GUT CHECK

GUT CHECK

ROX SWEEP DODGERS IN LA; AT DBACKS AS MILWAUKEE, ST LOUIS MAINTAIN PACE

My female house cat, the one that is called Sun Green, has taken to pulling down rags.  The rags I’m talking about have been where they are, hanging on their hooks, for the entirety of Sun Green’s 4 year tenure as presiding officer of our household, but for reasons that will certainly go unexplained, starting last week Sun determined it is most fulfilling to pull these rags down to the floor, crouch over them, and purr.  Similarly without explanation, the Colorado Rockies, who as recently as 8 days ago had decidedly taken on the aroma and demeanor of a carcass, ran off 6 out of 7 for week no. 24 of the 2017 MLB season, including  a 4-game weekend sweep of the lordly Los Angeles Dodgers.

Colorado capped it off yesterday, taking a 2-0 lead into the 8th inning when Mark Reynolds blasted a large home run into the left-center-field Dodger Stadium seats, with Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, and Nolan Arenado aboard (if you can believe it), to ease the Rockies to victory.  Colorado got 8 innings of shutout pitching from Tyler Chatwood, who went 5, Carlos Estevez, Mike Dunn, and Scott Oberg.  Adam Ottavino, the future San Diego Padre, will not be mentioned for fear any commentary may be considered unfairly critical.

At post-time one week ago the Rockies were tied at 3 with the San Francisco Giants.  They would go on to walk off, after Blackmon reached in the 9th on a Mac Williamson error, moved to 3rd as San Francisco’s Steven Okert walked the bases full, then scored when Carlos Gonzalez drew a 2-out walk off of Ryder Jones.  That snapped a 4-game losing streak, and Colorado would go on to win Tuesday behind 8 relief pitchers who covered following a 3-inning spot-start by Chatwood.  The Rockies were up 6-1 after 6, but the Giants made matters difficult with 2 runs off Antonia Senzatela in the 7th and 3 more off of Jake McGee in the 8th, but the offense answered with a run in the 7th on consecutive 2-out singles by Arenado, Reynolds, and Gerardo Parra, then got 2 more in the 8th on a Jon Lucroy single and doubles by Gonzalez and LeMahieu.

The loss came in a sloppy affair Wednesday afternoon, then it was immediately off to Los Angeles and a date with legendary left-hander Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw was not sharp in his second start back after about a month of rest dealing with a sore back.  Colorado got a fast start when Blackmon singled leading off, LeMahieu doubled and Arenado drove both runners home with a 3-run shot over the wall in left-field.  The Rockies would tally one more off Kershaw in the 4th, and 5 off of 5 Los Angeles relievers over the distance to run off with a 9-1 win.  Friday Colorado had a rare look at Yu Darvish to negotiate.  They got a 1-0 lead in the 1st on a home run by Gonzalez, but German Marquez had a tough start and gave-up 4 in the bottom of the inning.  The Los Angeles lead held until the 5th, when Alexi Amarista doubled with one out, Lucroy took a walk, then Raimel Tapia, Blackmon, and LeMahieu delivered back-to-back-to-back doubles to chase Darvish with a 5-4 lead that would hold-up behind the relief of Senzatela, Chris Rusin, who got the win, Pat Neshek and Greg Holland, who pitched a 1-2-3 9th for his 38th 2017 save.

Saturday the antagonists were Chad Bettis and Alex Wood, and the Rockies went up 4-0 in the 2nd on a 2-run Trevor Story homer and a pair of run-scoring singles.  LA got to Bettis for 3 in the 4th and another in the 5th, but Colorado answered with single tallies in the 5th and 9th, and despite a 9th inning homer by Logan Forsyth leading-off against Holland, prevailed 5-4 ahead of Sunday’s sweeping win behind the Reynolds slam.

