Rockies

WATCH: Albert Pujols hits 600th home run on a grand slam against Minnesota
AND THERE IT GOES! 600!! @PujolsFive #GrandSlam @Angels @MLBonFOX pic.twitter.com/LyBDn9LDuL — FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) June 4, 2017 ANAHEIM, Calif. — Albert Pujols hit his 600th career homer on Saturday night, delivering a grand slam to become the ninth player in major league history to reach the mark. The Los Angeles Angels slugger connected in the fourth inning against Minnesota’s Ervin Santana, driving a high fly into the short left-field porch at Angel Stadium. Related ArticlesJune 3, 2017 Edinson Volquez throws no-hitter as Marlins top Diamondbacks June 2, 2017 “No grounders.” How Statcast data is revolutionizing Major League Baseball June 1, 2017 Mr. Met, the latest mischievous mascot May 31, 2017 Mr. Met gives fan the finger, employee out as team mascot May 31, 2017 Bryce Harper’s suspension reduced to three games The milestone homer is the latest superlative in the 17-year career of Pujols, a 13th-round draft pick who became one of the greatest hitters of his generation. The 37-year-old Dominican slugger is the fourth-youngest player to hit 600 homers behind Alex Rodriguez, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. Pujols joins home run kings Barry Bonds and Aaron as the only players to hit 600 homers and 600 doubles. Pujols is the first player to hit his 600th homer since Jim Thome joined the club in August 2011. With his ninth homer this season, Pujols has joined the club with Bonds (762), Aaron (755), Ruth (714), Rodriguez (696), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr. (630), Thome (612) and Sammy Sosa (609). He also became the first to hit a grand slam for No. 600. From No. 1 to No. 600, no one has done it like Albert. He’s #JustThatGood. @nike pic.twitter.com/1RqaCbFjD0 — MLB (@MLB) June 4, 2017 [...]
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LoDo bars, restaurants and other businesses have adapted since Coors Field’s opening
The quarter-century since the arrival of the Colorado Rockies franchise in Denver has fueled tremendous population and business growth in Lower Downtown and surrounding areas. With that, as bar owner Frank Schultz well knows, has come a revolving door of trends and tastes. Schultz’s first LoDo bar, the Soiled Dove at 1949 Market St., opened in 1997, two years after Coors Field debuted. It featured dueling pianos, and later live music by bands. In 2006, motivated in part by a growing parking crunch at that location, Schultz moved the Dove to Lowry and replaced it with the Tavern Downtown, an offshoot of the Tavern Uptown neighborhood joint he had on East 17th Avenue. This one incorporated a rooftop and a dance floor, better catering to LoDo’s masses. Read more ► LoDo: A renaissance owed to Coors Field, urban pioneers and smart politics He pivoted again three years ago, partnering with the Rockies to open a Tavern bar in the Rooftop party deck the team installed in right field. It’s part of a chain of Tavern restaurants he now operates across the metro area. What lessons has he learned? “A lot of uncertainty,” Tavern Downtown owner Frank Schultz recalled about the early days. “One is that we didn’t know what we were doing. No. 2, you have the stadium there, but you’re still taking a risk in the area.” As the Rockies play their 25th season — and 23rd at Coors Field — LoDo is home to nearly 100 restaurants and bars, according to Visit Denver, along with a host of art galleries and professional, service and retail businesses. Dance floors still fire up at night, including inside some LoDo sports bars. But the area’s offerings have diversified since the late 1990s. Related ArticlesMay 18, 2017 Downtown Denver’s transformed Dairy Block comes to life as boutique hotel The Maven opens May 19, 2017 With Coors Field as the catalyst, beer and baseball became forever intertwined in downtown Denver May 13, 2017 Coors Field, a central character in the Rockies’ story, is about more than homers March 29, 2017 Rockies strike deal “in the 11th hour” to keep Coors Field as long-term home April 6, 2017 Rockies’ home opener is a bona fide holiday in Colorado — but why? February 10, 2017 Rockies’ hopes high, but big questions remain, as they open 25th spring training Andrea Gordon, 28, rents an apartment with a roommate in the Tamai Tower at Sakura Square on the edge of LoDo, a few blocks from Coors Field. She says she enjoys the contrast of living in a quiet building that houses a lot of retirees but is so close to the bustle of LoDo’s hot spots. “Things are definitely changing a lot,” said Gordon, a hairstylist. “When I was in my early 20s, there was actually a lot more clubs, and now it’s more hipster dive bars and things like that, which I love.” A handful of bars that pre-date Coors Field, some by decades, still are open. At El Chapultepec at 19th and Market streets, a block from the stadium, owner Angela Guerrero, 45, said her family’s bar — in operation since 1933 — adapted to construction worker business, then game day and walk-in crowds. It has expanded its live-music offerings from jazz to also include the blues and funk, often provided by local performers, since drop-in customers prefer upbeat music in the background. Today’s customers also have different drink preferences, she said. El Chapultepec — which refers to “the Hill of Grasshoppers,” a Mexico City park the bar cites as its namesake — still offers its signature shot, silver tequila with a dash of crème de menthe. But the bar also now offers vodka-based pickle shots, a popular choice at the nearby Retro Room on Larimer Street. “That’s what people want,” Guerrero said with a sigh, seated at a booth one recent morning before the opening time of a bar she said hadn’t been remodeled since the 1950s. [...]
