-2 win.
Davis commenced with his “contributions” in Thursday afternoon’s getaway contest. Colorado had a 2-1 lead in the 9th with the great man on the mound, but Davis surrendered 1-out singles to Greg Garcia, Bader, and Jose Martinez. Garcia and Bader scored, and St Louis rode its second walk-off of the 4-game set off to Pittsburgh for a weekend series against the Pirates. Rockies manager Bud Black stood by his man facing more late-night theater Friday in Milwaukee. The Rockies had a 3-2 lead, 3 outs to get, and their big-resumé closer loaded for bear. Davis struck-out Mike Moustakis but walked Jesus Aguilar and Travis Shaw. Jonathan Schoop popped-out to leave things all up to Eric Thames, and Thames was up to the test. A curve for a strike and a curve for a ball set-up the heater, which Davis grooved right into the heart of the zone. Thames dropped it into the right-center second-deck. Brewers walk off.
Tyler Anderson needed no relief to dig the Rockies an insurmountable hole in the late afternoon Saturday, exiting the 1st in a 6-0 trench after Hernan Perez followed a Travis Shaw grand slam with a coup-de-gras solo-job . Colorado went on to lose 8-4, and suddenly calls were out for the resignation of everybody in the U.S. name of Jeff, including Attorney General Sessions. Personally, I would favor simply firing Billy Martin and replacing him with Ralph Houk, or maybe Bob Lemon, or even Yogi Berra. Yeah. Yogi. That’d be OK.
The sole happy-talk of the week came on the subject of Jon Gray, the big right-hander briefly exiled to Albuquerque in the manner of a spanking. Gray got the win Tuesday in St Louis, giving away 3 runs on 4 hits over 7-1/3 innings while the offense scored 6, including a screaming 2-run laser into the right-field corner by Carlos Gonzalez. Gray was out again yesterday, this time gutting it through 8 grueling frames. Considering Davis’ earlier-in-the-week travails, Adam Ottavino got the call with a 4-1 lead in the 9th, but the results were no more optimistic, and we all have to admit we’ve been avoiding eye-contact with Adam as well, the right-hander coming back to earth the past several weeks following a long stretch of unhittable filthiness. The Brew Crew tied matters-up, and the contest went into overtime. A scoreless 10th and 2 outs in the top of the 11th brought Nolan Arenado to the plate. Arenado, as they say “sick of losing,” put his mark on it, driving a 3-2 Casey Knebel 4-seamer into the left-field stands for a 5-4 Colorado lead. Seunghwan Oh closed things out, although he made us sweat for it, the contest ending on a wild replay-confirmed 3-6-1 double play that featured nearly wild throws on both of the put-outs.
Horrible as all of that sounds, the Rockies remain well in the hunt, trailing the NL West leading Diamondbacks and Dodgers by a measly pair of games. They’re back in Denver for the final 7 games in a run of 17 without a break. The aforementioned Pirates and former manager Clint Hurdle are on hand to provide the early week competition; Los Angeles follows for 4 on the weekend. Left-hander Kyle Freeland (9-7. 3.20) gets the call for Colorado in tonight’s 6:40 MT start, facing righty Joe Musgrave (4-5, 3.63), a National Leaguer this time who gets another “who the hell is he” out of me. The Rockies are undecided about tomorrow’s starter, who’ll face Pittsburgh right-hander Jamison Taillon, also at 6:40. Antonia Senzatela is back on the Disabled List, now nursing a shoulder problem, replaced by David Dahl, just a heart attack away from another trip to the DL himself. Chad Bettis, he of the “hot finger,” seems the obvious choice to pick things up from Senza, but as President Trump likes to say, we’ll just have to wait and see. German Marquez gets the start for the Rockies Wednesday afternoon at 1:10 pm against Pittsburgh’s Chris Archer.
DJ LeMahieu has also returned from the DL, 3 for 16 in 4 starts back, and nobody else but Arenado, Gonzalez, Trevor Story and Major Fail Gerardo Parra (“MF”) contributed much on the trip offensively either. By the way, has anybody figured-out the algorithm our website is using to sort the comments? Let’s see: 12 hours ago, followed by 4 days ago, followed by 2 days ago, followed by 20 hours ago, followed by 6 days ago, followed by 4 days ago, followed by 3 days ago, followed by 6 days ago…
Must be something Jeff Bridich thought up.