THE WORM IS TURNING

ROX AT .495; DODGERS, FISH ON AT COORS

Despite a 6-4 loss to the Mets Sunday afternoon at Citi Field in New York, week 16 of the 2016 MLB season will stand as a milestone for the Colorado Rockies, reminiscent of that 2007 sweep in St Louis that set-off the astonishing run to the World Series. They won 5 times for the week, bookended by 2 losses, taking 2 of 3 from the Baltimore Orioles and 3 of 4 from the New York Mets. No absence-of-Glavine-Smoltz-Maddux cracks this week– Colorado did its damage against the likes of deGrom, Matz, Colon and Syndergaard, the then 1st-place Orioles and the still contending Mets. The Rockies evened their record at 52-52 on Saturday, vaulting to within 7 games of 2nd place Los Angeles, 9 of the Division leading Giants.

Performances by several notorious Rockies may provide the recently consecrated Presidential candidates reason to believe their “high negatives” are not really reason for anxiety. The hated Nick Hundley had key hits to spark wins on Wednesday and Friday, a game-tying home run and a go-ahead single. The hated Jorge De La Rosa had 2 quality starts, including his 100th career victory. Most curious, the hated Scott Oberg bailed-out the still hated Jake McGee on both Friday and Saturday, Saturday’s appearance a 3-pitch/3-out dazzler. McGee’s negatives remain a concern.

Were it not for a bungled 1-2-3 double-play grounder in the bottom of the 10th by Jordan Lyles and Hundley on Monday, Colorado might be looking at a 6 out of 7 week. Adam Jones scored on the error credited to Lyles, and Baltimore walked-off. The Rockies got over on Chris Tillman, previously undefeated at Camden Yards in 2016, on Tuesday. Chad Bettis got his 9th win, and Carlos Gonzalez, still a Rockie, ignited the scoring with a 2-run double in the 3rd. Big Jon Gray was the man on Wednesday, allowing a single run on 5 hits in 7 innings. Colorado scored 3 in the 5th to best the O’s. On Thursday Tyler Anderson went toe-to-toe with Jacob deGrom of New York in a pitchers’ dual the Rockies secured with a 2-run 9th. The other Tyler, Chatwood, was out and winging it around again alarmingly in the opening frames of Friday’s contest before suddenly regaining his range and delivering a 7-frame/3-hit effort. Hundley’s single gave Colorado a 2-1 lead they built to 6-1, largely thanks to a 3-run blast by Gonzalez in the 9th. Saturday was the stately affair featuring the aging De La Rosa and elderly Bartolo Colon. DLR held New York to 2 and the Rockies got to Colon for 3 in the 4th and 2 in the 5th. David Dahl had a 2-run homer, his career-second, in the 4th, and Colorado scored insurance runs in the 7th on back-to-back sacrifice flies. Sunday was the bummer day. The Rockies had a 4-3 lead going into the bottom of the 7th when Boone Logan, still a Rockie, came on for Bettis and surrendered a couple of walks before serving-up a 3-run gopher to Neil Walker.

Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich elected to stand pat at the trade deadline, perhaps a disappointment to some, but a potential contender has emerged in LoDo quite a bit faster than most anticipated. With more help in the pipeline and in the absence of a killer return for one of the existing group, prudence seems to be the wisdom. There are a lot of well-suited parts in-place.

The Los Angeles Dodgers visit tonight for the first of 3, starting at 6:40 MT. The Miami Marlins arrive for 3 more over the weekend. Right-hander Brandon McCarthy (2-1, 2.39) gets the call for LA against Gray (7-4, 3.94) of Colorado. McCarthy was out Wednesday against Tampa Bay. He only made it through 4, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits, and lost despite striking-out 7. Gray’s win in New York was Wednesday as well. He threw 93 pitches, walking 2 and striking-out 3.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has his freshly acquired right-fielder, Josh Reddick, in the cleanup slot in tonight’s lineup. He joins an outfield that includes nos. 7 and 8 hitters Joc Peterson, the center-fielder, and Howie Kendrick, who’s in left. The hated Walt Weiss continues to rest shortstop Trevor Story, and that jammed thumb worries me. Happened to me about 25 years ago, and as the old song goes, it “still hurts me but I don’t mind” (Steve Earle, No. 29, “Exit 0,” 1987). Daniel Descalso gets the call at short tonight, and he’ll hit 7th. Dahl is the left fielder and he slides into Story’s customary no. 5 hole.

Denver weather’s just about what you’d expect for suppertime in the Mile High. There’s a 50-50 chance of thundershowers at game time, slacking off as the night wears on. Wind’ll be breezing out toward left-center at about 9 MPH, so there may be some big flies for the outfield partisans to harvest. ROOT’s got yer TV and KOA’s got yer radio, unless you like Spanish, which you’ll get on 1150 KRNV.

