SATISFYING SPLIT

SATISFYING SPLIT

ROX MANAGE ROUGH STAND IN LODO 6-4;
HEAD EAST

The Colorado Rockies finished week 6 of the 2017 MLB season with an apparently modest record of 4-3, but the evenness masks the competition that was encountered.  Colorado took 2 of 3 from the World Champion Chicago Cubs, then split with Division rival Los Angeles, and hangs on to a 1-1/2 game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West.

Sunday’s triumph over LA took on what was probably an inappropriate level of import.  The Rockies had taken the series opener on Thursday, but dropped the Friday and Saturday contests, so the outcome Sunday meant the difference between a 5-5 and
6-4 home stand, a 1/2 versus 1-1/2 game lead in the division, and between an upbeat trip east to Minneapolis or a 3-game losing streak.  The match took on an air of Fear and Loathing from the start.  The Dodgers came right out with 2 over Antonio Senzatela, but Colorado had an immediate 3-run answer.  LA tied things in the 2nd and took the lead in the 3rd, which held until Pat Valaika smacked a 2-run homer in the 4th.  The Rockies’ 7-4 lead held until the 8th, when the Dodgers got to Adam Ottavino for 2 to close within 1, but then Valaika was money again, driving another one deep with Carlos Gonzalez aboard.

The week’s losses were largely attributed to single bad innings, each involving 3 bases-on-balls, and Professor RMH will tell you that’ll get you beat every time, even if you’re lucky.  Kyle Freeland was the culprit in the night cap of Tuesday’s double-header with Chicago, and the Colorado infield added to Freeland’s woes as both DJ LeMahieu and Trevor Story got cases of the bootsie.  The Cubs rode the generosity to a 5-run 2nd, and Jon Lester would give no quarter in what became an 8-1 Chicago win. Tyler Chatwood drew the Kershaw card on Friday and also had command problems in the 2nd.  Chatwood walked 3 as well, which did not sit well with Rockies’ manager Bud Black, and Los Angeles scored 5 on the way to a 6-2 victory.  The other loss came Saturday when Alex Wood and three Dodgers relievers were fairly immaculate in a 4-0 shutdown of the Colorado attack.

The Rockies’ offense was generally absent in the losses but was raking in the wins.  Mark Reynolds continues to lead the effort, LeMahieu and Charlie Blackmon continue to deliver at the top of the order, Nolan is being Nolan, and Gonzalez is starting to shows signs of life, much to the delight of the professor.  The offense did have one troubling day in a win, the Wednesday rubber game versus the Cubs, when German Marquez, who also delivered 8 innings of shutout pitching, supplied most of the offense with a 2-out, 2-run single in the 7th.

Story wrenched his shoulder on a checked-swing and has hit the Disabled List.  Valaika is getting the starts at short and along with the resurgence from Gonzalez has energized the offense.  Tony Wolters returns from the DL tonight and Dustin Garneau has been demoted to Albuquerque in deference to the good work from the veteran Ryan Hanigan.

Colorado is in the Twin Cities tonight for the first of 3 with the Twins ahead of 3 in Cincinnati and 3 in Philadelphia before returning to Colorado for a Memorial Day set with the Cards.  Freeland (3-2, 2.93) gets the go tonight at 6:10 MT against Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes (4-1, 4.74).  The Twins are 19-15 and lead the AL Central by a half-game over Cleveland in a tight division that has on 4 games between worst and first.  Marquez will have a tough test tomorrow against Ervin Santana, then Thursday afternoon Chatwood takes on Jose Berrios.  The professor will school you on the matchups for the series at that corny little ball park down there on the Ohio River ahead of the trip’s final leg way out there on the east coast.

jim-miller

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

12 Comments

    • rockymountainhigh

      May 16, 2017

      In the last several years when Colorado hits a long road trip they slip back and fast fading into oblivion. Let’s do well on this trip to send notice to everyone else we’re for real. It all starts with hitting away from Coors. Don’t let the Coors effect grab ahold of the bats.

      In one power ranking the Rockies all the way up to #4!

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      May 16, 2017

      It’s so cool watching BB talk to/coach/counsel pitchers (Freeland in this case) between innings. None of this voodoo “don’t talk to the starting pitcher” stuff. BB brings so, so much to the game than poor WW did….it’s not even close.

