RUMBLIN,’ STUMBLIN,’ BREAKIN’ EVEN

RUMBLIN,’ STUMBLIN,’ BREAKIN’ EVEN

PADRES IN TOWN FOR 3 IN ADVANCE OF TRIP TO TROPICS

The Colorado Rockies headed out of Washington, DC under a head of steam, having taken 3 of 4 from the Nationals, and set about sustaining the run with wins Monday and Tuesday over the Pirates in Pittsburgh under miserable conditions, then got knocked-about Wednesday afternoon before flying back to Colorado for 3 at Coors Field against the Chicago Cubs.  Chicago got the win under more crappy weather on Friday; the Rox retaliated Saturday, then with a sold-out park and spectacular Colorado spring conditions Sunday, failed to muster a sufficient comeback, dropping the weekend set to the Cubs.

They’re back at Coors Field tonight.  It’s Chad Bettis (3-0, 1.44) toeing-up against Brian Mitchell (0-2, 5.03) of the San Diego Padres in a battle of right-handers.  The Padres are in Denver for 3 before an off-day Thursday prior to a 3-day visit to Miami, Florida on the weekend.

A week ago tonight the Rockies got out to a 5-0 lead after 4 behind German Marquez.  They took a 2-0 lead in the 1st on a DJ LeMahieu walk and Chris Iannetta double, then with 1-out in the 4th Ian Desmond walked, Carlos Gonzalez singled, and Trevor Story, “Air,” made contact, driving the runners home with his 4th 2018 homer, a line-shot to left.  Pittsburgh tallied single runs off Marquez in the 5th and 6th before Chris Rusin and Adam Ottavino came-on and laid down the hammer.  Charlie Blackmon blasted home run no. 7, a solo-shot in the 8th, to nail-down a 6-2 victory.

Tonight’s starter, Bettis, was out on Tuesday and turned-in a 7-1/3 inning masterpiece.  His offense was selective, at best, scratching-out single runs on a walk, Blackmon single, and force-play in the opening inning, then another in the 4th on walks to Desmond and Gonzalez followed by a double from Air, who actually had an excellent week, logging 9 hits and 6 RBI to go with a relatively tame 5 strikeouts.  Bettis held the Pirates scoreless on 5 hits and 2 walks while striking-out 3.  Brian Shaw and Jake McGee each handled a batter in the 8th before Wade Davis came on for his 8th save.  Pittsburgh got loose on Kyle Freeland after 3 the next day.  Sean Rodriguez hit a 2-run homer in a 3-run 4th, and singles by Adam Frazier and Jordy Mercer leading-off the 5th chased the left-hander in favor of Scott Oberg, who couldn’t subdue the Bucs further.  3 more crossed the plate on a Josh Bell single and David Freese double.  The Pirates added another in the 6th and 3 more in the 8th off left-hander Mike Dunn, running-out to a 10-3 win.

Following a day-off Thursday another drubbing was in the cards for Friday.  Agbayani’s latest project, Jon Gray, made it into the 6th, but it wasn’t pretty.  The Cubs tallied 2 in the 1st, another in the 3rd and 2 more in the 5th before Gray opened the 6th surrendering a single to Addison Russell and a triple to Jason Hayward.  Gray gave way to Shaw, who had no answers, and 29 pitches later Chicago had 7 for the inning on their way to a 16-5 laugher.  But Colorado regrouped Saturday.  Tyler Anderson turned-in 6, 5 scoreless after spotting the Cubs 2 in the 1st.  The Rockies scored all 5 of their runs in the 5th after 2 were out.  With Mike Tauchman and Anderson on after bases-on-balls, LeMahieu doubled-in Tauchman, Gerardo Parra singled-in Anderson and LeMahieu, and after Blackmon, “Chuck Nazty,” walked, a single by Nolan Arenado and double by Air made it 5-2 Colorado.  Anderson, McGee, Ottavino, and Davis shut-down the Cubs from there.

