GOING ANYWHERE?

GOING ANYWHERE?

ROX BREAK EVEN ON TRIP; DETROIT, DBACKS UP NEXT

The Colorado Rockies shut out the Atlanta Braves 3-0 Sunday afternoon, taking the series from the Braves 2 games to 1 after dropping 2 of 3 to the Kansas City Royals in Missouri earlier in the week.  The Detroit Tigers are in Lodo this afternoon, prepping for 3 with Colorado at Coors Field, beginning tonight at 6:40 pm MT.

The Tags, as the late George Kell was prone to call them, are not up to much this season, in fact they stink, sitting 56-73 in 4th place in the American League Central, some 17 games south of the Division leading Cleveland Indians, and have not been much of a factor since making a run at the World Series in 2013, when they featured a rotation that included Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anabal Sanchez, Doug Fister and 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello, but still fell with a thud in the ALCS to the eventual champion Boston Red Sox.  Detroit’s domination of the Central during the early years of the decade, and the resulting subsequent dearth of choice draft picks likely explains the current malaise under manager Brad Ausmus, who succeeded legendary Rockies fan favorite Jim Leyland after the 2013 flameout.

Despite taking their only road series for the month of August, Colorado lost ground on its Wild Card competitors for the week, 2 whopping games to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who follow the Tigers into Denver for 3 on the weekend, and 1/2 game to the Milwaukee Brewers.  The Florida Marlins have moved ahead of the St Louis Cardinals and trail Milwaukee by a game and a half, 4-1/2 games out of the money.

On Tuesday, Kansas City’s Danny Duffy became the latest unfamiliar left-hander to buffalo the Rockies away from Coors Field. Jon Gray allowed 3 runs on 6 hits in a 6-2/3 inning performance, but Colorado went meekly against Duffy until Nolan Arenado homered in the 6th with DJ LeMahieu aboard on a walk.  Four Royals relievers stifled Colorado the rest of the way.  Wednesday the Rockies took a 4-3 lead into the 9th for Greg Holland.  Antonio Senzatela hadn’t been sharp, but got through 5 surrendering only 2, and the offense tallied single runs in the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 6th.  Holland, who has struggled for much of August, followed fellow relievers Chris Rusin, Pat Neshek, and Jake McGee to the hill in the 9th.  The righty walked leadoff hitter Alex Gordon and survived line-outs by Whit Merrifield and Lorenzo Cain, but then Melky Cabrera singled to left to bring Eric Hosmer to the plate, and Hosmer drilled Holland’s 1-1 slider into the right-field stands for a 6-4 KC walkoff.

Colorado got a bit of respite Thursday afternoon.  German Marquez turned-in another nice outing, but trailed 2-1 when he exited after the 6th.  Gerardo Parra, who had singled and scored on a Carlos Gonzalez double in the 6th, had another single with one out in the 8th and came around on a clutch 2-out home run by Pat Valaika, who got the start at short in the day game over Trevor Story.  Holland handled the 9th and got a save, although the outs came ominously on two line drives and a substantial fly ball that Charlie Blackmon tracked-down in center-field.

The trip moved Friday to the Braves’ new digs in Marietta, which sits north and west of Atlanta.  Chad Bettis made his third start of 2017 and fell behind 5-0 after just two innings and the Rockies offense could manage but a pair of runs versus Julio Teheran, who worked 7-1/3, and two thirds of the way through the 6-game trip Colorado was looking-up at 1-3 deficit in a region that hasn’t hosted a whole lot of pleasant Rockies memories.  Saturday Kyle Freeland was out for 6 innings, exiting with matters tied 4-4 in a back and forth affair that Colorado led, trailed, then led again before Freeland surrendered 2 in the bottom of the 6th.  The tie persisted into the 9th when Gonzalez singled ahead of Blackmon, who drove him home with a big fly into the seats in right-center, then LeMahieu, who had drilled a solo homer over the right-field wall in the 5th, followed with another one deep to left.

