Rockies

MLB umpire John Tumpane kept woman from jumping off Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH  — John Tumpane can’t explain why he approached the woman as she hopped over the railing of the Roberto Clemente Bridge on Wednesday afternoon. The woman told Tumpane she just wanted to get a better view of the Allegheny River below. The look on her face and the tone of her voice suggested otherwise to Tumpane, a major league baseball umpire in town to work the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays. So the 34-year-old Tumpane reached for the woman even as she urged him to let her go. “It was just pure instinct,” Tumpane said . “You hear kind of stories of this all the time, different scenarios, people aiding and situation where I was lucky enough to be there to help and try to think of everything I could do, hanging on to her. At times she wanted to go the other way. I was like, ‘not on my watch, please.’ We were just hanging on.” And saving a life. Tumpane secured one of her arms. A bystander walked up and grabbed the other while another — Mike Weinman, an employee for the Rays — clutched her legs and pinned them to the railing while Tumpane mouthed to someone in the crowd to call 911. What followed were chaotic moments of panic, fear and ultimately, grace. “I couldn’t tell you how long we were waiting for everyone else to get in place,” Tumpane said. ‘Obviously another power comes into be when you’re hanging on and you know what the alternative is of you letting go and not having other people to help you.” Tumpane, Weinman and the third volunteer clung to the unidentified woman until emergency responders arrived. A police boat raced up the river to the iconic yellow bridge named for the Pirates Hall of Famer who died on Dec. 31, 1972, when a plane making humanitarian deliveries to earthquake victims in Nicaragua crashed. Now, 45 years later a crowd thrust together by fate brought a complete stranger back from the brink. Together. “Once they were able to secure her, we were able to talk her back to help us out and we got her back on this side,” Tumpane said. “After that I went up to her, she said, ‘You’ll just forget me after this’ and I said, ‘No, I’ll never forget you.’ This was an unbelievable day and I’m glad to say she can have another day with us and I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time.” Tumpane, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, got into umpiring as a teenager, made his major-league debut in 2012 and received his full-time MLB commission in 2016, stressed he’s no hero. “I just happened to be there,” he said. “I think I’ve been a caring person in my life. I saw somebody in need, and it looked like a situation to obviously insert myself and help out.” The aftermath was a bit surreal. After the woman was taken away, Tumpane called his wife, his arms still shaking. “Not too many times you call your wife and say you helped save somebody’s life,” he said. “A really special moment.” One that stayed with him even as he prepared to call balls and strikes behind home plate Wednesday night. During breaks in the action his eyes would drift to the bridge just a few hundred feet behind the center field wall at PNC Park. “It’s also hard when you stand back behind home plate and look and you see the bridge in the distance, In between innings and whatnot, just thinking of how things could have maybe been,” he said. “Glad it was this way.” Tumpane has no experience in crisis management or suicide prevention. He’s spent 16 years living the nomadic life of an umpire. Asked what was going through his head while he tried to coax the woman back to safety, Tumpane just shrugged his shoulders. How do you explain the unexplainable? “I happened to be in the right spot at the right time,” he said. “Tried to be as comforting as I could and talk her through it. Thankfully that was the outcome.” [...]