Gonzalez had pulled a hamstring making a fine catch Wednesday afternoon, and by Sunday was placed on the 10-day DL.  Parra elected to accept his 4-game suspension from the April 11 fight with San Diego, Tauchman was demoted to AAA Albuquerque, and David Dahl and Noel Cuevas, a right-handed outfielder in apparent violation of the Rockies’ Charter, were recalled from the Isotopes.  The Cubs refused to be intimidated, running-out to a 6-0 lead over Marquez, who looked sharp until beaning Kris Bryant and losing his mojo with 2-out in the 1st.  The right-hander departed with 1-out in the 4th.  Colorado rallied with 2 in the bottom of the 3rd, and another pair in the 5th on Blackmon and Arenado home runs.  A botched wheel play followed by a Javier Baez double moved Chicago back-out to 9-4 in the top of the 7th, but Colorado answered with 3-back in the bottom of the inning.  Nevertheless, Carl Edwards, Jr. and Brandon Morrow had little sense of humor finishing matters out.  2-out singles by Arenado and Story and a walk to Dahl had no effect in the 9th when Arenado was thrown out at the plate on a single by Desmond.

The Rockies are looking more and more like they will be very difficult to deal with, as long as they can get out ahead and nurse the young starting pitchers into the 6th.  Rusin, and unexpectedly, Ottavino, have emerged as ferocious additions to the McGee-Shaw-Davis bullpen triumvirate RMH has christened “MSD.”  So far it’s getting there, with the lead, that’s proving to be a challenge.

Bettis continues to demonstrate outstanding leadership for the young staff, and he and Mitchell are set to face off down at Coors at 6:40 MT.  Manager Bud Black has edged-away from returning Chuck N to the lead-off slot, now pushing him back into the 2-hole, essentially a swap with LeMahieu, the logic of which escapes me for the time being.  Dahl is now apparently set to be the moose, he’s hitting cleanup ahead of Air and Desmond.  It’s week 4.5.  Time to keep a-rumblin.’

jim-miller

Architectural Spec Writer Born Toledo, Ohio 4-9-55 Tiger Fan Braves Fan Rockies Fan

22 Comments

    • sdcarp

      April 23, 2018

      Full disclosure….I’m heavily invested in this game with my Fantasy team.
      Arenado $59
      DJ $23 (a steal)
      Franchy Cordero $1 (taxi round)
      Pirela $1
      Galvis $1

      Also heavily invested in the A’s….including Sean Menea ($1).

      I always end up with a west coast team.

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      April 23, 2018

      I think we see the MOD Squad tonight. (McGee, Otto, Davis)

      Otto replaces Shaw, thereby changing the nickname for backend of bullpen.

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      April 23, 2018

      Never mind MSD High Crew or the MOD Squad. We’re down to just Otto and Davis as reliable relievers.

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      April 24, 2018

      Franchy Cordero……what an athlete! The Padres are LOADED with offensive Prospects. Wait until you guys see Luis Urias and Fernando Tatis Jr.

      Stat of the day:
      Never in baseball history has there been a month with more K’s than hits. Never. Entering yesterday’s game……April 2018 5500 K’s, 5100 hits.

      Reply
    • Bob K.

      April 24, 2018

      I believe it is time to end the Oberg experiment.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        April 25, 2018

        I’m not impressed (never have been) with Pounders. Perhaps he is placeholder until Hoffman is ready then one of the SPers goes into this slot????????

        Reply
    • Bob K.

      April 25, 2018

      Winkler is finally healthy and been on the Braves 25 man roster long enough that he now fully belongs to the Braves.
      From MLBTrade Rumors:
      “Dan Winkler, RHP, Braves: Winkler’s Rule 5 status carried over all the way back to the 2014 Rule 5 Draft, as his career with the Braves has been beset by injuries. Winkler, at long last, is healthy and has seen that status expire, meaning the Braves could option him without exposing him to waivers first. Of course, with a 1.59 ERA and a 17-to-5 K/BB ratio thus far, there’s no reason for the Braves to think about doing so.”

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        April 26, 2018

        Happy for Winkler. The Rox not protecting Winkler (at a time when our current crop of SPers were in their infancy and far from certain) is one of the more bizarre (ok…..”STUPID”) decision in semi recent Rox history.

        Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 28, 2018

      Winkler: good for him, he’s had a tough climb. If I remember correctly, those were the days when we always protected luminaries such as Christhian Adames – in other words, replacement level middle infielders – and left talented pitchers exposed.
      Pounders: about all I can say is “throws strikes.” Weird that he’s been able to make it to MLB with 2 or 3 teams.
      Senza: same old Senza. I suspect he’ll get a chance to start again. That Tyler Anderson thing is a little worrying for him. I also think Hoffman is (finally) ready. We’re seeing nice K numbers his last couple times out, which suggests to me that he’s figuring things out.

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      April 29, 2018

      I’m jumping on the Bob K bandwagon…..fire the hitting coach(es) ASAP. They shouldn’t be on the plane to Chicago.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        April 29, 2018

        Bud Black has been around baseball for a LONG time. He’s been around some good hitters/hitting coaches. Wally Joyner, Merv Rettemund, and Dave Magadan (currently kicking ass as the DBacks hitting coach)to name a few. Seems to me Bud got stuck with the Rockies organizational guys when it came to hitting (coaches). Let Bud go out and hire someone. He can’t do worse.

        Reply
    • sdcarp

      April 29, 2018

      Let’s revisit my “realistic” offseason Rockies offensive “fix” – sign Todd Frazier (instead of Cargo). Keep in mind, Frazier signed a 2 year deal with the Mets for 17M. So the AAV is very similar to Cargo.

      As of today, Frazier is at a 247 BA, a very nice 389 OBP, with a WAR to date of 0.9. He’s playing some 1st and 3rd for the Mets……of course I wanted him at 1st. As of today, Rockies 1Bmen have a collective negative WAR. So that could have been +1 win at no added cost. Dahl in the OF from the onset is worth about 1 win. So……that would have been +2 wins for April. Not insignificant.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 29, 2018

      Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you the worst hitting team in baseball …. Your Colorado Rockies. On a park-adjusted basis, the Rockies brought a 75 RC+ (that’s 25% below average!) into today’s game, trailing the Marlins by a tick. And the spread increased a bit today. Even on a non-park adjusted basis, the Rockies sit around 9th in the NL; that is, even with the huge advantage offensively that is Coors, they still aren’t anywhere near the top. Carp points out one of the possible offseason fixes – Todd Frazier – who would’ve helped a little. Anything would be better than trotting out Valaika (I know, for the injured DJ now), Desmond, and Wolters at the same time. I’m really tired of hearing “we know they’ll hit” because, well, we don’t know that at all. They’ll hit better than this, yeah, but not nearly good enough. 2 runs in a 3 game series against the Marlins (did you see a great pitcher out there for them? because I didn’t) is pretty much a low point …

      Reply
      • Bob K.

        April 29, 2018

        I would like to see Wolters hit bettter and he did hit better under the previous hitting coach (Everyone hit better under the previous hitting coach). But Wolters is a far better catcher than Murphy. After today’s loss, the Rockies are 7-3 when Wolters catches and 8-11 when Iannetta catches. There are far more important things about catching than how good a catcher hits.

        Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 29, 2018

      One more stunning stat: before today, we had a .227 team batting average. How is that even possible for a team playing half its games at Coors Field?

      Reply
      • Bob K.

        April 29, 2018

        It’s possible when you hire someone who is incompetent for a hitting coach. Arenado used to be very good about not striking out and was a power pull hitter. Now he is striking out far above his normal amount and hits the ball to the opposite field and seems to have lost his power stroke. After being away from the current hitting coaches for 6 days the first thing he does when he comes back is to hit a home run. When the majority of your hitters who were previously good hitters can no longer hit effectively, there is only one common denominator (the hitting coach).

        Reply
    • Doc

      April 30, 2018

      It was my understanding that Espy is Black’s choice–that he let Doyle go and replaced him with his long time friend. Thing I noticed about this weekend is the total lack of strike zone recognition. At least on “Saturday their pitcher was painting the black, nothing over the plate, but yesterday… Yikes.

      Reply
      • Bob K.

        April 30, 2018

        That explains a lot. Far too often the “buddy system” gets people jobs they are not good at and do not deserve.

        Reply
      • sdcarp

        April 30, 2018

        Brutal blow. The DBacks are poised to take advantage of this.

        Reply

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