That brought about one more trial for Holland, and the results were horrifying.  Ozzie Albies led off with a single and a batter later scored behind another late night homer, this time by Matt Adams.  Rockies’ manager Bud Black jerked Holland following an Ender Inciarte single, and while Jake McGee coerced Brandon Phillips into a game-ending double-play, the pain and suffering Colorado was imposing on its fans was starting to cause concerns among public health officials.  One called the Rockies’ performance “fundamentally inhumane.”

Gray was back out Sunday.  He delivered 6 shutout innings on 5 hits, striking-out 7, and Neshek, Mike Dunn, and McGee each contributed shutout innings of their own to close-out the series win.  The Rockies got a run in the 2nd on a Parra single and Story double, and Mark Reynolds contributed the big blow, a 2-run shot to left in the 6th, also with Parra aboard.

Senzatela (10-4, 4.52) gets the start tonight against Jordan Zimmerman (7-11, 6.11), the former Washington National.  Marquez goes Tuesday against Mike Fulmer and Bettis will be back out Wednesday afternoon in a television-free contest against the still dangerous Verlander.  There’s a day of rest Thursday before Arizona hits town for 3.  The week presents a major opportunity for Colorado if it hopes to make something special out of the 2017 campaign.  Detroit ought to be fresh meat, the weekend a chance to make-up ground on the hated Dbacks.

Meaningful games in September start Friday.

jim-miller

Architectural Spec Writer Born Toledo, Ohio 4-9-55 Tiger Fan Braves Fan Rockies Fan

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sdcarp
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sdcarp

The road trip wasn’t as disasterous as I had feared. In fact, the SP is downright fantastic for the most part.

FWIW – I’ve always thought Justin Upton could be a good fit at Coors Field.

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

Fundamentally inhumane! Good one. And fundamentally “I’ve seen this (fade) before.” Feeling pessimistic, guys and girls – sorry. I know there’s a month left, but this is not a playoff team as currently performing.

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

Bought tickets quite awhile ago for Friday’s opener in the D-backs series, thinking it might be quite exciting and meaningful. We’ve treated ourselves to primo seating. Excited! Nervous! I guess this is what it’s all about, September tension. I don’t dig feeling tense, though. Ha!

rockymountainhigh
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rockymountainhigh

Same line up for two months. Why wait that long to shake it up?????

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

I was thinking how Bud pretty quickly made a change with Holland (granted, a few shaky outings) and it makes me wonder why Cargo is still in the everyday lineup. Why? Seriously, anyone know what the team management might be thinking? I’d be really interested to hear what your theories are. Huge money? Fan favorite for a long time? “He’ll catch fire?” (It’s almost September!!!) He’s dead weight and pulling the team down with him.

sdcarp
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sdcarp

My theory is more practical circumstance than “theory.” Regarding Cargo – Dahl has been hurt literally all season, and Desmond for a significant chunk of the season. Tapia has been a disaster defensively (I’m convinced this is the result of mental errors – not physical – and he may become a solid average defensive player. But he’s not there now). So……..that leaves Cargo. In Holland’s case, it’s not like McGee, Dunn, and Otto have been that good either (Otto is… Read more »

roxnsox
Member
roxnsox

Great insights as always, carp. It hadn’t even occurred to me that they were “short” on outfielders. (I agree on Tapia and that he’s likely to mature as a fielder, too. And that the team and Nolan would benefit from some rest for him, and strategic rest in general.) Now let’s win ALL of the next ones at home, and (gag) root for the Dodgers as they play in Arizona!

