Rockies

PHOTOS: Colorado Rockies playoffs in 2007
Photos from the last year the Colorado Rockies went to the playoffs, 2007. [...]
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It’s Rocktober! Show us your Rockies pride for a chance to be featured as a superfan
It’s Rocktober in Colorado and as long as the Rockies are in the playoffs, we want to see your pride. Here’s how to show us your Rockies pride: Tweet your best photos to @Rocktober, or use the hashtag #RocktoberDP on Twitter or Instagram for your chance to be featured on our website. You can also post your photo on our Colorado Rockies Forum on Facebook. The best photo submissions will be displayed in a photo gallery on denverpost.com, and on our @Rocktober Twitter account. So Rockies fans, start wearing purple, snap a pic and send it our way. [...]
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Lunch Special: Rocktober live chat with Patrick Saunders
The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders chats about the Colorado Rockies as they head into Rocktober in a Lunch Special live chat, beginning at noon. Mobile users, if you don’t see the live chat, tap here. The chat window will open at 9 a.m. for readers to submit questions early. The chat is scheduled to begin at noon. (function(d, s, id) {var js,ijs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//embed.scribblelive.com/widgets/embed.js";ijs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ijs);}(document, "script", "scrbbl-js")); Related ArticlesSeptember 29, 2017 Lunch Special: Who should pitch the play-in playoff game? September 28, 2017 Lunch Special: Should CU Buffs be concerned about Steven Montez’s performance vs. Washington? September 27, 2017 Lunch Special: What’s the Avalanche’s chemistry like with Matt Duchene still on the roster? September 26, 2017 Lunch Special: Is Broncos RB Jamaal Charles getting more of a workload going forward? September 25, 2017 Lunch Special: Is the baseball juiced this year in MLB? [...]
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Rockies play to a draw against Clayton Kershaw before falling to the Dodgers in a postseason tuneup
The Rockies will need to learn some things on the fly as they step into the postseason for the first time in eight years, a drought that lasted longer than most of their players’ careers. Take, for example, Charlie Blackmon‘s curtain call. Colorado’s all-star center fielder on Friday blasted a second-deck home run to right field and the sellout crowd at Coors Field stood in applause to demand that he tip his cap. “I’ve never done that before. I didn’t really know what to do,” Blackmon said. “Ian (Desmond) told me to go up there. I said, ‘Go where?’ And then I figured out what was going on.” Saturday night, the Rockies continued to pester the pitcher pressures so many other teams. In the Dodgers’ 5-3 victory, Colorado clipped ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw for three runs in the second inning. On their way to the National League’s wild-card game at Arizona on Wednesday night, the Rockies have not learned to be intimidated. Carlos Gonzalez hit a solo homer off Kershaw to lead off the second inning, then Jonathan Lucroy ripped a run-scoring double down the left-field line and Blackmon singled in another tally, his 104th RBI this season. “I want to play playoff baseball. I really want that,” Blackmon said. “But I’m trying my best to treat every baseball game like a regular baseball game. That will give me the best chance to perform well.” Well before another sellout crowd of 48,103 settled into the seats, the Rockies celebrated in skivvies after Milwaukee lost in St. Louis, eliminating their last remaining threat. A matchup against Kershaw became a secondary concern, at least long enough for the Rockies to jump on chairs and whoop through their clubhouse. But the Rockies played their first string to a draw with the Dodgers. German Marquez, a 22-year-old rookie from Venezuela, pitched six efficient innings. He allowed only six hits and three runs, likely solidifying a spot in the Rockies’ postseason rotation if they can eliminate the Diamondbacks in Phoenix on Wednesday. Marquez issued only one walk and threw just 73 pitches. Yasiel Puig hit a two-run homer to the bullpens in the fifth inning off Marquez to tie the score 3-3 and Chris Taylor’s groundout in the seventh scored Puig to give the Dodgers a one-run lead. Chase Utley doubled in the ninth off Colorado closer Greg Holland to score Puig for a fourth time. By the fifth inning, Rockies manager Bud Black cycled in his bench players. If the NL standings were settled, the Rockies’ attack on Kershaw was not. The three-time Cy Young Award winner gave up seven hits and three runs over four innings, his briefest outing since the Rockies tagged him for four runs in just 3 2/3 innings at Los Angeles on Sept. 7. Related ArticlesSeptember 30, 2017 PHOTOS: Colorado Rockies host L.A. Dodgers, celebrate clinching playoff spot September 30, 2017 If the Rockies have an Andrew Miller, it’s Chris Rusin. And Colorado’s bullpen ready for the “magnitude.” September 30, 2017 Rockies clinch first playoff spot since 2009 as Cardinals eliminate Brewers September 29, 2017 Chad Bettis goes “old-school,” blows by the Dodgers in one giant leap for the Rockies September 29, 2017 Rockies rout Dodgers but must wait to clinch playoff spot Saturday’s start was a tuneup for Kershaw before he starts Game 1 of a National League division series Friday. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts left Kershaw’s length up to him. He left after only 57 pitches. In six starts against the Rockies this season, Kershaw has a 4.01 ERA in 33 2/3 innings — his highest ERA against a team he has faced more than once. But he will finish with the NL’s lowest ERA (2.31). He has lowered his career ERA every season for the past nine years, to 2.36. The Rockies, meanwhile, have homered in six consecutive games. They have scored 37 runs through five games on this homestand. They have one game remaining to extend the third-best record in club history. “If there’s a time to start doing it all,” Blackmon said, “now is a good time.” [...]