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Chad Bettis will return to the Rockies to begin his road back from cancer
SAN DIEGO — Chad Bettis, who left the Rockies in early spring to combat testicular cancer, will return to the team Tuesday in Denver. Colorado manager Bud Black confirmed the right-handed pitcher is on his way back to the club. “Chad Bettis will potentially be rejoining the team in a couple days,” Black said Friday at Petco Park before the Rockies started a three-game series against the Padres. “I’ll make it official when it becomes official. I’ll let you know.” Bettis on March 10 decamped from spring training after doctors discovered cancer had spread. Bettis thought he was in the clear. He had returned to the team in February after surgery to remove the cancer in December. Related ArticlesJune 2, 2017 Rockies waste an early lead in loss at San Diego. “Honestly,” Arenado said, “the Padres give us a hard time.” June 2, 2017 Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon, Greg Holland honored as National League’s best in May June 1, 2017 Jon Gray is scheduled for a simulation, but a six-man rotation is not in the Rockies’ plans June 1, 2017 Rockies brush aside a skid behind Kyle Freeland and Gerardo Parra and regain NL West lead in Seattle June 1, 2017 Rockies at Mariners live blog Bettis underwent months of chemotherapy, finishing May 16. Then he waited for a cancer marker blood test to determine if the treatment was successful. It was. As he lost his hair and appetite from cancer treatments, Bettis worked to keep his arm in shape. He threw at the end of his chemo cycles, playing catch from 75 feet at the Rockies spring headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz. “I feel good and strong and I’m just waiting to be done with this,” Bettis said in late April when he visited the Rockies clubhouse in Arizona before a series against the Diamondbacks. “It’s been tough being away from the team,” Bettis said. “That’s been hard. But the guys on the team have been great, keeping in touch and being so supportive.” Bettis essentially missed spring training, so his rehabilitation back into baseball shape could take considerable time. He will begin by regaining basic strength sapped from chemotherapy, then start in on what likely will be a spring-like schedule. Pitchers use a full six weeks of spring to ready themselves for a season. Rotation changes? Pitching prospect Jeff Hoffman was scratched from a scheduled start with the Triple-A Isotopes in Albuquerque and may soon start for the Rockies. The Rockies will start veteran right-hander Tyler Chatwood on Saturday, Black confirmed, but lefty Tyler Anderson’s start Sunday is in doubt. Anderson has been pitching with a brace on his left knee. The Rockies bumped back a scheduled Anderson start May 11 because of the knee injury and used Hoffman in his place. Hoffman, part of the Troy Tulowitzki trade with Toronto in 2015, wowed in a spot start for the Rockies on May 22 at Philadelphia, when he struck out seven and walked none in seven innings. His three-hit, one-run effort led the Rockies to an 8-1 victory. At Albuquerque, Hoffman has a 3.68 ERA and a workable 1.18 WHIP (walks and hits per inning) in eight starts. Awarded, times two. The Rockies blossomed in the month of May, due in large part to the performances of center fielder Charlie Blackmon and closer Greg Holland. Friday, the duo was honored for their excellence. Blackmon was named National League player of the month and Holland was named NL reliever of the month for the second time. Holland also earned the award in April. Blackmon, making an early bid for NL MVP, ranked first among all NL batters in hits (42) and triples (five). He was second in batting average (.359), fourth in runs scored (24) and tied for fifth in RBIs (22). He became the first Rockie to win player of the month since third baseman Nolan Arenado in September 2015. Holland is a perfect 20-for-20 in save opportunities this season and has a 1.31 ERA and an 0.82 WHIP. He made just nine appearances in May, but was almost untouchable. He allowed just one run and three hits. Footnotes. Outfielder David Dahl (stress reaction in a rib) left the team and returned to Arizona after his injury failed to heal. The rib stress, located in his mid-upper back area, has kept Dahl from regular rotation activity, including swinging a bat. “He is not recovering as quickly as we hoped,” Black said. … Right-hander Jon Gray (broken foot) will throw a side session Saturday and is scheduled for a simulated game Tuesday at Coors Field. … The Rockies on Thursday released veteran outfielder Chris Denorfia from his minor-league contract with Albuquerque, making room for the promotion of infield prospect Ryan McMahon. Journeyman shortstop Juan Ciriaco took the roster spot vacated by McMahon at Double-A Hartford. Looking [...]
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Rockies waste an early lead in loss at San Diego. “Honestly,” Arenado said, “the Padres give us a hard time.”
