ROX LAY DOWN TO CARDS, DODGERS;
CLOSE OUT WITH 3 IN SAN FRAN, 3 AT HOME WITH BREWERS
The Los Angeles Dodgers gave legendary play-by-play man Vin Scully a high-grade send-off for the final broadcast of his Hall-of-Fame career Sunday afternoon, sweeping the Colorado Rockies in a 4-game series, coming from behind late to do it, tying game 4 in the bottom of the 9th and walking-off in the 10th, as an afterthought clinching the NL West Division title. As sdcarp has noted elsewhere, LA is taking a page out of the book of its arch rival, the San Francisco Giants, and is coming together at just the right time, emerging as somewhat of a beast in the process. The Dodgers join the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals as NL Division winners. The New York Mets have the handle on the 1st Wild Card by a half game over the Giants. The St Louis Cardinals trail San Francisco by a single game for Card no. 2.
Over in the American League, the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians are winners of the West and Central respectively, with the Boston Red Sox one game away from clinching the East. Tulo’s Jays are a game up on Wild Card no. 1 over Baltimore, with the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners just 2 games distant. The pecking order hasn’t changed for weeks, but anything can happen.
The hated Giants, for their part, have little to fear from the Rockies, who bumbled through a soft early September schedule failing to make-up any serious ground before coming upon the contending Cardinals and Dodgers, to whom they lost 6 of 7 in week 24 of the 2016 MLB campaign. Colorado takes on the Giants in the first of 3 tonight at AT+T Park in the City by the Bay. German Marquez (1-0, 3.48) gets his second MLB start against San Francisco left-hander Matt Moore (11-12, 4.34). The Rockies return to Coors Field on Friday for fireworks and to finish off the season with 3 tries against the Milwaukee Brewers.
A chronicle of the Rockies’ week 24 cannot be recommended for fans prone to blue moods or depression. Tyler Anderson gave-up 5 in 7 innings Monday while the offense managed only 3 against Carlos Martinez and five St Louis relievers. What was promoted as Jorge De La Rosa’s final game for Colorado didn’t go well on Tuesday. DLR surrendered 8 (7 earned) in a 4-2/3 inning appearance as the Rockies went down 10-5. Happy-time occurred on Wednesday, the first MLB start for Marquez. The rookie right-hander threw 82 pitches (50 strikes) behind 6 early Colorado runs and got a win in what turned-out to be an 11-1 rout.
But the freeway crash came early in LA. The Rockies had a 4-2 lead behind Tyler Chatwood after 6 on Thursday, but Boone Logan came on with one out and one on in the 7th, walked the bases full, walked-in a run, then served-up a grand slam to Yasmani Grandal to hand the Dodgers a 7-4 win. Friday Colorado fell behind early and Jon Gray had one of those outings where you measure his pitch-counts by the dozen. Gray only lasted 4 and the Rockies went down 5-2. On Saturday the Dodgers had Clayton Kershaw on the hill so Colorado didn’t even bother to show. Chad Bettis was ineffective in a 14-1 embarrassment. And Sunday Anderson was back out, allowing 2 runs on 10 hits over 6-1/3 and leaving the Rockies in a 2-2 tie. Chris Rusin handled the next 5 outs to preserve the tie and David Dahl homered with 2 out in the top of the 9th to put Colorado up 3-2, but Corey Seager took Adam Ottavino deep to tie things again after regulation, and in the 10th the slugging former Rockie Charlie Culberson delivered the death blow, a 2-out blast into the left-field stands with nobody on.
So Marquez gets the call again tonight in an 8:15 MT start, one final chance to shine as he looks ahead to a rotation slot in 2017. Colorado manager Walt Weiss pulled Marquez after 5 on Wednesday following a 1-run/4-hit performance. Marquez walked one, hit two and struck-out three batters. He’ll face-off against Moore, who’ll make his 11th start for the Giants since coming over from Tampa Bay, his 2nd against the Rockies. Colorado got to him severely on September 5, knocking him out with 6 runs in only
2-2/3. Moore also had a rough time of it Wednesday against Los Angeles, barely making it out of the 1st as the Dodgers battered him for 6 runs on 7 hits.
The hated Weiss has the hated Nick Hundley hitting 5th and catching Marquez tonight. Stephen Cardullo gets the start at 1st-base and hits 7th ahead of shortstop Cristhian Adames. Bruce Bochy manages the Giants and has 1st-baseman Brandon Belt, slumping the last time he faced the Rockies, batting 2nd ahead of catcher Buster Posey and right-fielder Hunter Pence. 2nd-baseman Joe Panik moves down to 7th, where he’ll hit in front of Conor Gillaspie, who’ll play 3rd.
WeatherBug says it’ll be 62° at game time with a brisk 11 MPH blowing in out of McCovey cove. Relative humidity of 62% will power the dreaded Marine Layer scheduled to hover over the action. Drew Goodman will be on hand to tell us all about it for ROOT, backed-up by Jeff Huson, with Jerry and Jack together again on 850 KOA for the radio.
Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
Carlos Gonzalez (L) RF
Nick Hundley (R) C
David Dahl (L) LF
Stephen Cardullo (R) 1B
Cristhian Adames (S) SS
German Marquez (R) P
SAN FRANCISCO (82-74)
Denard Span (L) CF
Brandon Belt (L) 1B
Buster Posey (R) C
Hunter Pence (R) RF
Brandon Crawford (L) SS
Angel Pagan (S) LF
Joe Panik (L) 2B
Conor Gillaspie (L) 3B
Matt Moore (L) P