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PHOTOS: Colorado Rockies host L.A. Dodgers, celebrate clinching playoff spot
St. Louis rallied from a 6-0 deficit to beat Milwaukee 7-6 at Busch Stadium, eliminating the Brewers (85-76) and landing the Rockies in the postseason for the first time since 2009. Related ArticlesSeptember 30, 2017 Rockies play to a draw against Clayton Kershaw before falling to the Dodgers in a postseason tuneup September 30, 2017 If the Rockies have an Andrew Miller, it’s Chris Rusin. And Colorado’s bullpen ready for the “magnitude.” September 30, 2017 Rockies clinch first playoff spot since 2009 as Cardinals eliminate Brewers September 29, 2017 Chad Bettis goes “old-school,” blows by the Dodgers in one giant leap for the Rockies September 29, 2017 Rockies rout Dodgers but must wait to clinch playoff spot [...]
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Chad Bettis goes “old-school,” blows by the Dodgers in one giant leap for the Rockies
The default vibe from Chad Bettis before he pitches in a baseball game screams “buzz off.” He sits in silence and stares from the shadow of a big, black hoodie. “There’s a steely-eyed look that these guys have that is awesome,” Rockies manager Bud Black said of his Rockies team on the verge of their first postseason since 2009. “There have been points in this season where they’ve been tested. And they bounced back.” The steeliest of Rockies eyes belong to Bettis, the 28-year-old right-hander who returned from cancer only in August, flew through his first two late-season starts, scuttled some in September, then pitched a dominating outing Friday in a 9-1 blowout victory over the Dodgers at Coors Field. Bettis retired the final 14 batters he faced, shutting down a Dodgers team that managed just four hits and one run over seven innings. And the Rockies moved one giant step toward a wild-card postseason berth. They need only one more victory or one Milwaukee Brewers loss to face the Diamondbacks on Wednesday at Arizona in a one-game playoff. “He’s not going to be scared to pitch against the Dodgers. No offense to the Dodgers, but he beat cancer,” shortstop Trevor Story said. “I wish I could say it surprised me, but it really doesn’t, just because of the type of guy he is and the work he’s put in.” The plan for Bettis was simple. “How about old school?” Black said before Friday night’s game, the first of a three-game series to close the regular season. “How about one zero at a time? Then we’ll go from there.” He put up zeroes on six of his seven innings, allowing only Justin Turner’s run-scoring single to left field in the third that brought home pinch-hitter Trayce Thompson. The Rockies had offered just 2.75 runs per game behind Bettis this season, but on Friday they scored three in the first and two apiece in the second, fourth and fifth innings. Related ArticlesSeptember 29, 2017 Rockies rout Dodgers but must wait to clinch playoff spot September 29, 2017 PHOTOS: Rockies best the Dodgers 9-1 September 29, 2017 September 29, 2017 German Marquez is the lone rookie standing in the Rockies rotation — for a reason September 29, 2017 Saunders: Credit GM Jeff Bridich for Rockies’ return to contention September 28, 2017 Rockies circled this weekend on their calendars. Their magic number is dwindling. The postseason waits. Over nine starts since his return, Bettis has yet to find anything resembling the kind of overpowering fastball used by rotation mates Jon Gray and German Marquez. But he gets by like Black’s old days, with guile to guide a pitch arsenal that never falls into predictability. On Friday, that meant a cutting fastball at 90-91 mph, with an 86-mph changeup and a truly off-speed 72-mph curveball. “One of the biggest games he’s ever pitched,” Black said. Bettis, demurring, disagreed: “It felt bigger, but I wouldn’t say ‘big,'” he said. “We’re not necessarily there yet. But we’re close. It was a lot of fun. I tried soaking it all in.” It was the third outing of such length since Bettis returned after chemotherapy treatments to battle a recurrence of testicular cancer that knocked him out of spring training in February. Through the first four months, the Rockies got by with a rookie-heavy rotation, waiting for the