LOS ANGELES (59-46)
Chase Utley (L) 2B
Corey Seager (L) SS
Justin Turner (R) 3B
Josh Reddick (L) RF
Adrian Gonzalez (L) 1B
Yasmani Grandal (S) C
Joc Pederson (L) CF
Howie Kendrick (R) LF
Brandon McCarthy (R) P

COLORADO (52-53)
Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
Carlos Gonzalez (L) RF
Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
David Dahl (L) LF
Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
Daniel Descalso (L) SS
Nick Hundley (R) C
Jon Gray (R) P

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Bill
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Bill

Thumb injuries are horrible. Takes forever to heel. I bent my thumb back in the spring or summer of 1998 and ended up seeing a specialist in Aurora who was the Rockies “hand” specialist. He had just treated a Rockies pitcher (Mike DeJean?) who had just broken his hand when he punched a wall or a locker. I ended up with a purple cast. And even now 18+ years later it will sometime act up when bad weather is coming.… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

I tuned in a little late on TV and just heard Drew say “you feel horrible for Story.” My heart sank to my shoes – whaaaat?! Got online and now see that his injury was not, in fact, minor. Damn. Damn. Damn. I feel horrible for Story and for everyone on the team and all of us who were being given a wonderful thing to watch. DAMN. 🙁 Well, heal it up, kiddo…see ya in the spring…

sdcarp
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sdcarp

RMH – did you take your Story jersey off? Did you wash it? This is your fault!

Agbayani
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Agbayani

Jeem, you’re right — our RWO whipping boys had a nice week. Except Jake McGee of course. Random thoughts: 1. Losing Story hurts. A lot. I kept waiting for the extended slump that his high K rate suggests was coming, but it never came. There’s a huge drop-off with any of his replacements. There’s no SS prospects until we get to Brendan Rodgers all the way down in Low A ball. 2. Trade deadline inaction: this, weirdly, doesn’t bother me.… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
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rockymountainhigh

Will Chris Rusin go 4 innings to get the save? That will be awesome to rest BP another day while the Dodgers has to burn arms in the first game of the series. Don’t push the panic button over the Story injury. David Dahl replaces his bat and Descalso replace his mitt. I’m going to preserve the Story jersey and go back to the Tulo jersey cuz it has a WS patch. Bring back the glorious days of August and… Read more »

roxnsox
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roxnsox

Panic button? There’s nothing to panic about, because the Rockies are not contending. Remember? I’m just torn up for the kid, and the rest of us who won’t get to see how many rookie records he would have shattered, how many home runs he would end up with, and will miss the fun of watching him.

Agbayani
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Agbayani

At least we still have Jake McGee to whip! Drew: McGee’s velocity picks up in the warm weather. Send him to Albuquerque!

Pooter
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Pooter

I predict a slump busting, coming out party for Nolan Arenado tonight. 4-5 2 bombs, 6 RBI

Go Rox!

Agbayani
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Agbayani

This is fun. Really fun. Please, Rockies, keep it going for just a little bit longer … particularly nice to see them humiliate the Dodgers.

Bill
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Bill

I’m out of town and didn’t see the game but watched a few highlights on ESPN. Like the homers but didn’t like Cargo’s injury. Hope it’s better than it looks. What’s great about this streak is that, despite the HRs and runs tonight, is the starting pitching. Will it continue? Gray and Anderson have pitched well at home. What a difference from a year ago for Gray! JDLR and Bettis have been up and down at Coors and Chatwood has… Read more »

Bob in Indy
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Bob in Indy

Anyone see the end of the Phillies 12th inning win over the Giants? Maikel Franco hit a bases loaded single to win it. Well, not exactly. The stupid runner on first never touched second. An outfielder retrieved the ball and threw it to second for the second out of the inning. So poor Maikel ends up with a game winning fielder’s choice instead of a hit. And they pay these guys how much?

rockymountainhigh
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rockymountainhigh

Yup I did and as soon as I saw the Giants lose, I turned off MLB.TV. I didn’t realize the runner on first didn’t run to 2B. Luckily, everyone else touched their next bag or else it would have been a double play to end the inning!

ProgMatinee
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ProgMatinee

I saw something similar last week when the Indians had a walk off. I think both guys running to first and second on a bases loaded nobody out hit stopped running and turned around to celebrate at home with everyone. Luckily the guy going to third actually touched third otherwise it could have been a triple play. This happens so infrequently, but the MLB needs to step in and squash it and say that at least the guy running to… Read more »

jaredean
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jaredean

We might need Ed to jump in on this one if i’m mistaken, but it is my understanding that if there are less than 2 outs then if a runner crosses home plate before the third out is recorded then the run counts. So, if that is true, as long as he crosses home from third before a double (or triple) play it is over and the walk-off is in tact.

rockymountainhigh
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rockymountainhigh

If the outs are forced then run do not score. If there’s a tag play, then runner has to touch home before third out.