GOING NOWHERE

GOING NOWHERE

VAPORIZING ROX HOST GIANTS; HEAD WEST

Chad Bettis (0-2, 4.88) is fixing to let loose with his first heave of today’s matchup against the San Francisco Giants down in Lodo at 20th and Blake.  Bettis will face-off against right-hander Chris Stratton (2-3, 3.82) of the 54-85 Giants in the first of 3 on the end of a 10-game home stand for the Rockies, which to-date has been substantially less than pleasing, in fact San Francisco has already taken a one run lead.

Colorado had it all set up.  3 against the disappointing and dis-assembling Detroit Tigers followed by 3 head-to-head with arch-rival Arizona– a big chance to make up some ground and blaze into September under a head of steam after a difficult August. Instead the Rockies elected to conspicuously cower, dropping 2 of 3 to Detroit and getting swept by the Diamondbacks.  At home.

Antonia Senzatela was out Monday and got behind early, a recent Colorado theme.  Alex Presley tripled, Justin Upton singled, and Nick Castellanos singled to put the Tigers up by 2.  The Rockies got busy against Jordan Zimmerman in the bottom of the 2nd on a 2-run Jonathan Lucroy home run, a double by Trevor Story and singles from Ian Desmond and Charlie Blackmon to lead 3-2, but Senzatela gave it right back up, walking Upton and Miguel Cabrera with one out, then surrendering a triple to Castellanos. Zimmerman only made it through 5, but 5 Detroit relievers put the kibosh on further Colorado ambitions.

The big victory came Tuesday.  The Rockies went up 3-0 behind German Marquez, who was tough for 6 before Detroit got him and tied things in the 7th.  If only for one night, Colorado was having none of it.  Lucroy led off the bottom of the 7th with a single, Story singled him over to 3rd, and pinch-hitting Carlos Gonzalez knocked Lucroy in with a sacrifice fly.  Blackmon forced Story at 2nd on a ground ball, then DJ LeMahieu walked ahead of a 3-run shot by Nolan Arenado, and for a limited time there was joy in Mudville as the Rockies prevailed 7-3.  Wednesday afternoon however brought a return of the blues.  Bettis was out against Justin Verlander and fell behind 5-0 in his 5-inning stretch.  Blackmon had a solo homer in the 6th and a Story double scored Gonzalez in the 9th, but that was all the Rockies had to offer.

Following a day of refreshment Thursday the Dbacks were on for 3 for the weekend.  Kyle Freeland was out Friday, and Arizona tried a strategy of bleeding him to death with single runs in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  Freeland lasted only 4, and Colorado, in what’s become another pattern, got a few back to trail 4-2 after 6, then got swamped in the 7th on another Adam Ottavino misadventure. The right-hander got leadoff man Chris Ianetta on a fly ball, then walked the bases full before striking-out Brandon Drury and leaving things to Mike Dunn, who wasn’t up to the task.  A 2-run Jake Lamb single and 3-run homer by good buddy Daniel Descalso resulted, and 3 runs the Rockies answered with only caused a dent.  Diamondbacks 9, Rockies 5.

Jon Gray had no magic Saturday.  Colorado got behind again early– Gray gave-up a pair of early singles that JD Martinez cashed-in with a big fly ball into the left-center stands, then the Rockies scratched-out a pissy little run in the 4th, and another little miniature one in the 6th, but went-on to lose 6-2.  The pattern continued yesterday.  Marquez fell behind 1-0 after 3, the Rockies tied it-up with a pitiful little spurt in the 5th, and then the Dbacks put the hammer down to win 5-1 and sweep Colorado under.

The Rockies lost 4 in the Wild Card race on the week to leader Arizona and 3 to nearest rival Milwaukee as Meaningful Games in September continue.  Agbayani noted the 25-38 since June 20 mark cited by the Post in his comment Saturday.  The window the Post captured is gratuitously harsh, as it includes the 8-game late June losing streak that most ominously set the tone for Colorado’s summer.  But take that away and you’re looking at 25-30, which means the Rockies are losing about 4 out of 7, and that sounds exactly like what I’ve been looking at since I returned from the Sunshine State in late June.

The ludicrous thing about the entire set of circumstances, especially if you’re an Arizona fan, is a quick burst of 5 in a row, or 6 out of 8, or even a muddling 14 out of the last 24 will probably be enough for Colorado to secure that second Wild Card slot, leaving the revolting prospect of a one-game grudge match in Phoenix on October 3.  Should the bums from Denver happen to snag that one, a fine Dbacks squad confronts the prospect of a long, nuclear winter.

Tyler Chatwood returns to the starting rotation for the Rockies tomorrow.  He’ll face San Francisco’s Ty Blach down at the old ball park in a 6:40 MT start.  Freeland goes against Johnny Cueto on Wednesday, same start time, then the group packs its bags for a 4-game test against league-leading Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine and a 4-game prequel in the Valley of the Sun.

At post time it’s the bottom of the 6th, Bettis is gone, Chris Rusin is on.  It’s 3-3 as the balance of the season remains.

jim-miller

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

17 Comments

    • rockymountainhigh

      September 6, 2017

      Arizona 12 straight wins. Colorado needs to catch fire soon else Milwaukee or St. Louis will do the honor of catching fire and surpassing the Rockies.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      September 7, 2017

      50.7 percent chance of getting that wild card now, after a really bad homestand. Now: a run of good (great?) teams on the road, Dodgers + Dbacks, before it gets easier (Padres, Giants) again. The Cards are now our primary competition, but the Brewers are sticking around too. I’d have to say that if I were a betting man I’d take the Cards …

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        September 7, 2017

        Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham are hurting for the Cards (by this point in the season, every team has multiple key players hurting). It’s a race of attrition.