3
Like
Save
Rockies’ losing streak reaches seven games after 14th inning loss to Giants
SAN FRANCISCO — Gloom rolled in on the Rockies like the famous fog in this gorgeous city by the bay. Losers of six straight games entering Tuesday’s game, the Rockies lost Gold Glove second baseman DJ LeMahieu to a groin injury — way back in the fourth inning. And the zeroes on the scoreboard mounted, the Rockies desperately needed someone to play hero. But no one was able to come through with one big hit. Finally, in the 14th inning, after most of the crowd at AT&T Park had gone home and the seagulls were flocking, San Francisco’s Denard Span donned the mask and cape. The Giants’ center fielder roped a walk-off single to right off Chad Qualls to score Gorkys Hernandez, who had ripped a one-out double off Qualls to get the rally started. The final: Giants 4, Rockies 3. “They got the hit at the end,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “Both teams, as the game went on, had some opportunities. In a game like this — that was well-pitched by both starters — it usually comes down to the one big hit, or the one play.” The Rockies went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. And so they lost their seventh consecutive game when 4 hours and 45 minutes ended in frustration. Meanwhile, both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona won Tuesday, leaving Colorado 5 ½ games behind the Dodgers in the National League West and four games behind the second-place Diamondbacks. “It’s been a crazy seven days, it’s been rough,” said veteran first baseman Mark Reynolds who accounted for all of the Rockies’ runs with a three-run homer off Matt Cain in the sixth inning. “It’s baseball, man. Sometimes you get the breaks and sometimes you don’t. “It seems like we were getting a bunch of breaks earlier, a couple weeks ago. But now everything seems to be going the other way. We need to have a game where we pitch good and hit good at the same time.” The Rockies certainly got plenty of quality pitching Tuesday night. Jeff Hoffman provided the Rockies with a solid start for the first time in a week. And left-handed reliever Chris Rusin kept the Rockies in the game, pitching three scoreless innings from the ninth through the 11th. Giants all-star catcher Buster Posey kept his team in the game by throwing out Ian Desmond attempting to steal in the 11th and Charlie Blackmon attempting to steal in the 12th. Posey’s throws were dead on both times. “Posey made two really good throws on stolen-base (attempts) when our guys had good jumps,” Black said. “This was actually a well-played game.” The Rockies lost their 3-2 lead in the eighth when pinch hitter Kelby Tomlinson stroked a soft single to right field off reliever Jake McGee, scoring Brandon Belt. McGee gave up two hits in the inning, but also struck out Hernandez and pinch hitter Nick Hundley to end the inning. Early in the evening, long before the game was decided, Hoffman and Reynolds gave the Rockies a big lift. Reynolds stepped up to the plate with two on in the sixth and with the Rockies trailing 1-0. Cain, the Giants’ veteran right-hander, intentionally walked Nolan Arenado to get to Reynolds. Bad mistake. Cain’s second mistake was hanging a first-pitch, 74 mph curveball that Reynolds drove deep to left field for a three-run homer. Reynolds’ 19th homer of the season was the Rockies’ first home run in 49 innings, dating back to Charlie Blackmon’s leadoff homer against Arizona last Thursday at Coors Field. Rockies starters had posted an ugly 13.32 ERA during the previous six losses, leaving a fatigued bullpen in a bad way. But Hoffman delivered 6 ⅔ solid innings. He gave up two runs on six hits, walked three and struck out six. Most important, he pitched with poise, something that had been lacking of late from his fellow rookie starters. “Whenever your team is going through something like this, it’s in the back of your head,” Hoffman said, when asked if he knew going in that his team needed a big-time start. “But it really doesn’t play a part in your game plan. You just try to execute, make quality pitches and get outs.” For the most part, Hoffman succeeded. His fastball command was sharp and he was able to pinpoint his breaking ball, in and out of the strike zone. “Jeff did great,” Black said. “He’s growing as a young pitcher. To come here and pitch like he did in this environment, it’s a great sign.” San Francisco scratched out a run off Hoffman in the third on a single by Hernandez, a perfect sacrifice bunt by Cain and an RBI single by Span. Related ArticlesJune 27, 2017 Rockies’ Mike Tauchman, armed with more power, gets major-league call-up June 27, 2017 Rockies’ left-hander Tyler Anderson to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery [...]