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Rox move to 72-60 after last night’s win. Coming into 2017, I predicted an 81-81 record, so only 9 more wins necessary to meet my originally anticipated threshold. Obvioulsy, I think we’ll get more than 9 wins in the remaining 30 games. I don’t want to take my attention off the remaining 30 games except for this brief moment. Brief moment – the 2018 pitching staff REALLY excites me: 1. Gray 2. Freeland 3. Marquez 4. Anderson 5. Bettis (Jeff… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

For those with a Twitter account:

comment image:large

Lucroy verifying what I “think” I see. Of all these young pitchers, Marquez has the highest ceiling……….and it’s high.

Bob K.
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Bob K.

That is a quote from his post game interview last night.

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Well, this ain’t exactly blasting the playoff door wide open through great play, but … the Cards looked like our main rival for that 2nd wild card a couple weeks ago, but today they just traded starter Mike Leake away to the Mariners, a signal that they don’t think they’ve got a realistic shot. The Marlins were single-handedly boosting into competition by Stanton, but the rest of the team isn’t catching fire (although I worry about that late home series… Read more »

sdcarp
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sdcarp

Disagree with this: ” today they just traded starter Mike Leake away to the Mariners, a signal that they don’t think they’ve got a realistic shot.” IMO this is typical Cardinal’s brilliance, independent of where that are in the standings. They traded away a bad contract (Leake) to make room for a promising young starter (Luke Weaver) knowing that Adam Wainwright is likely capable of coming off the DL and pulling off some sort of late season heroics if necessary.… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

What a fantastic time for the Dodgers to lose a few. ACK! Dang those D-backs, they’re good. Now we can’t even regain a tie for the WC with a weekend sweep (unlikely).

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Damn it…..looks like the Angels may make a waiver wire deadline move and acquire Justin Upton. I had secretly held out hope the Rox would do this.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Tiger’s Shane Greene has cleared waivers and is available. Really nice, Club controlled BP piece. Someone will jump on this.

Juan Nicasio made it all the way (snark intended) to the Phillies before he was claimed.

Bob K.
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Bob K.

ROFL, the Phillies have first rights to anyone waived by an NL team. Nicasio has real solid BP numbers this year.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Really don’t understand the Pirates logic (or lack thereof) on this one. They’re saving 600K. I guess that’s something. Note the Tigers shed about 90M in salary commitment in today’s Upton deal. The Cardinals shed something like 50M in the Leake deal. I think we’re seeing lots of teams position themselves for the “Shohei Ohtani Derby” – which is guaranteed to be the highlight of the upcoming Hot Stove season. Hopefully (fingers crossed) the Rox go all-in this time. They’ll… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp

Dang it! From Ken Rosenthal (regarding Ohtani’s game today):

“Teams, according to scout in attendance, that requested seats to see Otani: AZ, BAL, BOS, CHC, CIN, CLE, LAD, NYY, PIT, SEA, TEX, TOR, WAS.”

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

Carp, I see your point on Leake (your classic 4th starter/innings eater type) and the Cards, but the Cards also failed to acquire anybody, and the reports I’ve seen suggest a disheartened clubhouse as their players see this as a punt on 2017 while they’re still in the thick of the wildcard race. I think there’s some truth to both ways of looking at it: the Cards are not really competitive with the Dodgers/Cubs/Nationals. Given their history of being a… Read more »

Bob K.
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Bob K.

No word so far on Rockies call ups but the Padres have DFAed Quackenbush and called up Jordan Lyles.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/09/padres-designate-kevin-quackenbush-select-jordan-lyles.html

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.

Rockies called up Hoffman, Estevez, Rosscup, McMahon, Murphy and Tauchman.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/transactions/#month=9&year=2017&team_id=115

Agbayani
Member
Agbayani

25-36 since June 20 (thanks, Denver Post). I was happily assuming we were sputtering along just below .500, but … still between a 55 – 60 % chance of grabbing a wild card depending who you look at, but while the Marlins fade, the Brewers are sticking around and we’re letting the Cards right back into it. My confidence is dipping even faster than the Rox playoff chances. I’m also disappointed we didn’t see a small scale acquisition or two… Read more »