SAN DIEGO — Three teams in three days stood atop the National League West this week, a divisional carousel of competition that nearly nightly sees a new twist. The Rockies, Dodgers and Diamondbacks are trading blows even in separate cities. But only one team in the NL West has a winning record against the Rockies this season: the Padres. “Honestly, the Padres give us a hard time more than the other teams,” Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado said. “You can’t take them lightly.” Friday at Petco Park, the distant fourth place Padres twice hit two-run homers off Colorado rookie right-hander German Marquez in a come-from-behind 8-5 victory in front of 20,932 fans. The Padres have won four of seven games against the Rockies. And Colorado lost a fifth game in its past seven. “The games that we’ve lost,” Colorado manager Bud Black said, “we haven’t had good starting pitching.” Boxscore: San Diego 8, Colorado 5 After the Rockies raced to an early three-run lead, Austin Hedges’ homer to the overhang in left field put the Padres ahead 4-3. Yangervis Solarte’s 421-foot shot in the fifth put them ahead 6-4. Wil Myers added a solo homer in the seventh. “They had a good day,” Marquez said. “They capitalized on mistakes I made.” Marquez’s pitching line confused easy explanation. He struck out a career-high nine batters and walked just one over five innings. And he threw 61 strikes to just 19 outside the zone — the kind of positive ball-strike ratio that Colorado manager Bud Black loves. Marquez also allowed six runs on eight hits, including a messy fourth inning, when he walked Ryan Schimpf to lead off, threw a wild pitch to move him over, then threw a 1-0 fastball so directly down the middle only a protractor could have measured the dangerous perfection. “Fastball command wasn’t there and they took advantage of it,” Marquez said. The 22-year-old snapped his personal four-game streak of wins in his starts, a run that lowered his May ERA to 2.64. But in the fourth, Francy Cordero hit a hard come-backer that Marquez tried to bare-hand. It bounced away from him as he winced in pain. “It’s a little sore, it’s a little swollen now,” Black said of Marquez’s right hand. “So we’ll see how it sets up tomorrow.” Arenado doubled twice to take the major-league lead with 19 doubles this season. But he did not score on either trip to the bases. His line-drive single to left field in the third scored DJ LeMahieu. Arenado scored on Ian Desmond’s subsequent single to center. But the Rockies’ 3-0 lead disappeared. Related ArticlesJune 2, 2017 Chad Bettis will return to Rockies to begin road back from cancer June 2, 2017 Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon, Greg Holland honored as National League’s best in May June 1, 2017 Jon Gray is scheduled for a simulation, but a six-man rotation is not in the Rockies’ plans June 1, 2017 Rockies brush aside a skid behind Kyle Freeland and Gerardo Parra and regain NL West lead in Seattle June 1, 2017 Rockies at Mariners live blog “These are the games you overthink a little more than when you play a team like the Dodgers,” Arenado said. “Because you don’t want to let up. You have to remind yourself, those are major-leaguers over there too, and you have to respect them.” [...]
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Jon Gray is scheduled for a simulation, but a six-man rotation is not in the Rockies’ plans
SEATTLE — Rockies fireballer Jon Gray and his healing foot traveled with the team to San Diego on Thursday night. He will fly with the team to Denver on Sunday night. He will pitch again for the Rockies soon. But he will not, most likely, add to the rotation. Colorado manager Bud Black said Thursday that a six-man rotation is unlikely. “No. Right now? No,” Black said. “What you would need is six guys who are good. You can’t have a weak link. They all have to be performing. And if you have a guy who’s pitching really well, then he’s pitching one day later. You want your good guys out there more often.” Colorado’s 4.30 ERA and .254 batting average against five starting pitchers are at the median of the major leagues, ranking 15th. The Rockies’ ballpark-adjusted numbers, sanding off the hitter-friendly advantage of Coors Field, are even better. It’s a vast improvement over recent seasons, after finishing 26th last year and dead last in 2015. When Gray suffered a broken left foot in mid-April while fielding a groundball on the mound in San Francisco, he became the second pitcher lost from Colorado’s rotation. Chad Bettis left spring training to confront testicular cancer. The Rockies filled in those positions and an open fifth slot with three rookies: Antonio Senzatela, 22; Kyle Freeland, 23; and German Marquez, 22. The rookies have excelled, with a collective 3.57 ERA over 29 games. Tyler Chatwood and Tyler Anderson, though, have struggled, with a combined 5.43 ERA. Gray ran on the field in Seattle on Wednesday for the first time since his injury. He has been running on a treadmill, trying to get his legs in shape. And he will face hitters in a simulated game when he returns to Coors Field next week. “We’ll ramp up his intensity,” Black said. But Gray’s eventual spot in the rotation will remain up for debate. Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://www.denverpost.com/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); Murphy update. Tom Murphy, out since spring training because of a fractured right forearm, caught an extended spring game for the first time Wednesday, then another Thursday. He will fly from Arizona to Albuquerque on Friday to join the Triple-A Isotopes and begin a rehab assignment Saturday in the starting lineup. Murphy, who has more potential for home run power than other catchers in the Colorado system, seemed headed for the opening-day roster before he suffered a broken arm on a bat while throwing to second base in a Cactus League game. The Rockies have used two backup catchers behind Tony Wolters in Murphy’s absence, Dustin Garneau and Ryan Hanigan. Prospect promotion. Infielder Ryan McMahon, who’s among the Rockies’ top minor-league prospects, was promoted from Double-A Hartford to Albuquerque. The natural third baseman added first base to his resume last year, and the Rockies tasked him with learning second base this year. “When I