3
Like
Save
Antonio Senzatela heads to Rockies’ bullpen; Carlos Gonzalez, Tyler Anderson go on DL
SAN FRANCISCO — What could be the start of a revolving door for the Rockies’ rotation began Monday. Rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland will now start Wednesday’s game against San Francisco and rookie right-hander Antonio Senzatela will work out of the bullpen. Right-hander Jon Gray, meanwhile, out since suffering a stress fracture in his left foot here on April 13, is penciled in as the starter for Friday’s game at Arizona. Senzatela, 9-3 with a 4.79 ERA, has never pitched above Double-A until this season. His move to the bullpen is designed to lessen the workload on his arm, but is also a move to try and strengthen a Rockies rotation that has been pitching poorly. “We have been discussing a lot of things, in real time, as things go on,” manager Bud Black. “We are paying very close attention to the rookie pitchers. We are getting to the point of the season where you could see some things developing with how we manage our young pitchers. … This is a pretty fluid situation.” In regard to Senzatela, Black said: “You can a make case that this is maybe a step to manage his innings. But if you look at his last four starts (2-1, 8.86 ERA, .314 batting average against), you can look at his performance and see that it’s time for him to take a little step back and spend some time in the ‘pen.” Black added that he believes Senzatela will start for the Rockies in the future. He also said Senzatela would likely be used for two-inning stints, rather than one-inning appearances. CarGo, Anderson to DL. The Rockies placed right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (right shoulder strain) and left-handed starter Tyler Anderson (left knee inflammation) on the 10-day disabled list. In corresponding moves, the club recalled right-hander reliever Jairo Diaz from Triple-A Albuquerque and reinstated right-handed reliever Chad Qualls (lower back spasms) from the DL. Anderson’s return from the DL lasted only a short time. He started Sunday in Los Angeles, but lasted only three innings when pain returned to his left leg. Anderson initially thought he was suffering from a cramped hamstring, but Black said the cramping might be connected to the inflammation in Anderson’s knee. Gonzalez had hoped to avoid the DL, but the club decided the wise move was to give him a full 10 days off. His stint on the disabled list is retroactive to Friday. Diaz would be making his first appearance in a Rockies uniform in two years after missing the entire 2016 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. “I feel good and I feel strong,” he said. “My velocity is back where it was.” Diaz has gone 0-1 with a 4.66 ERA, two walks and 12 strikeouts in 10 appearances between High-A  Lancaster (Calif.) and Triple-A Albuquerque this season. Related ArticlesJune 26, 2017 German Marquez blasted by Giants as Rockies lose sixth straight June 26, 2017 Sliding Rockies not giving up on National League West title dreams June 26, 2017 Rockies’ Nolan Arenado gaining on Cubs’ Kris Bryant in All-Star Game voting with 4 days left June 25, 2017 Jon Gray set to return for the Rockies in Arizona — they hope just in time June 25, 2017 Rockies’ ugliest loss of 2017 is a gut-punch from Dodgers as Adam Ottavino throws four wild pitches Prospects swapped. Colorado acquired left-hander Zac Rosscup from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for right-handed pitcher Matt Carasiti. Rosscup was added to the 40-man roster and optioned to Triple-A. Rosscup, 29, made one appearance for the Cubs this season, pitching two-thirds of an inning of scoreless relief on May 22 vs. San Francisco. He was designated for assignment by Chicago on Thursday. He went 3-1 with a 5.32 ERA, 32 walks and 57 strikeouts in 62 relief appearances in parts of four season for the Cubs. He spent the entire 2016 season on the 60-day DL with left shoulder inflammation. He made 17 appearances with one start for Triple-A Iowa this season, going 2-2 with a 2.60 ERA. Carasiti, 25, made 19 appearances for Colorado in 2016, going 1-0 with a 9.19 ERA, 11 walks and 17 strikeouts. This season, he’s 1-1 with a 2.37 ERA in 27 relief appearances for Triple-A Albuquerque. Looking ahead … Matthew Stockman, Getty ImagesStarting pitcher Jeff Hoffman of the Colorado Rockies throws in the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on June 21, 2017 in Denver. Rockies RHP Jeff Hoffman (4-1, 4.29 ERA) at Giants RHP Matt Cain (3-7, 5.54), 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, ROOT; 850 AM Hoffman needs a bounce-back performance in the worst way, because he’s coming off the worst performance of his young career. The rookie right-hander — the centerpiece of the Troy Tulowitzki trade two years ago — allowed a career-high nine runs in [...]
