STAGGERING HOME, IN CONTROL

STAGGERING HOME, IN CONTROL

ROX UP BY 2 OVER BREWERS FOR VISITING WILD CARD; MARLINS, DODGERS ON FOR 3 EACH, THEN IT’S A WRAP

With the “journalists” at TV broadcast partner AT+T SportsNet concentrated exclusively upon the mustache it is forcing analyst Ryan Spilborghs to wear, the Colorado Rockies stumbled back into Denver yesterday evening for a short night of rest ahead of their penultimate series of MLB Season 2017, a 3-game standoff with the Miami Marlins starting tonight at 6:40 MT at Coors Field in Lodo.  The mustache is currently 2-4, is averaging 2-1/2 runs a game, and got shut-out 3 times.

No sooner had the Colorado offense heated-up than it melted down.  Carlos Gonzalez was 1 for 12 for the week with 6 strikeouts and took a seat with a banged-up shoulder.  Trevor Story relatively tore it up, going 4 for 23 with 10 strikeouts, and Charlie Blackmon had a rare week in the company of the rest of mankind, managing only 3 hits in the 22 at-bats he logged over 6 games.  Week 26 started Tuesday in San Francisco where the Giants advised the Rockies they might as well just buzz-off.  Johnny Cueto and 3 relievers held them to 3 runs on Monday, and walked-off on three 9th inning singles and a sacrifice fly off of Chris Rusin.  Matt Moore and 5 of his bullpen mates shut them out on Wednesday afternoon.

The road trip, featuring the 4th and 5th place teams in the NL West, shifted south to San Diego on Thursday, where Colorado was shut-out again, this time by Clayton Richard, Kirby Yates, and Brad Hand.  Tyler Anderson got the start for the Rockies, and surrendered only 3 over 5-2/3, but that wouldn’t cut it with the offense declining to score.  Friday saw the 4-game slide interrupted.  The scoreless skein ran-out to 24 innings before Nolan Arenado and Ian Desmond delivered solo homers off of former teammate Jordan Lyles.  Jon Gray held the Padres to a run on 5 hits and a walk over 6-complete and struck out 8.  Colorado got to Lyles for 2 more in the 7th, the first on a solo homer from Story.  Desmond singled, stole 2nd, and scored on a base hit by Jonathan Lucroy for run no. 4.

Saturday the Rockies got another chance at a former teammate, Jhoulys Chacin, and elected to give the once promising right-hander a free pass.  Chacin stifled his one-time buddies on but a hit and 3 bases-on-balls over his 6 innings, then Craig Stammen, Buddy Baumann, Yates and Hand did the shutting-down during the 7th, 8th, and 9th frames.  But yesterday the Rockies finally found their hitting shoes, getting to Luis Perdomo, who went 5, for single runs in the 1st and 2nd, and 2 in the 3rd.  German Marquez held San Diego to 2 scores over 5, and Colorado got another run off of Kyle McGrath in the top of the 6th, but Scott Oberg had a rough time in the bottom of the inning, surrendering 2 more for a narrow 5-4 edge, which held until the 9th when Pat Valaika, on for Arenado, who banged-up a palm on a “funky swing” on his at-bat in the 5th, drove a solo homer into the left-field seats with one-out.  Blackmon followed with a solo shot to right, then Ryan Hanigan singled and pinch-runner Ryan McMahon scored on a double by 1st-baseman Mark Reynolds for an 8-4 Rockies’ victory.  Arenado is back for the contest with the Marlins tonight, hitting 3rd behind Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu.

The St Louis Cardinals fell by a score of 4-1 to the Pirates in Pittsburgh, and the Brewers got shut-out 5-0 by the World Champion Chicago Cubs in Milwaukee, dropping the Cards to 2-1/2, and the Brewers to 2 games behind Colorado for the remaining NL Wild Card.  St Louis gets the pleasure of hosting the Cubs for 4 in St Louis starting tonight.  Milwaukee has a Monday breather before the Cincinnati Reds visit for 3, then the Brewers head to Missouri to close 2017 out with 3 against the Cards at Busch Stadium.

In the meantime Tyler Chatwood (8-13, 4.56) gets the go tonight against 30 year-old right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne (0-3, 4.37) of Miami.  Anderson faces Luis Urena, another righty, in another 6:40 start Tuesday evening, and then there’s one last television-less contest Wednesday afternoon, when Jon Gray will be opposed by the left-hander Adam Conley.  Thursday is an off day before the lordly Los Angeles Dodgers arrive for 3 on the weekend to close-out the regular season.

Somewhere back in the archives of this column you will find some complimentary comments on the subject of AT+T SportNet, which was known as ROOT Sports at the time, for cleaning up its act and executing tight, precise, to-the-point telecasts during the early stages of the 2017 season.  One needs to be careful slinging around compliments, especially when they involve people in the television business, because the quality of the broadcasts has deteriorated considerably since then, largely due to AT+T’s inexplicable obsession with turning its top talent, Spilborghs, into its Broadcasting Buffoon.  You know how it goes, “the book” says you have your play-by-play team, a guy like the late Craig Sager (Marc Stout) to prowl the sidelines, and a pretty girl (Jenny) to handle the “human interest” angles.  But one of the play-by-play guys, I guess owing to the incomparable Bob Uecker, who rode the role all the way to the Hall of Fame (with a seat in the front row), is supposed to be a happy-go-lucky, fun loving goofy guy, apparently no matter what.