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      May 16, 2017

      Freeland is an impressive athlete.

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      May 17, 2017

      Some random thoughts:

      1. Really impressed with the way Freeland (and Senza on Sunday) battled and gave the team 6 innings + even though neither had good stuff.
      2. Chris Rusin looks really, really good at the moment.
      3. Rainy, nasty forecast in Minneapolis today. We may be playing 2 tomorrow.
      4. Has anyone noticed the bullpen performance in ABQ. Pretty damn good! Austin House, Matt Carasiti – two names I have written off – are dealing. I did notice BB spending a lot of time with Carasiti in ST. That “should” have been a clue to me (but wasn’t).
      5. Tom Murphy is getting close. He’ll need a rehab assignment. With the way Wolters and Hanigan are playing, no real rush. But….our first legit trade opportunity may be on the relatively close horizon. Hanigan…..being an old guy, can refuse a minor league assignment, and probably wouldn’t clear waivers even if he could be DFA’d. Garneau has some value. This situation bears watching.
      6. Lots of talk about the Nats and Yankees being so good. Not many mention the Astros. They’re right up there with the Nats.

      Reply
      • Bob K.

        May 17, 2017

        My guess is that Murphy may spend another year in AAA. Bud Black has stated how much he likes Hanigan’s veteran presence and what he brings to the pitching staff. I do not expect Hanigan to be demoted or moved. Wolter’s certainly brings a special presence to the club also and deserves to continue to do so.

        Reply
    • Agbayani

      May 17, 2017

      That play on a popup by Wolters yesterday might be a play that no other catcher can make. It’s fun watching a catcher who moves like a middle infielder. He continues to defy my expectations at the plate too. As for Murphy: his fate this year is in his hands. If he hits anything like he did in the second half last year, there’s no holding him back, particularly since this club could still use a little offensive oomph. Speaking of oomph and continually exceeding my expectations: Charlie Blackmon has been the most valuable Rockie position player this year, and that’s not because Nolan is having a bad season. Charlie is on course to keep his amazing year-to-year improvement streak in place. This isn’t supposed to happen when you get into your 30s. Damn lucky that they didn’t trade him this winter to “make room” for Cargo-Parra-Dahl …

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      May 17, 2017

      Regarding Hanigan vs. Murphy > I’ve been in the “Rox need a little more thump in the lineup” camp since last season. Murphy provides this, and balances well with Wolters. Hanigan has been a GREAT pickup, no doubt about it. But he’s a walking “large sample size” veteran player. Almost 1900 ABs, 29 HRs, just over 200 RBIs. I’ve noted several times on RWO how Hanigan was my “go-to” #2 Catcher during his Cincinnati days due to his high OBP (relative to his other offensive stats). But even that has been in serious decline since 2013. Bottom line….I think Bridich and gang caught lightning in a bottle with Hanigan.

      Here’s what I’d do….offer the dude a coaching position in the Rox organization, as soon as Murphy has gone through rehab and proven he’s ready to come back.

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      May 18, 2017

      Speaking of large sample sizes – Ervin Santana has pitched over 2200 innings in his long (since 2005) major league career. He has a career ERA of just over 4. So far this season, he’s off to a 6-1 start with an ERA of 1.50. What I’m saying is Mr. Santana is due a large regression to the mean. The Rox should go ahead and start that regression today!

      Jose Berrios – the Twinkies other pitcher today, is an elite Prospect. Make him throw strikes. Work the counts.

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      May 18, 2017

      26-15. Think about that. Let it soak in.

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      May 18, 2017

      I’ve let it soak and my mathematics say we simply go .500 the rest of the season and we finish with 87 wins.

      But i am more focused on how long we can stay in first place? We’re in first at least through May 20th. I don’t think the franchise has ever sat in first more than a couple of weeks and it’s been about 5 weeks and counting?

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      May 18, 2017

      My typical random thoughts:

      1. Another series win, against a decent team, on the road! Do we know this team?
      2. With Sano, Buxton, and Berrios….the Twins have 3 young studs to build around.
      3. Shit weather in the forecast for Cincinnati this weekend.
      4. The Braves losing Freddie Freeman is brutal. He’s somewhat quietly turned into a great player. I have to wonder if this enhances the chance of Braves being sellers, specifically Julio Teheran.
      5. The DBacks have AJ Pollack on the DL for a while.

      Reply

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