return of Bettis. They never knew for sure when he might pitch again. “To be back with my teammates, and be part of this push (toward the playoffs), it’s what I’ve strived for,” Bettis said. “I didn’t want to make the game into something it wasn’t. I wanted to approach it like a regular game and however it unfolded was how it unfolded.” But his season debut worked like an in-house trade deadline acquisition. And it paid off Friday. Bettis helped guarantee the Rockies a winning record this season against the NL West champion Dodgers. They are now 10-7 against them — and two of those victories came behind Bettis. Rockies all-star third baseman Nolan Arenado said Bettis’ return Aug. 14 was “a big deal.” He meant it personally and professionally. In his past 27 starts dating to last season, the Rockies are 18-9 behind Bettis. “That’s the thing you find out in these types of games. Guys thrive on the big stage,” Black said. “You see their best. It’s what makes these games so great. You see, in most cases, elevated performances.” [...]
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Rockies circled this weekend on their calendars. Their magic number is dwindling. The postseason waits.
The Rockies’ home slate this season is bookended by Dodgers. A three-game series to start Coors Field’s run and another to close the regular season. Both were circled on Colorado’s clubhouse schedule. “To begin the season, we were all like, ‘Man that last series against the Dodgers could be really big for us,’ ” third baseman Nolan Arenado said. “We talked about it in spring training. We looked at the schedule. Starting with the Dodgers at home and ending with the Dodgers at home. We knew it would be big. It’s here now. It’s going to be fun.” The Rockies start a three-game weekend set against the Dodgers on Friday with a postseason berth on the line. Their magic number is 2: Any combination of Rockies’ victories or losses by the Milwaukee Brewers adding to two will send Colorado to a wild-card playoff Wednesday at Arizona. The Brewers will finish their regular season in St. Louis. The Cardinals were eliminated from contention after a Thursday night loss to the Cubs. It will not be an easy stroll to the finish line. The Rockies on Friday will face Los Angeles left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, then see lefty ace Clayton Kershaw on Saturday. Rockies veteran Chad Bettis will pitch Friday, followed by rookie German Marquez on Saturday. Sunday’s pitching matchups are not yet settled. The Rockies hope to avoid a must-win situation. Tickets are still available. The postseason waits. “If this doesn’t get you excited, then what will get you excited?” right fielder Carlos Gonzalez said. Looking ahead Dodgers LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-8, 3.47 ERA) at Rockies RHP Chad Bettis (1-4, 5.72), Friday 6:10 p.m., AT&T SportsNet, 850 AM Related ArticlesSeptember 28, 2017 Carlos Gonzalez may be playing his final days with the Rockies. “It breaks my heart,” Nolan Arenado said. September 27, 2017 Kiszla: Bud Black has Rockies on the verge of a playoff berth. Why he’s NL manager of the year. September 27, 2017 Charlie Blackmon gets the last (least) laugh on a milestone hit; Rockies shut down Giancarlo Stanton September 27, 2017 Trevor Story needed “mechanical and philosophical” tweaks to his hitting. It’s working for the Rockies. September 27, 2017 Jon Gray, resurgent offense rip Marlins as Rockies move closer to playoffs The two opposing pitchers who will take Coors Field’s mound Friday are throwing for potential starting spots in the postseason. Ryu has not won a game since Aug. 24. Bettis gave up just three runs in his first 14 innings after returning from cancer in August. He struggled over his next five outings before a comeback 4 2/3 innings start last week at San Diego, in which he allowed just one run. When Bettis is pitching well, he is forcing weak contact and a stream of groundouts. When it doesn’t work, his ERA climbs — his mark is 7.04 this month. Saturday: Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.21 ERA) at Rockies RHP German Marquez (11-7, 4.38), 6:10 p.m., AT&T SportsNet Sunday: Dodgers TBA at Rockies TBA, 1:10 p.m. AT&T SportsNet End of regular season [...]
