DIVISION LEADING ROX HOST DBACKS AHEAD OF 9-GAME/3-CITY TRIP
The Colorado Rockies took the lead in the National League West a week ago Tuesday with the first of 3 wins on a home series sweep of the San Francisco Giants. Yesterday they lost to the 2nd-place Los Angeles Dodgers 9-6 in a disappointing affair, dropping 2 of 3 to LA and slipping from a 1-1/2 to a half-game lead over the Dodgers. The Arizona Diamondbacks have fallen-back to 2-1/2 games behind Colorado and visit Coors Field for a 4 game set that opens tonight at 6:40 MT.
There was plenty of drama in the 3 wins over the hated Giants. Tyler Anderson, who had another shaky outing Sunday, got the pleasure of toe-to-toeing it with the legendary Madison Bumgarner Monday, and it really didn’t go too badly. The Rockies ran-up a 7-2 lead over Bumgarner after 5, drip-drip-drip gave all of it back to trail 8-7, then Noel Cuevas singled Ian Desmond and Chris Iannetta home for a 9-8 lead that Wade Davis made stand. Tuesday German Marquez went at Dereck Rodriguez, who turns-out to be the son of Pudge, and the contest went to the 7th tied at 1-1 before Colorado got loose trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the inning. Ryan McMahon pinch-hit with 1 out and homered to tie things up 2-2, then Charlie Blackmon, Chuck Nazty, singled, DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado walked, and Carlos Gonzalez drove the bunch home with a 3-run triple. Gonzalez would eventually score after 3 additional bases-on-balls, and Adam Ottavino and Davis shut-down San Francisco for the distance of a 6-2 Rockies victory. Antonio Senzatela got the start for Colorado on Wednesday and had a shortstop playing behind him who’d make all of the difference that night. Trevor Story saw 9 pitches between the 1st and 6th innings and hit 3 of them into the grandstands, 2 up on the concourse in left-field, one the longest in Coors Field history, a cool 505 feet. Harrison Musgrave got the win for the Rockies, 5-3.
2018’s last off-day occurred Thursday, and Friday brought Los Angeles to Lodo, Clayton Kershaw on to face Colorado’s Jon Gray. It was a sloppy affair, tied 2-2 into the 4th, but the Dodgers took a 4-2 lead in the 5th on a couple of walks, a balk, and finally a fielding error. Kershaw made it through 6, and 5 LA relievers followed him to the hill to finish-out the Rockies. But Saturday saw Kyle Freeland on the mound for Colorado, and the left-hander continued his push for Cy Young consideration with six 1-run/4-hit innings. The Rockies scored single runs in the 3rd and 4th, and a pair in the 5th to even the series with a 4-2 triumph.
Anderson was back yesterday and the Dodgers worked him for a couple on 35 pitches in the opening inning, and the day deteriorated from there as Los Angeles put up 2 more in each of the 2nd, 5th, and 6th. Colorado got back runs in the 1st and 4th, and 3 in the 6th on back-to-back doubles by Chuck N and LeMahieu and a home run by the struggling Arenado. It wasn’t enough— LA prevailed but the Rockies finished the week 4 wins over 2 losses.
Marquez (11-9, 4.05) leads Colorado for tonight’s opener down at the old ball park, facing right-hander Zack Godley (14-8, 4.51). The Division rivals go at each other at 6:40 MT Tuesday and Wednesday as well— Senzatela gets Zack Greinke tomorrow and Gray goes at Patrick Corbin Wednesday. Thursday’s matchup is an afternoon affair, Freeland versus Clay Buchholz at 1:10 in advance of the season’s final trip, starting Friday evening at 8:15 against the Giants at AT+T.
Milwaukee is up by 2-1/2 over St Louis for the inside Wild Card; the Cards lead LA by a game for the outside ticket. The Brewers are in Chicago for 3 with the Cubs, then return to Miller Park for another 3 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. St Louis is at home all week; they have the Pirates for 3 then the Dodgers arrive for 4 on the weekend. LA is in Cincinnati for 3 with the Reds ahead of the visit to St Louis, and the Dbacks head to Houston after their joust with the Rockies.
Buckle-up. 20 to go.