saw him practice in spring, you could see the baseball player skill set,” Black said. “Good athletic movements, good hands, strong arm, classic swing. He looks the part.” Nolan corrected. Major League Baseball’s official scorer reviewed video of an error charged to third baseman Nolan Arenado during a May 21 game at Cincinnati and the error was overturned. The score was changed to give the Reds’ Billy Hamilton an infield single. Arenado now has a perfect fielding percentage in 149 chances this season. The hit, though, charged Freeland, the pitcher that day, with an earned run from that inning. Looking ahead Rockies RHP German Marquez (4-2, 3.76 ERA) at Padres LHP Clayton Richard (3-6, 4.33), 8:10 p.m. Friday, ROOT; 850 AM Even with the benefit of pitcher-friendly Petco Park, the Padres’ 4.60 team ERA ranks only 24th in baseball. But Richard is on a mini-roll, posting a 2.40 ERA (four runs allowed in 15 innings) over his past two starts, including a complete game five-hitter against the Diamondbacks on May 21. Marquez has been better, with a 1.46 ERA and a perfect record over his past four starts. After his call-up in late April, Marquez is proving every bit the equal of his streaking rookie counterparts in the Rockies’ rotation. Saturday: Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood (4-7, 5.04 ERA) at Padres RHP Jhoulys Chacin (4-4, 5.77), 2:10 p.m., ROOT Sunday: Rockies LHP Tyler Anderson (3-5, 5.85) at Padres RHP Jared Cosart (0-1, 4.50), 2:40 p.m., ROOT Monday: Off [...]
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“No grounders.” How Statcast data is revolutionizing Major League Baseball
One day several years ago, as Chase Headley was still trying to establish himself as the San Diego Padres’ everyday third baseman, Padres management passed around a sheet of paper full of facts and figures on how its spacious ballpark, Petco Park, played for hitters. Flyballs were mostly swallowed up in the vast expanses of outfield, while groundballs and line drives played better than in the average stadium. The conclusion, as Headley recalls it, was clear: Padres hitters should keep the ball out of the air. “I had more loft in my swing when I came up,” Headley said recently, “so I was trying to undo some of that, and I was trying to hit the ball down. It was a conscious thing: They wanted us to hit the ball hard but down.” A few thousand big league at-bats later, Headley, now 33 and the starting third baseman for the New York Yankees, chuckles at how antiquated that sounds now – as the gospel of flyballs and high launch angles spreads across the game – and can’t help but kick himself for not resisting the Padres’ efforts to turn him into a groundball machine. “I look back, and I’m like, ‘What was I thinking?’ ” he said. “I’ve had to try to get it back the other way now.” In that period between the Padres’ hit-it-low memo and the first part of the 2017 season has been a shift in philosophy so dramatic it can safely be called a revolution, with more hitters, armed with better and more extensive data than ever, reaching the conclusion that not only are flyballs, on average, better than grounders but that the latter are to be avoided at all costs. “No grounders,” Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, the 2015 American League MVP and one of the movement’s most vocal proponents, said earlier this year. “Groundballs are outs. If you see me hit a groundball, even if it’s a hit, I can tell you: It was an accident.” Another proponent, Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, put it another way: “You can’t slug by hitting balls on the ground. You have to get the ball in the air if you want to slug, and guys who slug stick around, and guys who don’t, don’t.” There is a simple and airtight logic behind the claim: Slugging, for the most part, happens in the air. In 2016, for example, big league hitters batted .239 with a .258 slugging percentage on groundballs vs. .241 and .715, respectively, on flyballs – with much of the difference, obviously, attributable to home runs: Grounders produced zero, while flyballs produced 5,422. “If you look at a baseball field and look on the infield, there’s a lot of players there,” Donaldson said, providing an even more elemental logic. “There’s not as much grass. But you look in the outfield, there’s fewer players and more grass. So if you hit it in the air, even if it’s not that hard, you have a chance. There are some outfielders who make it more difficult. But someone who has never seen baseball before would be like, ‘Oh, yeah. You’d probably want to hit it out there.’ ” (Jon Blacker, The Canadian Press via APToronto Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson hits a double in his first appearance since returning from the DL against the Texas Rangers in the first inning during a baseball game in Toronto, Friday May 26, 2017. – – – The introduction in 2015 of Statcast – MLB’s camera-based analytics system, which can measure player movements and ball flights in intricate detail – has confirmed and perhaps accelerated the flyball trend in baseball by introducing “launch angle,” a measurement of a ball’s vertical trajectory, into the mainstream. While a launch angle of zero is essentially a line drive at the pitcher’s knees, a negative figure is a grounder and 90 degrees is a popup straight above home plate. Analysts have been able to pinpoint the range of 25-35 degrees as the sweet spot for home runs, when paired with an exit velocity – a measure of the speed of the ball off the bat – of 95 mph or greater. The exit velocity is crucial: At lower velocities, those flyballs are simply outs. “People see launch angle and think guys are just trying to hit it higher,” Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo said. “That is a part of it. But you also have to hit it hard.” And while data is available for just the past three seasons, there is already evidence that players are catching on. In 2015 the average launch angle in MLB was 10.5 degrees, but in 2016 the league-wide average rose to 11.5, an increase of about 10 percent. This year, through May 21, the league average is up to 12.8 degrees, another year-to-year increase of almost 12 percent. Clearly, the notion is gaining traction. “It’s a transition lane in which the game is going,” Pirates Ma [...]