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Giancarlo Stanton homers twice to reach 59, Marlins top Braves
MIAMI — Barry Bonds. Sammy Sosa. Mark McGwire. Roger Maris. Babe Ruth. And now Giancarlo Stanton. The Miami slugger homered twice to become the sixth player to reach 59 in a season, and the Marlins opened the last series of Jeffrey Loria’s tenure as owner by beating the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Thursday night. “It’s crazy to be in that company,” Stanton said . “It doesn’t sink in yet. It doesn’t make sense, really, yet. But it’s really cool. It’s everything I’ve worked for and it’s something really cool.” Stanton hit a solo home run in the fourth , then added a two-run drive in the eighth that would have gone 467 feet unimpeded, according to MLB’s Statcast. He has 33 home runs since the All-Star break and 10 multihomer games this season. “It’s impressive. I think he should be impressed, because it’s been something special here,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Those two balls he hit tonight are obviously loud and quick and fun to watch. It’s amazing when you see them. It’s been fun watching this, that’s for sure. Pretty amazing to me that somebody hits that many. It’s just a lot of homers.” Braves manager Brian Snitker could only tip his cap to Stanton afterward. “It’s incredible to watch him hit,” Snitker said. “He’s having a monster year; a monster year all around.” Ichiro Suzuki got his 27th pinch hit of the year, one shy of the record John Vander Wal set in 1995. Dee Gordon had two hits for the Marlins, who despite a 75-84 record assured themselves of second place in the NL East, their highest finish since 2009. Lane Adams homered for Atlanta, which fell to 34-17 at Marlins Park. The Braves need to win two of its final three games to avoid three straight 90-loss seasons for the first time since 1988-90. Marlins rookie Dillon Peters (1-2) allowed two hits and struck out four in 5 2/3 shutout innings for his first big league win. Braves starter Julio Teheran (11-13) gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings, including the first of Stanton’s two homers. Related ArticlesSeptember 28, 2017 Minnesota Twins clinch unexpected playoff spot a season after winning 59 games September 27, 2017 Cubs clinched second consecutive National League Central title with win over Cardinals September 27, 2017 Giants pitcher Matt Cain to retire after Saturday start September 27, 2017 Baseball owners approve sale of Marlins to Derek Jeter group September 27, 2017 Sailors and soldiers to re-create World War I baseball game “You don’t know what to throw,” Teheran said. “Or you worry that if you throw it there, he might hit it really far.” That’s usually the case. “There’s really no doubt about most of his,” Mattingly said. These are Miami’s final home games before a group led by Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman takes over as owners, a transition scheduled to close Monday. Marlins president David Samson isn’t being retained and was emotional when speaking Thursday spoke of the looming farewell. Mattingly said he has yet to speak with Jeter — his former Yankees teammate — about what comes next. “Watching Derek over the years, the way he does things, he’s not going to come here and want to just get beat up,” Mattingly said. “He’s going to come here and want to build this thing and do it right. It’s going to be a positive with Derek here.” But the Marlins aren’t thinking about 2018 quite yet. For now, the number in mind is 60 — Stanton’s next target. “It’s impossible not to think about,” Stanton said. “But the more you think about it, the harder it’s going to be in my perspective. Take the rest of the at-bats, simplify it, and if it happens, it happens. If not, then it’s not failure. I think I’ll survive.” TRAINER’S ROOM Atlanta: LHP Max Fried will get the start in Sunday’s season finale. RHP R.A. Dickey was under consideration for the spot, but barring some unplanned relief appearance, his season is apparently over. Miami: SS Miguel Rojas, who was 5 for 10 in Miami’s last three games, started on the bench for a bit of rest before coming in late. Mike Aviles started in his place. THEY’RE NO. 2 The Marlins have never won a division title — hard to believe, considering they’ve won two World Series — and have now finished second only four times. They did it in the World Series years of 1997 and 2003, then again in 2009 — and missed the playoffs. GORDON’S CHASE Gordon has 196 hits and 58 stolen bases, the third player in MLB history to have multiple seasons with those numbers. Ty Cobb did it f [...]
