Rockies – NL West Leaders

Rockies – NL West Leaders

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.

Rox begin homestand after 4-2 trip

rockymountainhigh

Hometown - Champaign, IL College - Northern Illinois University, 1988 Sports Editor for my high school newspaper. Travels frequently - I can be found anywhere in the world.

19 Comments

    • rockymountainhigh

      April 21, 2017

      CarGo is like a giant wall dividing the lineup in half. Add loing as he hits fourth, our offense will continue to struggle averaging 2 runs a game.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 21, 2017

      Dear Stephen Cardullo: yours is a great story. Truly heartwarming. But I never want to see you in a Rockies uniform again. Declare victory and write a book about it or something. (Tonight: can’t advance Wolters to 3B with no outs, first flailing at a bunt opportunity and then striking out swinging).

      Reply
      • rockymountainhigh

        April 21, 2017

        After the double, i thoughtBB was going to call back Cardullo and send Adames or Amarista for the bunt.

        Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 22, 2017

      This is getting to be so much fun that I’m moving up my Sunday Optimism Post to Saturday with some predictions:
      – Story will be o.k. We’ll see his BA slip from last year as he gets a steady diet of off speed stuff, but his defense looks very solid and he will hit 25 HRs. Not prime Tulo, but a reasonable approximation of late-era Tulo at a cheap price, which is a good thing indeed.
      – Cargo will be o.k. Oh, he’ll frustrate me to no end, but I don’t see why he can’t be the Cargo of last year, which is basically an average-ish corner outfielder. And if Desmond’s return (some research: Desmond is better against lefties than righties; even in his really bad 2015 he was an above-average hitter vs . lefties) allows Cargo to sit against certain lefties, his overall performance will be more acceptable. I stand by my comment that our former 5-skill player is now a 2-skill (hit with power, throw) player, but again, I don’t think he’ll be a negative performer over the course of a whole season.
      – Bud Black is a godsend. I wondered why he’s strictly platooning Wolters and Garneau since (to my mind) Wolters is the better player. I looked up minor league splits. Guess what? Wolters always struggled mightily against lefties. (Not that he hit righties that well, but as we can see, “well enough for a good defensive catcher” is accurate) Weiss, Tracy, Hurdle – they all would’ve given into the pressure to “give the guy a chance to show that he can start every day.” Ditto Amarista, who … has hardly played! (Having said that, watch him start on Sunday)
      – On a similar point: right now, Otto is still trying to get back to that April-May 2015 form. But even so, he’s a righty killer. Which goes well with Dunn and McGee as situational lefty relievers. And Black is using them almost optimally in my humble opinion.
      – German Marquez is about to grab that Jon Gray spot, and yes, I’m optimistic about that.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        April 22, 2017

        Marquez is winning that spot as you note Ag. His two ABQ outings have been impressive.

        Reply
    • sdcarp

      April 22, 2017

      I’m walking down the street tonight in Carmel by the Sea (I know….rough life) tonight wearing my old-school Nike “Rockies Baseball” shirt and a guy says “I hate the Rockies.” I laughed and looked at him. He’s wearing a Giants shirt. He says “you guys have our number.” I said “it’s already 5-0 tonight.” He said “shit” and walked away.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 23, 2017

      Awesome, Carp! We’re … relevant! And if that trip to Carmel is a business trip, I’m obviously in the wrong business …

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        April 23, 2017

        Ag – it’s my “wanna be, but not really” business – cycling. Translation – expensive hobby.

        Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 23, 2017

      Chatwood: here’s a deep analytical dive into the kinds of things I was noting about how he’s putting it all together in the early going:
      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/tyler-chatwoods-new-tyler-chatwood/
      Conclusion: his velocity is up, his groundball rate is still high, his off speed pitches have more break, he’s on the verge of becoming that rare commodity – a groundball pitcher who can get that swing and miss strikeout when he needs it.

      Reply
    • Bob K.

      April 23, 2017

      Tidbits

      Nolan Arenado is now 8 for 10 with 3 walks when he bats in the first inning.

      Rockies are 7 – 0 in one run games.

      Rockies are 9 – 1 when they score first and 3 – 5 when the other team scores first.

      Rockies are 5 – 0 when Arenado hits a home run.

      Rockies are 2 – 4 when no Rockies player hits a home run.

      Reply
      • roxnsox

        April 24, 2017

        RE: record/homers. There was a stat shown yesterday that has them 5th or so in the league in percentage of runs scored off home runs. Obviously, not a good thing to be high on that list. Chicks like me dig the long ball for sure, but let’s see some more doubles and singles.

        Reply
    • sdcarp

      April 23, 2017

      Everyone take note – the days of the Sunday lineup are over. Bud smells blood in the water.

      Reply
      • Bob K.

        April 23, 2017

        Black is resting players but just not all of them on the same day.

        Reply
    • sdcarp

      April 23, 2017

      My thoughts on Cargo and ALL aging stars on small/mid-market teams –

      It’s no secret I’m a fan of selling high, especially when it applies to small/mid-market teams. I said two years before we did it that we should trade Tulo. I said two + years ago we should trade Cargo. If I’m a Pirates fan, I’d say they should have traded McCutcheon last year. If I’m a Rays fan, I say they should have traded Longoria three years ago. Aging is brutal. No one escapes it. Some “age” a little slower than others, but time waits for no one and the small and mid-market teams can’t go out a buy high dollar free agents to replace their past-their-prime former stars. So the sustainable model is to trade them at just the right time – and makes deals better than the A’s did for Josh Donaldson.

      Back to Cargo – Ag makes an interesting point above. If platooned, he can still be a useful 2 tool player (throw, hit for power). As everyone knows, I’ve pooh-poohed resigning Cargo on the assumption he wants (can’t blame him) something long-term and high dollar. But let’s get hypothetical for a minute. “What if” Cargo really does love playing in Denver so much he’d consider a 3 year, 30M deal??? “What if” the Rox really moved Ian Desmond around such that he could play 1st base some and RF some???? A scenario like this softens my stance on Cargo a lot.

      Also…lo and behold, I read the Rox might just consider moving Desmond around some afterall. M-O-N-E-Y! If this transpires, it’s an awesome decision. The Rox are on a run of good decisions, so this won’t surprise me.

      Reply
      • roxnsox

        April 24, 2017

        I wonder if Reynolds’ fine glove and solid bat have anything to do with this thinking….. 🙂

        Reply
    • Doc

      April 23, 2017

      What’s up with the midgets throwing at Wolters? Hit him in the back and next at bat throw at his head? I hope the Rox respond in kind at the next opportunity.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 24, 2017

      .211 hitting Tim Tebow scores the winning run vs. Asheville – HBP, comes around to score … Riley Pint goes 3 high pitch count innings as a starter.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 24, 2017

      Oh, and RMH: Jack Wynkoop rebounds from a disastrous start with 8 shutout innings for Hartford. Ryan McMahon continues his Trevor Story-esque reemergence as a prospect too …

      Reply

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