The 6 wins for the week nevertheless only padded the Rockies’ Wild Card lead by a half game, they’re up by 3, as the Milwaukee Brewers, St Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs are suddenly in a 3-way battle for the NL Central.  Chicago’s lead is down to 2 games over the 75-68 Brewers and Cards, and as sdcarp reports on last week’s thread, the 3 will be going head-to-head as the calendar heads toward October.  Washington became the first to clinch yesterday, taking the East, and despite having now lost 15 of their past 16, the Dodgers still lead the Dbacks by 9 in the West.  Over in the AL Houston and Cleveland have the West and Central well under control, carrying 13 game leads.  Boston leads the East with the New York Yankees lurking 3-1/2 back.  New York leads the AL Wild Card by 3-1/2 games over the Minnesota Twins, but no less than 6 potential spoilers are within another
3-1/2 of the Twins.

Colorado is in Phoenix, Arizona this afternoon for the first of 4 with the Diamondbacks, and as RMH has reported, they are BIG with a capital B.  Kyle Freeland (11-10, 3.99), who hasn’t been particularly good lately, gets the call against Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.01) in a 7:40 MT start at Chase Field.  Jon Gray is out against Taijuan Walker tomorrow, Marquez gets Pat Corbin on Wednesday, and Thursday afternoon Bettis will battle Zack Godley without the benefit of television.  The Rox return to Coors Field for 3 with San Diego on the weekend before heading back to the coast and more of San Francisco.

Week 25 kicks-off with game 144; 18 remain.  Look sharp.

 

jim-miller

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

23 Comments

    • rockymountainhigh

      September 11, 2017

      0-5 so far on the road through the gauntlet. Still averaging less than three runs a games. Bullpen still imploding. Boo hoo, season over.

      Reply
    • Bob K.

      September 12, 2017

      What started out as “The Rockies can’t have a 2-6 road trip” has suddenly turned into they better not have a 5-3 road trip.

      Reply
    • roxnsox

      September 12, 2017

      Aroma and demeanor of a carcass! Another zinger, Jeem.

      Thursday’s game IS on TV. Somebody in TV scheduling foresaw that this particular day game might be important and we might want to watch. Yay!

      Reply
    • Bill

      September 12, 2017

      Just when I think the season is lost they decide to win 5 in a row! I mentioned last week mostly in jest that the Rockies might play better on the road than at home now because there was no pressure to win on the road. Nobody expected them to do that. And so they win. Some not so comfortable but who cares. Last night I positioned two TVs in close proximity so I could watch Rockies and Broncos at one time. Both had comfortable leads late in the game, then both almost blew the game but both held on to win. Not sure my ticker will hold out but it was fun.

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      September 12, 2017

      Under the radar feat was that Rockies have now won seven, not a typo, straight road games.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        September 12, 2017

        About the time the Dodgers went on their ridiculous hot streak and launched into orbit, I began to ponder whether i’d rather have the WC at home, or on the road. Specifically with the DBacks in mind. I sort of came to the conclusion that i’d rather see us play in Phoenix, and also face Greinke rather than Ray. It’s not like we “own” Greinke, but we’ve had some success against him. Trevor Story likes him.

        Reply
        • Bob K.

          September 12, 2017

          Have to agree, Rockies seem to play better against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix than they do at home.

          Reply
    • sdcarp

      September 12, 2017

      The Minnesota Twins are doing unholy things to the Padres tonight.

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      September 12, 2017

      Amending Bob K’s comment above…

      What started out as “The Rockies can’t have a 2-6 road trip” has suddenly turned into they better not have a 6-2 road trip.

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      September 13, 2017

      Trivia for the day – as of today, Chris Rusin ranks 7th among all Relief Pitchers in 2017 with a WAR of 2.6. It’s very close. Andrew Miller is 4th with 2.7. Archie Bradley leads with 3.8.

      Reply
      • Bob K.

        September 13, 2017

        Yes and what a bargain at a $545,000 salary with 3 years of arbitration coming up.

        Reply
        • Bob K.

          September 13, 2017

          Rusin was another gift from the Cubs as he was a waiver claim in 2014. His claim to fame is that he gave up Ichiro’s 3000th hit.