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Minnesota Twins clinch unexpected playoff spot a season after winning 59 games
CLEVELAND — From worst to wild card, the Minnesota Twins have completed a most remarkable reversal. Their unexpected turnaround season has a new destination — the playoffs. Unable to clinch on their own after losing 4-2 to the Indians, the Twins earned an AL wild-card berth and meeting with either New York or Boston when the Los Angeles Angels lost 6-4 in 10 innings to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night. A season after winning just 59 games, the Twins became the first team to lose at least 100 and then make the postseason the following year. October, here they come. Moments after the Angels lost — and almost two hours after they were beaten — Minnesota’s players, coaches and manager Paul Molitor celebrated in their clubhouse with champagne and beer, dousing each other during a party that didn’t seem possible just a few months ago. They threw on dark blue T-shirts, two-tone caps along with the obligatory goggles before spraying each other down. “It’s been awesome watching this team come together all season,” veteran first baseman Joe Mauer said amid the clubhouse chaos. “This is the best sound in the world. It’s been one of the most fun years that I’ve ever had. “I like our guys. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work over the last few years.” The Twins defied the odds, and they’ll now enter a tournament where are all bets are off and where one bad bounce or big inning can propel an underdog to the top. On Tuesday night, they’ll play at either Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park in the wild-card game. Boston holds a three-game lead over New York in the AL East race. Related ArticlesSeptember 27, 2017 Cubs clinched second consecutive National League Central title with win over Cardinals September 27, 2017 Giants pitcher Matt Cain to retire after Saturday start September 27, 2017 Baseball owners approve sale of Marlins to Derek Jeter group September 27, 2017 Sailors and soldiers to re-create World War I baseball game September 25, 2017 Addison Russell brings nachos to Cardinals fan, Cubs near Central clinch The Yankees have been the Twins’ long-time playoff nemesis, eliminating Minnesota four times in the postseason since 2003. Mauer and these Twins don’t seem to fear anything. “This is gonna be a fun couple of days getting ready for what’s next,” said Molitor, a Hall of Fame player now in his third season with the Twins. “I like our chances. It means a lot to all of us.” The Twins reached the postseason for the first time since 2010 despite a lack of support from their own front office, which essentially wrote off the year at the trading deadline. Minnesota dealt closer Brandon Kintzler to Washington and shipped pitcher Jaime Garcia to the Yankees just days after he arrived. Minnesota’s clubhouse was shocked by the moves, but instead of grumbling the Twins started grinding. They ripped off six straight wins in early August to trigger a 31-18 stretch that put them back in the wild-card conversation. Their bats came alive, their pitching held up and Molitor squeezed everything he could out of a young lineup that lacks star power but is deep and dangerous. The Twins also stuck together despite being without All-Star third baseman Miguel Sano, who hasn’t played since Aug. 19 after fouling a ball off his left shin, but could be back at some point in the postseason. “Just to be able to come back and do this is incredible,” center fielder Byron Buxton said. “We’re just going to take it one step at a time, just like we’ve been doing.” While the Indians, Astros, Dodgers and Nationals — to name a few — may have more talent and certainly get much more publicity, the Twins have quietly become one those feel-good baseball stories. “In an era when it’s either home run or bust, they’re a lineup that makes a lot of adjustments,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “You don’t look at every hitter and go ‘If we throw here we’re good to go.’ They can cover both sides of the plate. They use the whole field. They’re impressive.” As his players partied, Molitor, a Minnesota native, got choked up several times has he described this stunning season. “It’s part of your job as a manger to imagine what could happen,” Molitor said. “This year, it came to fruition. I couldn’t be prouder of this team.” BUX STOPS HERE Molitor believes Buxton should be rewarded for his fabulous defense. The speedy Buxton added to his resume of great catches Tuesday night with a diving grab, and Molitor feels he should be in line for a Gold Glove. “I don’t know what else you can do to earn your first postseason award tha [...]