George Frazier played the role for the Rockies until his retirement in 2015, even though he wasn’t that type of guy at all, and to this day AT+T continues to perpetuate the myth:  Drew Goodman can hardly keep from drooling all over himself whenever he recalls good old George, “that zany guy.”  Spilborghs isn’t that type of guy either, in fact he’s the smartest and most insightful member of the broadcast team.  The telecasts are consistently superior when Spilborghs is in the booth or working the camera well down by the dugouts, and AT+T is wounding itself mortally with this misguided attempt to make him play the fool.  But I guess that’s what they like, looking foolish.  Pitiful.

Six games to go for a chance to break the Diamondbacks’ hearts and steal a trip into the playoffs.  Hold on to your hats, it’s bound to be bumpy.

jim-miller

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

16 Comments

    • rockymountainhigh

      September 25, 2017

      This is why we lost tonight, our inability to put away 8 and/or 9 hole hitters. Their 8 hole hitter provided all of Miami offense tonight.

      Reply
      • roxnsox

        September 26, 2017

        How about they can’t bring runners home? Bahhhhh.

        Reply
    • Jeem

      September 26, 2017

      Tough loss on line shot double play.

      Superb telecast by AT+T tonight. Funny how that works. No screwing around – no Twitter Take-Over – just strong coverage of the action. What’s so hard about that? Nice job Drew and Spilly.

      Reply
      • roxnsox

        September 26, 2017

        I enjoy EVERYTHING about what Spilly brings. I’m just one of the plebes, I guess.

        Reply
    • sdcarp

      September 27, 2017

      In the name of the Rockies playoff hopes as well as the title hopes of my fantasy team – I want a Jon Gray “W” and Chris Rusin “HD” this afternoon.

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      September 27, 2017

      Great win! Cubs are ahead of the Cards late.

      Reply
      • roxnsox

        September 27, 2017

        Great THAT they won! Bats alive! That sloppy late pitching and burning of the pen, not so much. I guess I’m Eeyore until it’s sewn up

        Reply
    • Bob K.

      September 27, 2017

      For RMH
      The Rockies ignored your plea to walk Stanton. Over the three games Stanton was 1-12 with 4 Ks. His lone hit was a harmless 2 out double off of Dunn in the 9th inning of game 2. He was not walked in any of the games and did not have any sacrifices or RBIs. Well done Rockies pitching staff.

      Reply
      • rockymountainhigh

        September 27, 2017

        I was happy to see Tyler Anderson and Jon Gray pitch aggressively to Stanton and succeed. It gives them confidence to handle Goldy, Martinez, Turner, and Bellinger.

        Reply
      • sdcarp

        September 28, 2017

        To be fair, I was squarely in the “don’t pitch to Giancarlo” camp as well.

        Reply
    • Bill

      September 27, 2017

      Magic Number 2!!!! And 1 will get us to Game 163, Dodgers still have something to play for. (Home Field advantage in WS). But that’s ok. Watched a few innings, then had a meeting, watched a few more innings, then had to go out. But what I saw and listened to was good. Gray is the real deal and Anderson may be also. The kids (Senzatella, Freeland and Hoffman) struggled late and I think that may hurt us if we do get into the real playoffs after beating Arizona. I would guess German and Bettis the next two starters. Cargo has been great lately but only against right-handers. Would BB have the balls to sit him against LA which has all, or almost all, left-handed starters?

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        September 28, 2017

        Bill – I’ve noted before, I like Gray in the 1 game WC format against Greinke, We’ve had some success against Greinke – at times. “If” we get past that game, I honestly think our rotation would then go Anderson > Bettis > Marquez. My fear is that the DBacks go Robbie Ray instead of Greinke. I don’t think they’ll do that though……because Ray has owned the Dodgers this year and sets up nicely as the game #1 pitcher in that series.

        Note – the Dodgers are NOT going to pitch Yu Darvish Sunday, even though it’s his turn and would keep him on normal rest for game #2 of the Division series. I’m speculating Roberts doesn’t want the Rockies to see Darvish.

        Reply
    • Bob K.

      September 28, 2017

      MLBNetwork’s Bill Ripken likes the Rockies chances against the Diamnondbacks in a one game playoff against Greinke. They aired a number of different Rockies hitting home runs against Greinke and pointed out that the players they featured were not named Blackmon or Arenado.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        September 28, 2017

        Story has always seemed very comfortable against Greinke – to the point that I’m surprised that Greinke hasn’t thrown at him to back him off the plate some.

        Reply
    • Agbayani

      September 28, 2017

      Cubs leading the Cards 1-0 in the 6th. Question: should I want the Cubs to win and finish off the Cards? Or should I want the Cards to comeback and win so that they’ll have something to play for against the Brewers (our main competitors now) this weekend? All I know is that the NL “Wild Card 2” race is the only race left in MLB, so all eyes will be on us. This is fun!

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        September 28, 2017

        Ag – the beauty of the unbalanced schedule and this block of September Division games is that the Division teams know each other inside out. It doesn’t matter if they suck (Reds, Padres, Giants, Pirates almost). They’ll still take great pride in wrecking the season for one of their Division rivals. IMO, regardless of the Cubs/Cards outcome, the Cards will still be happy to wreck the Brewers post season hopes.

        Reply

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