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Rockies felled by the Big Maple, James Paxton, to match a season-high losing skid
SEATTLE — Canadian James Paxton, a 6-foot-4 left-hander whose fastball hurtles to the plate at triple-digit speed, is the seventh-hardest throwing starting pitcher in baseball history, or at least since velocity measurements became valid about 15 years ago. His quickest pitch, according to Baseball Prospectus founder Joe Sheehan, averages 95.5 mph over a five-year career. That is not why Paxton last month earned the nickname “Big Maple.” That moniker landed when the 28-year-old stormed to a 1.69 ERA over six games to start the season. And the forearm injury that shelved him for nearly a month kept Paxton out just long enough to return in time to face the Rockies.Ted S. Warren, The Associated PressColorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela wipes his brow on the mound after being called for a balk, which sent Seattle Mariners’ Jarrod Dyson to second base during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Seattle. Paxton on Wednesday night cruised through more than five scoreless innings to shut down the suddenly skidding Rockies, striking out six on just three hits in the Mariners’ 5-0 victory at Safeco Field. “He’s got a good arm, man,” Rockies manager Bud Black said before the game. “He lets it rip.” Boxscore: Seattle 5, Colorado 0 The Rockies (33-22) lost a third consecutive game for just the second time, matching a season-long losing streak to remain a half-game behind the Dodgers in the National League West. In a pair of two-game series, between Denver and Seattle, the Mariners have won the first three. “Offensively, we haven’t scored a bunch of runs lately,” Rockies right field Carlos Gonzalez said. “You see a lot of guys not hitting the ball well, myself included.” And for the second time in five days, the Rockies were shut out. Paxton allowed just one hit in the first five innings, a Tony Wolters infield nubber in the third. In the sixth, Wolters singled again, up the middle, and so did Charlie Blackmon. Nothing more against the Big Maple. His second-inning, four-pitch strikeout of DJ LeMahieu used three fastballs that each ran up to 98 mph. But just when LeMahieu caught up to foul off the third pitch, Paxton came back with a dinky 83-mph knuckle curve for the K. “Velocity impresses me,” Black said. “But what impresses me more is velocity and command. And if you combine velocity and command and movement, heads up, Hall of Fame. It’s a very hard combo to come by.” Black was not suggesting an early entry into baseball mortality for Paxton, who was on a pitch limit Wednesday to protect his health. But Paxton did outstuff his counterpart, Rockies rookie Antonio Senzatela. The Mariners rattled Colorado’s 22-year-old in a three-run second inning, as Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seagler hit back-to-back singles and Danny Valencia and Mike Zunino followed with run-scoring doubles. Related ArticlesJune 1, 2017 Lunch Special: Rockies live chat with Patrick Saunders May 31, 2017 Antonio Senzatela, the Little Prince, working through nerves in first-rate rookie run for Rockies May 31, 2017 On The Rox podcast: Kyle Freeland talks early season success May 30, 2017 The Tylers, this time Anderson, are struggling again as Rockies fall out of first place in the NL West May 30, 2017 Kiszla vs. Groke: Is Charlie Blackmon or Greg Holland the Rockies’ most valuable player? “The ball over the plate to Valencia was the back-breaker,” Black said of Senzatela’s elevated fastball offering. Senzatela, though, steadied himself. He struck out a career-high seven batters over five innings, including Zunino on a swinging slider in the fifth. And he gave up just two more hits than Paxton, who got through 5L innings. But Senzatela walked Jarrod Dyson to lead off the fifth, then balked to move him to second, then buried a wild pitch to push him to third. Dyson scored on a simple Ben Gamel single two batters later. “I threw a couple fastballs up and they got me,” Senzatela said. The M’s added a run against Rockies reliever Jordan Lyles. The Rockies added nothing after Paxton’s exit. After LeMahieu singled in the ninth, Nolan Arenado grounded into a game-ending double play. Colorado’s Nos. 3-8 hitters went 0-for-19 at the plate. “He has a really good fastball,” Gonzalez said of Paxton. “It makes him difficult. First time coming back from the DL, but he looks pretty good.” Ted S. Warren, The Associated PressColorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela wipes his brow on the mound after being called for a balk, which sent Seattle Mariners’ Jarrod Dyson to second base during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Seattle. [...]