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Tyler Anderson pitches a gem for Rockies in huge victory over Marlins
Carlos Gonzalez was asked how he thought the Rockies would respond to the mounting pressure to clinch a playoff berth. “I guess we’ll see, won’t we?” the Rockies right fielder said before Tuesday night’s game, flashing a knowing grin. Psychic? Nope, just confident that his team would pull out of its recent funk and take care of business with a possible trip to the playoffs near the tipping point. And that’s exactly what the Rockies did, combining a stellar seven-inning start from left-hander Tyler Anderson and uplifting home runs from Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado to beat Miami 6-0 at chilly Coors Field. It was Colorado’s seventh shutout at home this season, a new franchise record. With four games remaining in the regular season, the Rockies (85-73) still have a lot of work to do, and their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is four. They hold a 1½-game lead over Milwaukee, which beat Cincinnati 7-6, in the race for the National League’s second wild card and are 2 ½ in front of St. Louis, which beat the Cubs 8-7. Anderson was brilliant, and not just because he negated Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton three times. Stanton, still sitting on 57 home runs, is 1-for-9 thus far in the series. Anderson allowed just four hits, whiffed five and walked none. He masterfully mixed his fastball, cutter and changeup. “The big (thing) today was that this was a game we needed to win,” Anderson said. “And you know going into a game at Coors Field that you can’t walk anybody. So the whole goal tonight was not to walk anybody, and we did that.” He induced key double plays in the second and third innings, but he had to stare down big trouble only once. Brian Anderson and Miguel Rojas opened the sixth with back-to-back singles, but Anderson never got rattled. He struck out pinch-hitter A.J. Ellis looking at a fastball that nipped the inside corner. Then Anderson got Dee Gordon to fly out to left field and got Stanton on a comebacker to the mound. “We talk all of the time about the importance of starting pitching and our guy did an outstanding job tonight,” manager Bud Black said. “It was well-executed all the way through. I thought he and Jon (catcher Jonathan Lucroy) did an excellent job attacking their lineup.” Since returning from knee surgery and coming off the disabled list Sept. 10, Anderson has shut down hitters to the tune of a 1.19 ERA over four appearances, including three starts. What’s more, Anderson is emerging as a young pitcher who thrives at Coors Field. Through 20 career appearances (19 starts) at the mile-high ballpark, his 3.39 ERA is the best in franchise history among pitchers with more than 100 innings pitched. The Rockies’ frequently stalled offense received an immediate jump-start when Charlie Blackmon led off the first with a walk and DJ LeMahieu followed with a single. Gonzalez grounded into a double play, but he managed to knock in Blackmon for a 1-0 lead. Related ArticlesSeptember 26, 2017 Rockies have to get over “RISP flu” to save playoff hopes September 25, 2017 Rockies blow chances, lose to Marlins as wild-card race tightens September 25, 2017 Rockies staying clear of protests surrounding national anthem, President Trump September 25, 2017 Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton has wrecked Rockies at Coors Field, so they’ll handle him with care September 25, 2017 Lunch Special: Is the baseball juiced this year in MLB? Back-to-back singles by Arenado and Mark Reynolds set the table for Story’s two-out homer. On a 3-2 count, on the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Story clobbered Jose Urena’s 95.6 mph fastball 397 feet and into the Rockies bullpen beyond right field. It was Story’s 23rd homer, and he now has 76 RBIs, an increasingly solid output from a player who has struggled at the plate much of the season. “He showed fight in that at-bat, especially deeper in the count, which was good to see,” Black said. “He finally got a pitch he could hit, and Trevor has all-field power, which we know. And he really put a good swing on it.” Arenado’s 36th home of the season was a two-run rocket launch in the fifth. Gonzalez (3-for-4) led off with a double and then jogged home, watching Arenado’s homer sail 438 feet into the center-field seats near the Rockpile. Arenado’s homer was his 182nd hit of the season, tying his career high set last season. Colorado, beset this month by failures to drive in runners from scoring position, finished the night 2-for-6 and left seven runners on base. “It’s no secret that our offense has slowed a little bit, but we believe it’s going to break out,” Story said. “All it takes is one hit here or there to get us going.” Th [...]
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Addison Russell brings nachos to Cardinals fan, Cubs near Central clinch
By Warren Mayes, The Associated Press ST. LOUIS — Addison Russell hit a three-run double in the first inning, then made a food run for fans in enemy territory while the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-2 Monday night to move within a win of cinching a second straight NL Central title. Chicago can wrap up the division with a win Tuesday against the Cardinals, or a loss by Milwaukee against Cincinnati. Russell helped the Cubs build a big lead early, then made some friends out of rival fans. He delivered nachos to a fan down the third-base line a few innings after diving into the stands and spilling the fan’s original plate of chips. Related ArticlesSeptember 25, 2017 Aaron Judge blasts 50th HR, breaking Mark McGwire’s rookie record, as Yankees top Royals September 24, 2017 J.D. Martinez’s clutch hit secures top wild card for Diamondbacks September 24, 2017 Cubs close in on NL Central title, Jose Quintana tops Brewers September 24, 2017 Oakland’s Bruce Maxwell kneels during anthem for 2nd straight day September 23, 2017 Giancarlo Stanton hits No. 57, Marlins delay D-backs clinch Jon Lester (12-8) pitched six innings, allowing five hits and a run for the Cubs. Chicago is 11-2 in its last 13 games and 19-8 in its last 27. The loss eliminated St. Louis from NL Central contention and dimmed the Cardinals’ wild-card hopes. Colorado entered Monday leading Milwaukee by two games and St. Louis by 2 1/2. The Brewers were idle Monday, and Miami played at Colorado. Javier Baez hit a three-run homer in the third inning, but left the game shortly after fouling a pitch off his left leg in the eighth inning, but not until after hitting a single. Luke Weaver (7-2) had won seven consecutive starts, but gave up eight runs in three innings. [...]
