MARLINS ARE MENACES; TEXAS FOR TWO
The Colorado Rockies fell to the Miami Marlins 10-7 Sunday afternoon, dropping the weekend series with Miami 1-2. Colorado took 2 of 3 from the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier in week 17 of their 2016 MLB season to finish at 3-3, still a game below .500 10 days after drawing even for the first time since the spring. The American League West leading Texas Rangers visit Coors Field beginning this evening at 6:40 MT for the first of 2 in Denver, before the Rockies follow the Rangers back to Arlington, TX, for a second pair in one of these home and away series the MLB is using to enhance the interleague play spectacle. Colorado heads to Philadelphia for 3 over the weekend to wind up a short 5-game road trip.
The biggest news of week 17 came before the first pitch was thrown, when the MRI results on Trevor Story’s jammed thumb revealed a tear of the ulterior collateral ligament, and an end to his rookie campaign. Story had injured the thumb in a failed steal attempt Saturday evening in New York and sat out Sunday’s game against the Mets, with negative xrays generating optimism the shortstop would be back for Tuesday’s contest against LA. But the doom came down several hours before Daniel Descalso made his initial stand-in role at the position, which Descalso will share with Cristhian Adames for the balance of 2016.
The Rockies went out and prevailed over the Dodgers nevertheless, using 4 RBI from Carlos Gonzalez and 5 scoreless innings from Jon Gray in a 7-2 victory. Wednesday featured a 12-2 romp at the expense of rookie Brock Stewart, who surrendered 9 runs in a 4 frame outing, and bumped the Colorado record into positive ground, but on Thursday Los Angeles ran Kenta Maeda out for the afternoon contest, and the right-hander and three relievers held the local nine to a pair of lonely runs and a 4-2 loss.
Miami arrived Friday for three over the weekend. Four Marlins pitchers held the Rockies in-check until the 8th, when singles by DJ LeMahieu, Gonzalez and David Dahl, and a double by Mark Reynolds put Colorado in-charge 3-1, but a closer malfunction by Carlos Estevez resulted in a 4-run Miami 9th, and the week’s no. 2 defeat. The Rockies were back to romping on Saturday, getting loose against newly beardless former Padre Andrew Cashner for 5 in the 6th on their way to a 12-6 win. Colorado was puffed-up and confident with budding ace Jon Gray set to go Sunday afternoon.
Gray (8-5, 4.26) was not equal to the task. He got torched for 4 in the opening inning. The Most Frightening Man in Baseball, Dee Gordon, led-off with a base hit and moved-up on a single by the exquisite Martin Prado. Both came around on a double into the right-center gap by Christian Yellich. After Giancarlo Stanton struck-out, David Dietrich singled to push Yellich to 3rd, then stole 2nd before Marlins’ back-up catcher Jeff Mathis singled to knock-in both runners. Gray waded his way through the 2nd, and actually had a 1-2-3 3rd, but Adeiny Hecchevaria led-off the 4th with a single, moved to 3rd on a sacrifice bunt and Gordon single, then both scored on a Prado double. After Yellich was retired on a line shot into the glove of left-fielder Dahl, Stanton lifted Gray’s first offering into the third deck in right-field, and the Rockies found themselves in an 8-1 hole.
They got 2 back in the bottom of the inning on a solo shot by Nolan Arenado and singles by Reynolds and freshly activated Gerardo Parra, and a force-play off the bat of Adames. In the 5th LeMahieu walked with one out. Dahl, who’s hit in all 12 of his MLB appearances, singled, and Arenado did the deed again, this time with a major 3-run fly over the center-field wall. But Miami refused to be denied. They got a run in the 7th off of Chris Rusin, who put in 3 nice innings in relief of Gray, and another in the 8th off of Boone Logan, but Colorado was only able to muster one additional score, on a 7th inning Arenado double, his 5th RBI of the game.
The run in the 7th off Rusin was scored by Ichiro Suzuki, whose triple constituted the veteran’s 3000th MLB hit, those coming on top of the 1278 he registered earlier in his career in Japan. Ichiro became the 30th player in MLB history to reach the 3000 hit plateau, the 4th born outside of the United States.
The Rangers tonight will roll-out former Cy Young award winner Cole Hamels (12-3, 2.89) against Rockies’ rookie Tyler Anderson (4-3, 3.25) in a battle of left-handers. Hamels has been strong, but he took a loss Wednesday night at Baltimore, giving-up 4 runs on 3 hits in 7 innings. Hamels walked 4 and struck-out 6. Anderson has been pretty steady himself. Also out Wednesday for 7, he got the win over LA, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, 6 strike-outs and 2 bases-on-balls.
Texas, managed by Jeff Bannister, will have newly acquired catcher Jonathan Lucroy in the 3-hole of its lineup, ahead of 3rd-baseman Adrian Beltre and the bantam-weight Rougned Odor. Dahl gets his first MLB night off against the lefty for Colorado. Right-handed Ryan Raburn will handle left, hitting 6th ahead of Nick Hundley and Adames.
It’ll be partly cloudy with temperatures dropping out of the 80°s at game time. Wind’ll blow straight out at about 8 MPH and a potential thunderstorm could brew-up in the latter innings. Drew and presumably Jeff will have the TV on ROOT, with Jerry and Jack taking the accounts on KOA 850. 1150 KRNV has the action in Spanish.
Shin-Soo Choo (L) RF
Ian Desmond (R) CF
Jonathan Lucroy (R) C
Adrian Beltre (R) 3B
Rougned Odor (L) 2B
Jurickson Profar (S) 1B
Elvis Andrus (R) SS
Cole Hamels (L) P
Delino DeShields (R) LF
Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
Carlos Gonzalez (L) RF
Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
Ryan Raburn (R) LF
Nick Hundley (R) C
Cristhian Adames (S) SS
Tyler Anderson (L) P