After winning three of four games at AT&T Park, Colorado managed to split a two-game series in the Chavez Ravine against the Dodgers. That completed a six-game jaunt through California with a 4-2 record. The season road record stands at 7-3 while the Rockies are a middling 3-3 at Coors Field thanks to Will Myers. Entering play on April 21st, the Rockies stand atop the NL West division which is a rare occurrence with a 10-6 record. That is good for second best record in the National League behind the Washington Nationals (10-5).
In the first game against the Dodgers, Colorado edged Los Angeles 4-3. The offense have had enough trouble stringing together hits so they went to the long ball Earl Weaver style. NoDo hit two homers, a two-run shot and a solo. Trevor Story also hit a solo blast way up the bleachers sandwiched between the NoDo bell ringers.
Kyle Freeland only went four plus innings due to his six free passes total (four walks and two HBPs). One of the HBP cracked Logan Forsythe’s big toe. Freeland started the fifth with a walk and a HBP. That was enough for BB. He called on Gopherg whom RMH projected to give up a 3-run blast to Yaisal Puig. Strikeout and a fly ball out. BB popped out of the dugout and roared, “That’s what I’m talking about” and spanked Gopherg on the butt. Called for Chris Rusin for four easy outs. Otto and Mike Dunn kept the Dodgers at bay. Enter Greg Holland for his eighth save out of eight save opportunities. It didn’t come easy, but it wasn’t Holland’s fault except for the one walk. A blooper that fell 1/2 inch in front of Parra’s mitt and a couple of weak hits that somehow dribbled to the outfield made the inning interesting. The highlight of the inning was a three-second drama when Puig thought he had a walk off three-run blast only to watch the ball come down harmlessly on the edge of the warning track where Parra was camped underneath it.
The final game was the toughest test as perennial Cy Young candidate Clayton Kershaw was on the bump. Colorado loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning, but came away with only one run on a Mark Reynolds sacrifice fly sandwiched between CarGo’s and Parra’s strikeout. For most RWOers, that was the final straw watching CarGo flail at pitches not anywhere near the zone. Later in the game, he got hit on the hand trying to check his swing. Initial result is just a bruise. The heart in me says that is good news. The baseball in me says, I want CarGo outta there and get demoted to fourth outfielder. Tyler Anderson had much better command, but he allowed the Dodgers to score three runs (two unearned) on his own throwing error with his brain fart. Colorado threatened in the eighth with two on and one out. Sure enough, Dave Roberts called on Kenley Jansen for a four-out save. Reynolds gave the ball a little ride before being run down by Puig for the third out. Final score was 4-2 Dodgers over the Rockies.
Colorado returns to the friendly (NOT!) confines of Coors Field for a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants (6-10). Bruce Bochy is sending Johnny Cueto, Matt Moore, and Jeff Samardzija attempting to keep the purple bats frozen. BB counters with Tyler Chatwood and Antonio Senzatela for Friday’s and Saturday’s games. The website is still showing TBD as the starting pitcher for Sunday. Interesting as Freeland is lined up to pitch Sunday after pitching Tuesday. Is BB going to call up German Marquez or Jeff Hoffman? Or stick with Freeland?
On the injury front, David Dahl is having his ribs checked out in hopes of getting cleared to start swinging the bat. Ian Desmond is getting close as he started taking dry swings and may start hitting balls off a tee and then batting practice. Tom Murphy is quiet, but I’m sure he will be back within two to three weeks. Jon Gray is probably out until mid-June to early July. The Rockies surprisingly recalled Pat Valaika this week to the big club. The writing appears to be on the wall for Cristhian Adames. That is great news in my opinion to see Valaika on the bench instead of Adames.