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Rockies blow chances, lose to Marlins as wild-card race tightens
After Monday night’s game at chilly Coors Field, several Rockies, including manager Bud Black, referred to baseball as “a game of inches.” And those inches added up to a huge 5-4 loss to Miami, putting more pressure on the Rockies’ quest for their first playoff appearance in eight years. The Rockies have now lost six of their last eight games, and have lost four consecutive times to the Marlins. The Chicago Cubs, at least, came to the Rockies’ wild-card aid, routing St. Louis 10-2 on Monday, keeping the Cardinals 2½ games behind Colorado. Milwaukee, off on Monday, moved to within 1½ games for the National League’s second wild card. Baseball’s cruel inch game cost the Rockies dearly in the Marlins’ four-run fourth. That’s when the Miami solved starter Tyler Chatwood and took full advantage of Ian Desmond’s misplay of a scorching line drive to left field. A hit off a swinging bunt by Marcell Ozuna began the onslaught, and it gained momentum when Justin Bour lashed a single to right. J.T. Realmuto’s chopper found daylight up the middle and chased home the first run. After the game, Chatwood said he thought he had induced a double play out of Realmuto’s grounder. It was not to be. Miam’s rally continued when Derek Dietrich packed the bases full with another single. Up stepped Miguel Rojas, whose screaming liner sailed over Desmond’s head and fell at the base of the left-field wall. By the time Desmond recovered, Rojas had a three-run double and the Rockies were in deep trouble. Rojas’ four RBIs on the night were a career high. “I jumped up and when I came down I thought the ball was in my glove,” Desmond said. “I looked in my glove and saw it wasn’t there, so I turned around and picked it up.” According to Statcast, the ball came off Dietrich’s bat 105 mph before it glanced off Desmond’s glove. “A game of inches, isn’t it?” Black said. “That ball was smoked. I haven’t seen the reply, but it looked like it hit (Desmond’s) glove and maybe beat him, but from my vantage point I couldn’t tell. But it was a bullet, and he made a nice, valiant effort by jumping, but it just tipped off his glove.” Make no mistake about it, this was a big game that got away a number of times. Fittingly, it ended with Charlie Blackmon lining into a double play to first baseman Tyler Moore in the ninth. After the Rockies dramatically escaped a no-out, based-loaded jam in the top of the eighth, it seemed poised for a late-game comeback, but Marlins rookie reliever Drew Steckenrider whiffed Gerardo Parra, Desmond and Trevor Story with ease in the bottom of the frame. The Rockies had crept to within a run with a two-run seventh, the fuse lit by Jonathan Lucroy’s one-out, solo homer. A single by pinch-hitter Raimel Tapia and back-to-back walks by Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu brought Nolan Arenado to the plate with the bases full. The fans screamed for a grand slam, or at least a two-run single from the MVP candidate, but Arenado had to settle for a sacrifice fly to center for his 127th RBI of the season. The rally died one run short when Mark Reynolds popped out. The Rockies finished the night 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. “They got the key hit and we were unable to,” Black said, repeating a refrain he’s spoken many times during the second half of the season. Relievers Chris Rusin and Carlos Estevez kept the Rockies’ chances afloat in a dramatic eighth. The Marlins loaded the bases on a single and two walks off reliever Scott Oberg, but Rusin induced two forceouts at home on grounders by Moore and Dee Gordon. Estevez got slugger Giancarlo Stanton — he of 57 home runs — to chop the ball back to the mound. “That was clutch pitching,” Black said. Related ArticlesSeptember 25, 2017 Rockies staying clear of protests surrounding national anthem, President Trump September 25, 2017 Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton has wrecked Rockies at Coors Field, so they’ll handle him with care September 25, 2017 Lunch Special: Colorado Rockies live chat with Patrick Saunders September 24, 2017 Rockies tie club record road mark as Pat Valaika helps barrel them past the Padres September 24, 2017 Nolan Arenado leaves Rockies game at San Diego with a hand injury; Charlie Blackmon breaks out in a big way Chatwood, as often has been the case, was excellent the first time through the order, inducing seven groundball outs in the first three innings, but the Marlins had him all figured out by the fourth. In five innings, Chatwood was charged with four runs on seven hits, his ERA rising to 4.56 overall and 5.94 at Coors Field. The Rockies’ often confounding offense confounde [...]