        My fear with the Dodger series is that we get Kershaw back-from-injury game #2 (I’m thinking he’ll be really good), and Corey Seager should play at least two of these games. They’ll be wanting to right the ship a little bit after the DBacks debacle. The DBacks on the other hand…..are almost to the point where they might want to begin resting guys.

        Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      September 7, 2017

      The headline of this post should be “Jumping Off a Cliff.” And the bottom is not water but dry land. Rockies better find a hang glider quickly if they want a soft landing.

      Reply
    • Bill

      September 7, 2017

      Couldn’t have picked a worse time in the season to play their worst baseball of the season. Multiple errors in multiple games. Both physically and mentally. Nolan Arenodo picks early September to show us he’s human. Kyle Freedman in two straight games decides not to cover 1st base.Basically most of the team seems to be trying too hard, gripping the bat too tightly. Our shortstop is gripping it so tightly that he’s getting called out on strikes every few at bats. Maybe they’ll end up playing better on the road in the next three weeks where they won’t be trying to please the home folks. Dr. C. warned us about a month ago.

      Reply
    • roxnsox

      September 10, 2017

      Might be going somewhere! Three straight in L.A.?! I have a beautiful dream that the D-backs peaked/went on an insane tear much too early, and the Rockies are just starting to peak/go on an insane tear at the exact right time. Really want that home wildcard game.

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      September 10, 2017

      Baseball is such a weird, complicated game (in a simplistic sort of way).

      You know which really hasn’t had a prolonged, nasty slump in 2017? DBacks. Jus sayin.’

      Reply
      • roxnsox

        September 10, 2017

        Isn’t it just so weird? And just like you said we might catch the Dodgies at a good time (for us)! Nobody expected a sweep, though! (Otto still unable to throw strikes still a big hole/concern)

        Reply
    • sdcarp

      September 10, 2017

      Short term – Brewers upcoming series is Pirates (in Milwaukee). Cardinals next series is Cincinnati (in St Louis). Of course the Rox have 4 in Phoenix (will miss Robbie Ray – really the DBacks best pitcher). Brewers and Cardinals have to be really frustrated after having great series this weekend and picking up nothing.

      The pendulum then swings in the Rox favor (in theory) with the Cards on the road for 9 and the Brewers on the road for 6. Interestingly, the Brewers have 3 in Miami. Wonder what will become of that?

      Reply
      • roxnsox

        September 10, 2017

        The plot thickens…I do NOT care for those opponents for the pursuers (at home, no less). However, see above about this grand old weird old game.

        Reply
    • Agbayani

      September 10, 2017

      .305/.374/.477 — 851 OPS, 108 RC+ … .339 BA against righties. That’s Cargo’s stats post-All Star Break. This time I’m glad I was right when I said that the Rockies’ best option to start in RF against RHP at least was still Cargo, not Tapia or someone else in the system. These are not great numbers, but they’re in line with what he was projected to do before the season started, and they’re …. kind of o.k.!

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      September 10, 2017

      The plot thickens now that the Cubs are not helping the Rockies but helping the Cardinals and Brewers instead. Those three teams will be beating each other up.

      Now the Rockies have the most important four games of the year at Arizona coming up. Get at least a split and that will give us a 6-2 trip against two of the best teams in the NL. Then we can cash in the chips with the next twelve games against teams with below .500 records. It’s not like we’re going into places where we can’t win games (SF and SD which are the final two road series) when we are on the road. Colorado is now 78-65. What that means is….if we win two in Arizona, that will give us 80 wins going into a 12-game stretch against sub 500 teams. 8-4 record is very feasible. That takes us to 88 wins which is almost a certain WC spot considering that the Cubs/Brewers/Cardinals will be beating each other up. Then we have insurance in the final series against the Dodgers if we need another win or two. I hope not so we can arrange the pitching staff for the WC game and possibly a NLDS series against the Dodgers.

      Bud Black is the difference maker for the September drive towards the post season. I’m impressed with how he is using the pitchers with the expanded roster. Perfect example is today where he went bullpen pitching instead of sticking with a tired and gassed rookie starter. Chatty gave us five innings instead of the expected three or four. BB is using the latest model used by several teams lately – starter go through the order two or three times and take them out before they get hurt third and/or fourth time through the lineup.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        September 10, 2017

        FWIW – Cards/Brewers end season with 3 game series against one another.

        Reply
    • sdcarp

      September 10, 2017

      RMH et al……I know you guys try really hard to write a couple of fresh stories a week. They’re much appreciated. I also know everyone is busy.

      Speaking as one regular, I’m fine with a single “Wild Card” thread from here out with simply the schedules of the Rockies, Cardinals, Brewers, and maybe Cubs since they’re sliding backwards in the NL central. We can comment on a single thread. It will be fun, and less work for you guys.

      Reply
      • Jeem

        September 11, 2017

        I plan to keep ’em coming on Mondays/Tuesdays, if only because if we go anywhere it will be cool to have one for each week of the season, but appreciate the consideration!

        Reply

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