ROX IN SAN DIEGO; FINISH APRIL 16-10
The Colorado Rockies completed week 4 of their 2017 MLB season 3-4, taking 2 of 3 from the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix over the weekend after losing 3 out of 4 earlier in the week to the Washington Nationals at Coors Field, surrendering 46 runs during the Nats’ 4-day stay in the Mile High City.
The Rox headed into the week on a bit of a roll, having won 4 of their past 5 and coming off a sweep of the struggling San Francisco Giants. They snagged the first contest with Washington 8-4, coming from behind after Tyler Anderson coughed-up a 3-run lead in his 6th and final inning. On Tuesday German Marquez got his first 2017 start and the Nationals, who are an absolute beast, climbed all over the right-hander, dispatching him to the showers after 4 innings and 8 runs on 9 hits. The Nats continued to pile it on from there, eventually winning it 15-12 as Colorado pecked away with 9 runs over the final 5 frames. On it went for Washington Wednesday. They scored 5 times against Tyler Chatwood early, then added 6 more over Chris Rusin and Agbayani’s buddy Chad Qualls. Thursday afternoon the Rockies got 6 innings of 4-run/7-hit ball from Antonio Senzatela, and then Carlos Estevez and Jordan Lyles decided to throw-up a reprise of August, 2016, with the Nationals frolicking their way out of town 16-5.
It was a devastating smack-down by a clearly superior club, especially considering Monday’s win came with scheduled Washington starter Stephen Strasburg out on paternity leave and Bryce Harper taking the night off. But Friday delivered a second consecutive quality start from the rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland, who gave-up a run on 6 hits over 6 innings, and Rusin, Adam Ottavino and Greg Holland followed with 3 innings of nothing but a walk. Colorado scored single runs in the 1st, 3rd, and 7th innings to prevail 3-1, and while modest, the victory seemed nevertheless huge in the wake of the Nationals’ onslaught, and the Rockies followed it with a come-from-behind win Saturday, when Dbacks’ closer Fernando Rodney, the former Detroit Tiger, imploded in the 9th. Even a sometime, minimally engaged Tiger fan can tell you Arizona was smoking some of that wacky Colorado tobacky if they thought Rodney had the potential to close games. Rodney is the type of guy who can always get you 2 outs. Tough luck if you happen to need 3.
Sunday featured a 13 inning 0-0 marathon that ended when former Rockie Daniel Descalso took the hapless Lyles, last man standing in a Colorado bullpen that had 3 people unavailable, deep to right-center for a 2-run walk-off. Marquez followed the debacle versus the Nationals with 6 scoreless innings on 6 hits, and his work, in addition to that of Freeland, and to a lesser extent Senzatela, was the major development of note for the week. Chatwood, despite an effusive glossing from Ag after his April 15 shutout, has failed to dazzle since, and Anderson is unfortunately starting to put some sample-size behind his 7.71 ERA.
Charlie Blackmon has shaken loose of his early season fumbles, had 6 RBI for the week, and is now hitting at a .290 pace. Mark Reynolds continued his strong start with another 5 RBI, Tony Wolters had a 5 for 13 week, and Pat Valaika was called-up from Albuquerque at the expense of the hated Steven Cardullo and came-across with 4 hits, including the single that started the wreckage against Rodney. The much anticipated debut of prized free agent Ian Desmond occurred on Sunday at the expense of Cristhian Adames. Desmond had a single in 5 appearances, seeming to find the Dbacks’ pitchers a bit more of a challenge than the teenagers he’d been ripping-up over at Salt River Fields.
Anderson (1-3, 7.71) gets the call tonight against Will Myers and his band of renegades. He’ll face right-hander Trevor Cahill
(1-2, 4.50) in an 8:10 MT start at Petco Park. The Rockies face San Diego for 3 before returning to Denver for a 10-game stand that includes more Arizona, the World Champion Chicago Cubs, and another dose of division rival Los Angeles. Senzatela goes against Jared Weaver tomorrow and Freeland gets Luis Perdomo on Thurday afternoon, when there’s no TV.