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Rockies tie club record road mark as Pat Valaika helps barrel them past the Padres
SAN DIEGO — The Rockies are tiptoeing on the hot plate of a postseason chase, but their manager drifted to thoughts of a tall, cool quarterback spying a celebrity in 1989. “When Joe Montana points out John Candy, I mean, I don’t know if that’s urban legend, but I hope it’s true,” Colorado skipper Bud Black said. “‘Hey, isn’t that John Candy?’ That’s great. Because it’s a game. And guys play best when they’re relaxed.” It is not an urban legend. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback really did point out the comedian sitting in the stands before he marched his team 92 yards for a game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XXIII. And Black really did learn a lesson. With less than a week remaining in what is their best season since 2009, the Rockies are feverishly trying to keep their grip on a wild-card spot. So why not turn to a rookie pinch hitter with a rotating collection of nicknames? Pat Valaika, whose run-scoring bloop double in the sixth inning and solo homer in the ninth Sunday led the Rockies to a much-needed 8-4 victory over the San Diego Padres, is variously tagged with the moniker “Barrels” or “Pine Tar.” Barrels if he hits a line drive, Pine Tar if he nubs one off the handle. “We call it a ‘jugular run,’” Black said. Valaika’s timely appearance helped salvage a road trip, as the Rockies (84-72) moved one big step toward a playoff finish. Both the Cardinals and Brewers lost by wide margins Sunday, and Colorado’s victory gave them a two-game lead on Milwaukee, 2 1/2 over St. Louis, with six games remaining. The Rockies’ magic number is 5, meaning any combination of victories by Colorado or Brewers’ losses totaling five will send Colorado to a wild-card playoff game at Arizona on Oct. 4. The Diamondbacks clinched the top wild-card spot on Sunday by defeating Miami. “Just find a way to get on base and barrel the ball,” Valaika said, adopting the California calm once displayed by “Joe Cool” Montana. “We’re in the driver’s seat. We’re fortunate because we’re not really chasing. This is on us. All we have to do is win some games. That’s a good feeling.” Charlie Blackmon followed Valaika’s home run in the ninth with a solo shot of his own, a team-leading 36th, the third-most from a leadoff hitter in baseball history. Blackmon also singled and scored in the first and walked and scored in the third as the Rockies had their highest run total since topping the Padres 16-0 at Coors Field on Sept. 16. Related ArticlesSeptember 24, 2017 Nolan Arenado leaves Rockies game at San Diego with a hand injury; Charlie Blackmon breaks out in a big way September 23, 2017 Chad Bettis and postseason discussions tabled as Rockies offense goes AWOL again in San Diego September 23, 2017 Kiszla: Who’s the real MVP of the Rockies’ playoff push? Sorry, Charlie. It’s Nolan Arenado. September 23, 2017 Ian Desmond has taken over a starting spot in the Rockies’ lineup, right before a stretch run September 23, 2017 Sliding Rockies counting on offensive revival to salvage postseason dreams Blackmon punctuated his homer with an overhand bat-flip toward the Padres dugout, a hard-stop on what had been a derailing Colorado offense. The Rockies had been shut out three times since Thursday, the first time in club history they failed to scored in three of four games. They finished their West Coast road trip 2-4. “All home runs give me relief,” Blackmon said. “I just really wanted to get a hit there and I got a hit.” Rookie German Marquez (11-7, 4.38), the 22-year-old from Venezuela who has now pitched more innings than any pitcher on Colorado’s staff, got through five innings, allowing five hits and two runs, back-to-back home runs by Wil Myers and Yangervis Solarte in the first. In their past nine games, Rockies starting pitchers have allowed just 14 runs in 50 innings, for a 2.52 ERA. Sunday’s runaway victory took the Rockies back to Colorado where they will play out the regular season with a pair of three-game series at Coors Field, against the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers. But they finished this season with a 41-40 road record — just their second winning mark away from Coors Field in 25 years, tying a mark from 2009, the last time the Rockies reached the playoffs. “We’re in a good place,” Blackmon said. “We just got a really good win, and we’re going home. We don’t have to worry about travel and all that mess. We can just be at home and worry about baseball.” Road runners After an 8-4 victory over the Padres in San Diego on Sunday, the Rockies finished with a winning record [...]
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