ROX HOST GIANTS FOR 3 ON HOLIDAY AHEAD OF 3 IN SEATTLE
The people up in Redmond, Washington, burning the candle at both ends for the better part of 2 weeks, have finally found the key to restoring our access to the RWO, where back on June 18 the Colorado Rockies sat in 4th place in the NL West, trailing the Division leading Diamondbacks by 4-1/2, half a tick behind the 3rd place San Francisco Giants. The Rockies have not exactly “made a move” in the meantime, logging 7 wins against 6 losses, and in fact have lost considerable ground, now trailing Arizona by 6 and the Giants by 3-1/2.
The RWO, on the other hand, has been anything but idle, churning-out alarming Assessments at a dizzying pace. Foreshadowed earlier in the season, the beatification campaign for former Colorado general manager Dan O’Dowd, the BIB, is now in full swing, much to the pleasure of the vindicated O’Dowd, and it’s said the Pope is listening. After all, you don’t get dubbed the “BIB” for nothin’. But it also turns out this Jeff Bridich guy, the BIB’s successor, by honest scrutiny has become a truly horrifying character. Bridich, in fact, has made so many lousy moves they are practically impossible to recount, except for here on the RWO, where they are meticulously and devotedly chronicled. Rumors have it that Bridich has been unceremoniously asked to leave a fried-chicken shack in the Washington, DC area, and I personally have heard that if you get too close he has a disturbingly peculiar smell.
That all being as it is, the Rockies continue to go nowhere. They took a hit versus Jacob DeGrom of the New York Mets on the 18th, then ran-off 3 straight to get a skein at Coors Field off to a good start, and by the time they defeated the Florida Marlins the following Friday, people all across the state were starting to remark that life on earth wasn’t nearly as cruel and unforgiving as it seemed back on Monday. But Saturday Colorado suddenly realized it was the Marlins over there in the opposition dugout and promptly dissolved for the final two games of the home stand, then lost the first 2 of 3 in San Francisco to tag 4 straight losses on the tail of the 4 straight wins. Doom hung in the air yet again, a dreadful Marine Layer over AT&T Park.
All-star 2nd-baseman DJ LeMahieu took charge of the situation on Thursday afternoon with a 3 for 4, 5 RBI effort that included a 2-run 9th inning homer that secured a 9-8 win for the Rockies and bailed right-hander Adam Ottavino out of an 8th inning malfunction that had temporarily afforded the Giants an 8-7 lead. On to Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles for the weekend, Tyler Anderson bested Rich Hill of the Dodgers with eight 4 hit/8 strike-out innings on Friday night as Pat Valaika, Nolan Arenado, and Chris Iannetta delivered solo home runs for Colorado. German Marquez was nearly as slick on Saturday afternoon, also lasting eight. Marquez surrendered a solo shot to Kiké Hernandez in the 6th inning of a 2 hit/9 strike-out appearance, and the Rockies scored single runs in the 4th, 5th and 7th to roll to a second 3-1 victory. The trip came to a close yesterday afternoon when the Dodgers outlasted Colorado 6-4. Chad Bettis got the start and gave-up 2 before leaving with a “hot finger,” and I am going to decline to describe what people are telling me that is supposed to be. Chris Rusin, who’s shown signs of getting back in the groove, handled 2-1/3 but allowed LA to tie things-up with another 2, then another unexpected bout with fallibility struck Ottavino when a Matt Kemp homer, Yasiel Puig double, and Joc Pederson single plated 2 to put down the Rockies.
Major Fail Gerardo Parra is hitting .372 over the past month, now up to .305 for the season, and you have wonder, bad as he is, why nobody seems to be able to beat Parra out. Unspeakably Awful Ian Desmond is raking at a more modest .272 over the same stretch, including 8 homers and 20 RBI. Trevor Story continues his productive rise, and Tom Murphy, up since the 18th and immediately doing most of the catching, has added some length to a one-time listless offense. Opening Day starter Jon Gray, on the other hand, has been exiled to Albuquerque for the purpose of regaining his mojo. Antonio Senzatela will be recalled to assume Gray’s spot in the rotation, and while we now know who Senzatela was being “stretched-out” to replace, Gray’s future is giving rise to all sorts of intriguing speculation, especially considering he loosened in the ‘pen at least once in back of closer Wade Davis the past fortnight.
Steady Kyle Freeland (7-6. 3.29) gets the start for the Rockies tonight against Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner (1-2, 2.51) in a battle of left-handers that tees-off at 6:40 MT in Lodo. Tomorrow will see right-handers at 6:10 pm as Senzatela tangles with San Francisco’s Chris Stratton, then Wednesday comes back to lefties with fireworks as Anderson goes up against Andrew Suarez. There’s rest Thursday ahead of a short trip to the far northwest for 3 with the Seattle Mariners.
With the All-star break looming and big trade deadline decisions coming-up at the end of the month, there’s a lot of season left for those of us who’d like to continue pulling for this year’s Rockies before building the 2019 version. Broken record: time to get serious.