1
Like
Save
German Marquez blasted by Giants as Rockies lose sixth straight
SAN FRANCISCO — The mood in the visitor’s clubhouse at AT&T Park was remarkably upbeat Monday afternoon, especially given the occupant’s current state of play. “I’m not panicking by any means,” center fielder Charlie Blackmon said. “I knew this was going to happen at some point. You can’t go out there and be unbelievably better than everybody else — all season. You are going to have ups and downs. This is one of those down times, but I’m not panicking.” But those positive vibes certainly didn’t translate onto the diamond Monday night, where the Rockies lost 9-2 to San Francisco and saw their season-worst losing streak stretch to six games. The Giants, the National League West cellar dwellers, snapped a five-game skid of their own and also broke a nine-game losing streak to Colorado. BOX SCORE: Giants 9, Rockies 2 Related ArticlesJune 26, 2017 Antonio Senzatela heads to Rockies’ bullpen; Carlos Gonzalez, Tyler Anderson go on DL June 26, 2017 Sliding Rockies not giving up on National League West title dreams June 26, 2017 Rockies’ Nolan Arenado gaining on Cubs’ Kris Bryant in All-Star Game voting with 4 days left June 25, 2017 Jon Gray set to return for the Rockies in Arizona — they hope just in time June 25, 2017 Rockies’ ugliest loss of 2017 is a gut-punch from Dodgers as Adam Ottavino throws four wild pitches Once again, the Rockies failed to get anything close to a quality start. Rookie right-hander German Marquez was gone after four messy innings (and 86 pitches), victimized by five runs off seven Giants hits, including a loud, run-scoring double by Buster Posey in the first inning and run-scoring triples by Brandon Belt in the third and Denard Span in the fourth. Marquez faced heavy traffic in every inning but the second. “My fastball command was not good and I was missing up the zone,” Marquez said, echoing the assessment of manager Bud Black. “My breaking ball was there at times, but it was inconsistent. It happens. When you are are not commanding well, you usually pay the price.” During its six-game skid, Colorado starters have combined for a 13.31 ERA, and that has left Black, like all Rockies managers before him, searching for solutions. Before the game, he moved former starter Antonio Senzatela into the bullpen and ended up using him for two scoreless innings. The Rockies expect right-hander Jon Gray back on Friday in Phoenix. It appears as if teams in the NL West have begun to figure out the Rockies’ young starters, but Marquez didn’t agree with that theory. “That’s not really it,” he said. “If I execute my pitches I can beat anybody. It’s not a matter of (them) knowing me. It’s just a bad day.” Although it sure didn’t look like it Monday night, this was the same Giants team that only eight days ago limped out of Coors Field having been swept in four games by the Rockies. That had never happened before. At that time, the Rockies were on top of the world, and on top of the NL West. But these Rockies don’t look at all like those Rockies. Consider this: San Francisco right-hander Jeff Samardzija had already faced the Rockies three times this season and was 0-3 with a 9.33 ERA.  But until he ran out of gas in the seventh, Samardzija dominated the Rockies, blanking them for six innings, allowing only four hits, striking out five and walking none. “He put us on the ground a lot. We had some hard contact on some line drives, but they were hit low and we couldn’t get a lot of balls to the outfield,”  said left fielder Ian Desmond, who committed an error by dropping Gorkys Hernandez’s line drive to spark the Giants’ three-run eighth inning. “(Samardzija) had a good cutter-slider and we just couldn’t square him up tonight,” Black said. Symbolic of Colorado’s woes at the plate was the 0-for-4 performance of usual Giants killer Nolan Arenado. Monday marked his 37th career game at AT&T Park, and it was just the fifth time he did not reach base safely. Colorado rallied in the seventh with three singles off Samardzija, including Trevor Story‘s run producer. Colorado quickly jumped on reliever Hunter Strickland, loading the bases on an RBI single by Tony Wolters and a walk by Blackmon. But the rally fizzled when DJ LeMahieu grounded out to Strickland. During their end-of-June swoon, the Rockies have been outscored 57-17 and have hit just .199. Asked if he could pinpoint that Rockies’ woes, Desmond responded: “A lot of not good. It seems like things are going bad right now, but we’ll turn it around.” [...]