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Lunch Special: Rockies live chat with Patrick Saunders
The Denver Post’s Rockies reporter Patrick Saunders answers questions from readers about the Colorado Rockies 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")); [...]
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On The Rox podcast: Kyle Freeland talks early season success
Subscribe to the podcast SoundCloud | iTunes | Stitcher | RSS Rockies rookie pitcher Kyle Freeland joins The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders to discuss his early season success, what motivated him during the offseason and his golf game. Patrick also discusses the trouble with the Rockies’ Tylers (Anderson and Chatwood). Patrick also goes inside some staggering numbers the Rockies are putting up this season, especially by their rookie pitchers. And finally he answers a few questions from the Rockies Mailbag. Released May 31, 2017. Mobile users, if you don’t see the podcast player, tap here. Related Articles On The Rox podcast: Rockies catcher Tony Wolters, Colorado superfan Mile High Mohawk On The Rox podcast: 5 impressions midway through Rockies spring training On The Rox podcast: Alanna Rizzo talks Rockies, Dodgers On The Rox podcast: Charlie Blackmon talks about offseason hunting, spring training and the 2017 season On The Rox podcast: Nolan Arenado talks about his offseason trip to Cuba [...]
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Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon in position to start All-Star Game in early voting results
Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon has been on fire to start the season — and baseball fans across the nation are beginning to take notice. The Rockies center fielder was second among all National League outfielders in the first All-Star Game voting results released Tuesday for the 2017 midsummer matchup at Marlins Park in Miami. Blackmon is hitting .329 with 13 home runs and an MLB-leading 46 RBIs entering play Tuesday. Blackmon (520,479 votes) trails only Nationals’ Bryce Harper (900,079) in the NL outfield voting. The top three outfielders earn the start. Related ArticlesMay 29, 2017 PHOTOS: Colorado Rockies win 8-4 over St. Louis Cardinals May 29, 2017 Tyler Chatwood’s poor start opens doors for Mariners’ win over Rockies May 29, 2017 Bud Black explains how Rockies rotate the Desmond-Reynolds-Parra triumvirate May 28, 2017 WATCH: Rockies prospect Josh Fuentes strikes out in incredibly unique manner May 28, 2017 Rockies blast their way to another series victory, topping the Cardinals with a wild eighth inning Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (392,051 votes) ranks second in the vote for NL third baseman, behind the reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant of the Cubs (632,900 votes). Other Rockies receiving votes included DJ LeMahieu, who ranks fifth in the NL second baseman voting, and Carlos Gonzalez, who sits in 15th place among NL outfielders. Mark Reynolds, the Rockies first baseman who has posted a .313 average, 13 homers and 44 RBIs so far this year, is not among the leading vote-getters in large part because he is not on the ballot. Some Rockies fans have taken to social media to encourage voters to write-in Reynolds’ name. National League all-star votes The latest update for the National League all-star fan vote, released Tuesday: CATCHER 1. Buster Posey Giants 559,428 2. Willson Contreras Cubs 355,289 3. Yadier Molina Cardinals 303,857 4. Matt Wieters Nationals 177,957 5. Yasmani Grandal Dodgers 127,844 FIRST BASE 1. Anthony Rizzo Cubs 452,620 2. Ryan Zimmerman Nationals 359,055 3. Freddie Freeman Braves 286,389 4. Paul Goldschmidt D-backs 205,828 5. Eric Thames Brewers 170,244 SECOND BASE 1. Daniel Murphy Nationals 669,643 2. Javier Baez Cubs 474,119 3. Brandon Phillips Braves 126,404 4. Kolten Wong Cardinals 118,416 5. DJ LeMahieu Rockies 113,889 THIRD BASE 1. Kris Bryant Cubs 632,900 2. Nolan Arenado Rockies 392,051 3. Justin Turner Dodgers 220,029 4. Jedd Gyorko Cardinals 182,950 5. Anthony Rendon Nationals 137,767 SHORTSTOP 1. Corey Seager Dodgers 399,347 2. Addison Russell Cubs 379,640 3. Zack Cozart Reds 264,516 4. Chris Owings D-backs 219,287 5. Trea Turner Nationals 180,184 OUTFIELD 1. Bryce Harper Nationals 900,079 2. Charlie Blackmon Rockies 520,479 3. Jason Heyward Cubs 344,166 4. Ben Zobrist Cubs 327,231 5. Kyle Schwarber Cubs 305,449 6. Matt Kemp Braves 284,420 7. Marcell Ozuna Marlins 255,945 8. Giancarlo Stanton Marlins 232,329 9. Yoenis Cespedes Mets 229,401 10. Jay Bruce Mets 180,970 11. Dexter Fowler Cardinals 180,888 12. Ryan Braun Brewers 143,587 13. Jayson Werth Nationals 127,511 14. Yasiel Puig Dodgers 125,149 15. Carlos Gonzalez Rockies 117,944 [...]