          A big thank you to the Cubs for DJ and Rusin.

          Reply
          • sdcarp

            September 13, 2017

            I’m thinking we’ll need to send the Cubs a “thanks” for James Farris as well.

            Reply
    • roxnsox

      September 13, 2017

      Is it too soon for me to say Welcome back, Cargo! And humble apologies for tossing you on the dirt heap? I know he’s nearing the end of his time here, but it’s sweet to see him being a difference-maker like he used to be. May it continue.

      Reply
      • rockymountainhigh

        September 13, 2017

        I think he may be really back another year or 2 because they discovered the problem about 5 months late. He was holding the bat in his palms instead of fingers. Now he has great bat control and speed back.

        Reply
        • roxnsox

          September 13, 2017

          That’s all good, apparently, and as I said I hope it continues for the stretch this year. Don’t want them to re-sign him!

          Reply
    • sdcarp

      September 13, 2017

      Damn Hurricane Irma!

      Brewers get the three originally scheduled Marlins games in Miami shifted to Milwaukee.

      Reply
    • roxnsox

      September 13, 2017

      GUYS AND GIRLS! Help please. I have an opportunity from the Rockies’ lottery to buy NLDS tickets (or Wild Card, but not banking on a home game) tomorrow morning. Trying to figure out what dates apply – MLB.com is hard to decipher on this. Does the NLDS start at home for the lower seed (the Rockies, I assume and hope)? I think it did in ’09 with the Phils, both of which insanely frozen games I attended and was crushed by the uncharacteristic meltdowns by Mr. Street. But I don’t remember the seeding that year….. Maybe the further info I am supposed to receive in the morning will make it clear, but I like to see the future when planning dates and such. Haha.

      Also, I can buy four tickets but probably only need two. Anybody want the others if I get them?

      Reply
      • Bob K.

        September 13, 2017

        The higher seed is always the home team for the first game. For a 5 game series, the higher seed is the home team for games 1,2 and 5 and the lower seed is the home team for games 3 and 4. Other than the first Wild Card round, the Wild Card team is always the lower seed except this year during the World Series when the team with the better record gets the home field advantage. At one time this season, the Rockies had a better record than any AL team other than Houston.

        Reply
        • roxnsox

          September 13, 2017

          Thanks, Bob K! Very helpful. The Rockies will play on 10/9 and maybe 10/10, if they make it to the NLDS.

          Reply
    • Bill

      September 14, 2017

      Very depressing losses in the last two games. Not even competitive. If I remember correctly in mid to late June the Rockies hosted the DBacks for a 3 game series, the Rockies won the first game and got blown out in the next two and that really started the Rockies downward trend. Now after winning two close games, the Rocks get blown out in 2 straight games. I hope this time the Rockies will bounce back but I’m not sure they can do that. They have been poor the last 3 to 4 weeks in games you expect them to win.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      September 15, 2017

      The wisdom of Carp’s comment that it we (instead of the Dbacks) had acquired JD Martinez, the position of these two teams would be reversed. Rarely has a trading deadline deal had as significant effect as that Martinez trade to the Dbacks. Cespedes to the Mets a few years ago is kind of similar — players who completely changed the character of the acquiring team’s offense. With the Cards and the Brewers hanging in there, this is gonna be a nail biter right down to that last weekend…. I would like to see Bud be a little more aggressive in playing September Ball. Now’s the time to stop worrying about who is a starter and who is a reliever, etc. We’ve seen it work like a charm in those short Chatwood starts (just like Hurdle did with some weak “starters” in 2007 … Mark Redman! Elmer Dessens!). Bettis is a great story, but he has pitched very little this year and it would be completely understandable if this is a kind of dead arm phase for him. You gotta ride the guys who are throwing well right now. He’s done that with Rusin, but I think he’s still a bit too wedded to the idea that a starter has got to start.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        September 17, 2017

        Fred McGriff to the Atlanta Braves in 1993 was a similar type trade.

        Reply

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