4
Like
Save
Jon Gray set to return for the Rockies in Arizona, they hope just in time; Tyler Anderson injured; CarGo, Parra mending
LOS ANGELES — Right-hander Jon Gray, the Rockies’ opening-day starter and hardest thrower, will return to pitch at Arizona this week, manager Bud Black said Sunday, as the club looks for an infusion of life in a struggling rotation. Gray likely will pitch Friday in the opener of a three-game series. Gray, 25, will be pitching for the first time since suffering a broken left foot April 13 on the mound in San Francisco. Black referenced Gray’s stamina, endurance, stuff, sharpness and competitiveness in a minor-league rehab start Saturday with Triple-A Albuquerque. Then the manager punctuated his list of positives with disquiet. “I’m not happy with the four walks,” Black said. “Walks have been a little bothersome for me lately. We have to do something about that. I’m not a big walk guy.” Related ArticlesJune 25, 2017 Rockies’ ugliest loss of 2017 is a gut-punch from Dodgers as Adam Ottavino throws four wild pitches June 24, 2017 Tyler Chatwood crumbles in a wave of walks as Rockies reach a season-high losing skid June 24, 2017 The Rockies are leaning on rookie pitchers. But how long can they last? June 24, 2017 Keeping pace in the NL West means learning on the fly for the Rockies June 24, 2017 Saunders: Rockies are not a fraud, but they are flawed Gray struck out six, walked four and gave up a run on five hits against Sacramento. He got through five innings on 94 pitches. “None of them were four-pitch walks. They were all hard-fought counts,” Gray said. Black received a late-night report from Albuquerque at Dodger Stadium immediately after watching Tyler Chatwood walk eight batters in the Rockies’ 4-0 loss to the Dodgers on Saturday. Chatwood lasted just 3 1/3 innings. Kyle Freeland was the only Rockies pitcher to last past the fifth inning in a four-game skid, when he pitched six innings Friday in a loss to the Dodgers. Jeff Hoffman, Antonio Senzatela and Chatwood appeared in abbreviated outings, all losses. “It definitely means more now, but I’m not changing anything at all,” Gray said. “I’m just going to take that aggressive mind-set, look for quick outs and make hitters uncomfortable.” Gray fielded a high chopper at the Giants’ AT&T Park in April and in his turn to throw toward first base, he suffered a stress fracture in his left foot. He wore a walking boot for several weeks, while continuing to throw through his rehabilitation. But his recovery took longer than expected. He will pitch again after missing about 11 weeks. “My endurance, it was like night and day,” Gray said of his final rehab start. Anderson injured. Lefty Tyler Anderson returned to the rotation Sunday at Dodger Stadium. But he lasted just 2 1/3 innings, yanked from the game with what he called a left hamstring cramp. Anderson threw 55 pitches before Jordan Lyles replaced him. He will undergo tests in San Francisco on Monday, Black said. And his availability to pitch next weekend remains in doubt. “I’m not a doctor,” Anderson said, brushing off any worry about his next start. “Yeah, I want to. I had a cramp in my leg.” Rotation in question. With Anderson, the Rockies are working with a six-man rotation. So Black placed rookie right-hander Antonio Senzatela in the bullpen for an emergency situation. But he did not turn to the 22-year-old to replace Anderson. “If this game went extra innings or we needed any sort of length, Senza was the guy for that,” Black said. The Rockies, though, have an open turn in their pitching schedule Wednesday against the Giants. The day will fall to Senzatela, on an extra day of rest, or to Freeland, on regular rest. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu spun this quandary as a positive. “In other years, we’d probably look around and be like, ‘Who else are we going to use? What are we going to do?’ ” he said after the Rockies’ wild 12-6 loss to the Dodgers. “But we’ve got so many guys now who can compete and be good — dominant, even — that this skid hopefully won’t last too long. We’ll definitely bounce back.” CarGo hurting. Right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (sore right shoulder) was not available again Sunday. He missed a third consecutive game after suffering the injury Wednesday in an at-bat, but the Rockies are trying to keep him off the disabled list. His pain improved Sunday with treatment. “Better, not good,” he said. “But better is good.” Footnotes. Gerardo Parra will have an ultrasound on his strained right thigh muscle Monday in San Francisco. If it checks out well, he will fly to Denver for an MRI, a test that will indicate his readiness for a rehab assignment, he said. Parra, though, estimated his leg’s healt [...]
2
Like
Save
The Rockies are leaning on rookie pitchers. But how long can they last?