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WATCH: Rockies prospect Josh Fuentes strikes out in incredibly unique manner
Rockies prospect Josh Fuentes made a memorable play he probably wants to forget. Related ArticlesMay 28, 2017 Rockies blast their way to another series victory, topping the Cardinals with a wild eighth inning May 28, 2017 Jon Gray “turning it loose” pitching without a boot and his return to Rockies is nearing May 27, 2017 Adam Wainwright has dominated the Rockies like no other pitcher in 25 years. And he did it again. May 27, 2017 Kiszla: Inside Rockies rookie pitcher Antonio Senzatela, there’s a little bit of Michael Jordan May 27, 2017 Mark Reynolds, still on a Rockies tear, hitting far and near; Nolan Arenado’s “matador”; offense rolling The 24-year-old Hartford Yard Goats infielder faced pitcher Cory Burns of Mets Double-A affiliate Binghamton with two outs in the top of the eighth inning on Friday. Burns looked like he lost his footing and threw a dribbler into the dirt in front of him. As the ball rolled harmless toward the catcher, Fuentes took a practice swing. That’s a no-no. The umpire called a strike and ended the inning. The Yard Goats would lose 5-4. “Made it to sports center dream come true,” Fuentes tweeted. @SportsCenter Made it to sports center dream come true — josh fuentes (@jfuent19) May 28, 2017 [...]
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Jon Lester and Clayton Kershaw rocked in Dodgers’ 9-4 sweep of Cubs
LOS ANGELES — Two aces with three World Series titles, three Cy Young Awards and 10 All-Star nods between them struggling on the same day? If it hadn’t happened to Jon Lester and Clayton Kershaw, Joe Maddon wouldn’t have believed it. “It sounds like fiction to me,” the Cubs manager said. Reality bites, particularly for Maddon’s team. Cody Bellinger and Kike Hernandez led an offensive outburst with three-run homers that upstaged the anticipated duel between the two aces, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Chicago 9-4 on Sunday to sweep the Cubs in three games at home for the first time since August 2012. “I’ve not seen Clayton like that. We were on him,” Maddon said. “It was just one of those days. It’s inexplicable.” Lester and Kershaw were rocked for 10 runs and 18 hits in a combined 7 2/3 innings of their first career matchup. The left-handers failed to retire the side in order in any inning. Lester (3-3) gave up a season-high six runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings in his shortest outing of the season for Chicago. He struck out six and walked two. The three homers he surrendered were a season high. “Just wasted the whole day. I didn’t have command of my fastball on either side of the plate,” Lester said. “I couldn’t really go to any particular pitch to try and bail me out of any trouble.” Kershaw allowed a season-high-tying four runs and a career-high-tying 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings, his shortest outing so far this year. The Cubs stranded 10 runners against him. “They battled me well,” Kershaw said. “Gave up a lot of hits, but our team was better today. Silver lining that we got the sweep. I’ll think about all that other bad stuff tomorrow.” Related ArticlesMay 27, 2017 Chase Anderson takes no-hit bid into eighth in Brewers win over Diamondbacks May 27, 2017 Jameson Taillon set for first rehab start since cancer surgery May 27, 2017 Stephen Strasburg strikes out career-high 15 as Nationals down Padres May 27, 2017 Jim Bunning, Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. senator, dies at 85 May 26, 2017 Tom Lasorda recovering after pacemaker replacement surgery Josh Fields (2-0) got the victory, striking out two in 1 2/3 innings. The game’s 13 runs came on seven homers. “You hit those stretches sometimes when you’re just hitting home runs, and that’s the way you’re scoring,” Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant said. “Hopefully, next time that happens we take advantage of it.” Bellinger put the Dodgers ahead 3-1 with a drive into the right-field pavilion in the second for the rookie’s team-leading 10th homer. It was Lester’s first homer allowed with runners on this season. “The ball can fly during the day here so you try to take advantage of it,” Bellinger said. Hernandez connected in the third, extending the lead to 6-1. Chicago pulled within two with three runs in the fourth. Javier Baez hit a solo shot and Anthony Rizzo belted a two-run drive for his team-leading 12th homer. The Cubs jumped on Kershaw from the start. Baez and Bryant had broken-bat singles on first pitches from him to open the game. Addison Russell singled off the first pitch leading off the fifth. “It was just getting kind of haywire there,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. Chicago led 1-0 when Willson Contreras homered leading off the second, snapping 30 consecutive road innings without a run scored. It came on the 12th pitch of the at-bat after Contreras fouled off five straight pitches from Kershaw. Austin Barnes homered off Chicago’s Mike Montgomery in the fifth. Pinch hitter Yasiel Puig added a two-run shot in the seventh off Pedro Strop. The Dodgers have won nine of 11 overall and 11 of 13 at home. The Cubs were outscored 18-4 in the series, losing the first two games by scores of 4-0 and 5-0. They have lost eight of 10 on the road. TRAINER’S ROOM Cubs: INF Ben Zobrist sat out a second straight game with a sore left wrist, but is expected to return to the lineup Monday. Dodgers: LF Franklin Gutierrez left in the first inning with a gastrointestinal illness. … CF Joc Pederson is still in concussion protocol. He will make the trip to St. Louis, but he isn’t expected to be activated. He stayed in the clubhouse Sunday instead of the dugout to avoid sensory overload. … LHP Brandon McCarthy had an MRI that showed patella tendinitis in his right knee, which won’t keep him out of the rotation. SWEET RELIEF The Dodgers’ NL-leading bullpen pitched 4 2/3 hitless innings. The pen hasn’t given up a run in four straight games and has tossed 15 2/3 scoreless innings during that stretch, while allowing just three hits, striking out 12 and walking three. “No on [...]
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Kiszla: Inside Rockies rookie pitcher Antonio Senzatela, there’s a little bit of Michael Jordan
You want to know why the Rockies are in first place and the Los Angeles Dodgers are not? Well, let’s start by doing the math. The Dodgers pay ace Clayton Kershaw a base salary of $33 million. As a rookie, Antonio Senzatela’s annual paycheck from the Rockies is $535,000. And, right now, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two pitchers. I want to know: How Senzatela does it? Unlike Kershaw, who makes hitters mumble with self-loathing on the way back to the dugout after striking out, Senzatela pitches to contact, which seems like a good way for a pitcher to get hurt at Coors Field. Yet here are Kershaw and Senzatela, the greatest pitcher of our generation and the most unlikely hero on baseball’s most surprising team, tied for the National League lead with seven victories apiece. So I need to know: What’s the secret to Senzatela’s success? “Breathing,” he tells me. Breathing? If inhaling and exhaling were the lone requirements, I could be Clayton Kershaw. And if I were Kershaw, the first thing I’d do with that $33 million salary is upgrade my garage by installing an In-N-Out Burger franchise with my own private drive-through window. The real secret to being Senzatela is how he loves trouble. The bigger the jam, the taller Senzatela stands. He doesn’t wilt under pressure. He thrives under pressure. “There are certain quarterbacks, when it’s third-and-12 in the fourth quarter with four minutes left, they complete the pass. … ” Rockies manager Bud Black says. “Or with two minutes to go, and a guy pulls up for a 20-footer, he makes it. Or Derek Jeter gets a base hit in October. It happens. And when it happens more often than not, then there’s something to that.” This is not to suggest Senzatela is Kershaw or Michael Jordan or Jeter. It’s way too early to go there. But like all bona fide stars in the clutch, Senzatela embraces the chaos. “I do get nervous with runners on base,” Senzatela says. “But I have learned, if you want to be a good pitcher, when you are in trouble, you have got to stay focused. You have got to keep it simple. You cannot worry about that man on second base or that man on third base. You have to breathe and throw the baseball in the spot you want it. So on the mound, the first thing I do when I have people on base is remember to breathe. Breathe, and then throw a strike.” With nobody on base, Senzatela is a solid pitcher, but definitely not spectacular. When the bases are empty, foes are batting .254 against him. And hitters tend to punish his mistakes, smacking seven doubles, a triple and six home runs in 130 at-bats. But when there’s traffic, Senzatela morphs into one tough cop, and lays down the law. With runners on base, the batting average of his opponents drops to .215. When in a jam, Senzatela pitches his best. With runners in scoring position, he has allowed only eight hits in 51 at-bats, with no home runs and only two doubles. Maybe the truest definition of a stopper is a pitcher that laughs at trouble. With two outs and runners in scoring position, hitters are batting an anemic .143 against Senzatela. Notice the trend? A pitcher that can’t deal with the chaos will get eaten alive by Coors Field. But the tougher the situation, the better Senzatela pitches. It’s a statistical trait he shares with Kershaw, who is limiting hitters to a .205 batting average with runners on base. Senzatela strands runners at a 79.8 percent clip, which ranks him ninth among NL hurlers, not far behind Kershaw (83.3). Related ArticlesMay 23, 2017 Kiszla: Here’s the real key to Siemian vs. Lynch competition for Broncos quarterback job May 20, 2017 Kiszla: Are the Rockies legit World Series contenders? Believe it. Now they need to act like it. May 18, 2017 Kiszla: Why LeBron James and Steph Curry kill any hope for the Nuggets and rest of the NBA May 17, 2017 Kiszla: Looking to add some nasty, here are 3 prospects and sleeper for Nuggets in NBA draft May 16, 2017 Kiszla: The four-letter word Derek Wolfe never wants the Broncos’ D-line to be called? Soft. Yes, 10 starts constitute such a small sample size it would be crazy to declare Senzatela a true ace. On the other hand … “He has shown in a short period of time the ability to elevate his game. I really don’t like to say that,” says Black, who dislikes the term “elevate your game” because it could suggest slacking off during more routine situations. “But (Senzatela) knows when the next at-bat, or the next few pitches are critical. His in-game awareness of what’s going on at that moment, when it’s hot and there’s a crisis, has shown me this guy has an instinct for what’s going on in that mome [...]
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