LOS ANGELES — Kyle Freeland sat alone Friday with one leg draped off a dugout railing at Dodger Stadium, watching with some intent the batting practice of Clayton Kershaw. The best and most sturdy pitcher of this era is worth emulating, even his swings. Freeland wanted only the sun. “I just came outside to get warm,” Freeland said. “The clubhouse was a little cold.” In the snap of back-to-back blowout losses last week, the Rockies turned a luxury of youthful pitching depth into a shouted reminder of the ledge they are navigating with rookies. No other team in the majors is pitching more rookies over more games than the Rockies. And no other team in at least a decade has done it so well. But a chill has overcome the Rockies’ progress. Not because of the losses, exactly, but the potential for weariness. Are we seeing the warning signs of fatigue in pitchers playing their first big-league season? How deep, the worry? “The only thing, we have young pitchers — it’s not a concern, because they’re hungry and they compete — but I don’t want them to get tired,” said Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. “These are big games. For some of them, it’s their first time. They’re all rookies. I hope they continue to compete and work hard and that’s what they’re doing.” The rookies — Freeland, 24; Antonio Senzatela, 22; German Marquez, 22; and Jeff Hoffman, 24 — have combined to pitch 65 percent of the starting staff’s innings and 62 percent of the starts. They are carrying the load of an upstart team that rocketed into first place in the National League West and held the spot well into June. The recent history of teams swerving toward a rookie-heavy starting rotation elaborates on the difficulty of relying on young arms. The Cincinnati Reds of 2015 used eight rookies to pitch 66 percent of starts, including a major league-record 64 games in a row to finish the season. But that rookie movement was part of an intentional tear-down. The Reds had traded Johnny Cueto and finished 64-98, last in their division. In 2009, more rookie pitchers made starts than in any other season in baseball history since 1900. They accounted for 5 percent fewer victories and a collective ERA about 60 points higher. The Oakland Athletics used seven rookies to pitch about 71 percent of the season. The A’s finished 75-87 and in fourth place in their division. “Look at the 150 starters who started this season in rotations,” said Colorado manager Bud Black. “How many Kershaws are there? Look at it that way. Guys who you truly don’t worry about. Of 150, there are maybe 30 to 50 you don’t worry about it. And we’re no different than that. “Because of our four young guys, we’re probably playing closer attention to those fellas.” Colorado’s young core, though, is thriving. For now. The four rookies are 26-12 with a 4.16 ERA, a mark that would land sixth overall in the National League. Tyler Chatwood, a Rockies veteran at just 27, was 6-7 with a 4.08 ERA before his start Saturday night against the Dodgers. “We have Chatty and the four rookies right now,” reliever Adam Ottavino said. “They’re doing a great job. They’re the reason we’re where we’re at. But no matter what, they have a lot to learn. There will be ups and downs, different situations.” Related ArticlesJune 24, 2017 Tyler Chatwood crumbles in a wave of walks as Rockies reach a season-high losing skid June 24, 2017 Keeping pace in the NL West means learning on the fly for the Rockies June 24, 2017 Saunders: Rockies are not a fraud, but they are flawed June 23, 2017 Rockies skidding hard after loss to Dodgers, as Alex Wood washes them again and Yasiel Puig hits a ball far June 23, 2017 Rockies rotation changes take shape, with Colorado eyeing Tyler Anderson’s imminent return Changes are already afoot. Tyler Anderson, a 27-year-old lefty just past his rookie season in 2016, will return Sunday from left knee inflammation. Black bumped Marquez to Monday to give him an extra day of rest. And that is the concern: The physical toll on arms not accustomed to six-month seasons at the highest level, let alone the possibility of pitching in the postseason. Senzatela, for example, pitched only 34 2/3 innings last year, and only at Double-A, before a rib muscle injury ended his season. “It’s hard to tell,” Freeland said. “I’ll answer that question when we get to August or September and I’m floating around 200 innings. You have to keep grinding, listen to your body, take care of what you need to and last as long as you can.” The solution for Black and Colorado’s front office is not as clear as a [...]
3
Like
Save
Tyler Chatwood crumbles in a wave of walks as Rockies reach a season-high losing skid in L.A.
LOS ANGELES — A quick hook spared Tyler Chatwood the indignity of a dubious personal record Saturday at Dodger Stadium. But the silent exchange between the pitcher and his manager howled of irritation. The Rockies’ 27-year-old veteran right-hander — the intended rock of a rotation aging in reverse with four rookies — walked eight batters. In barely more than three innings. And when Bud Black walked to the mound to snatch away the baseball and the game, no words were spoken, no eye contact made. “I felt lost a little bit,” Chatwood said. The first-place and still surging Dodgers were well on their way to a 4-0 victory when Clayton Kershaw rubbed out a bases loaded pickle in the first inning. He is 93-0 in a distinguished career when his team scores four or more runs. The Dodgers did not need help. “When you beat yourself, that’s frustrating.” Chatwood said. “I didn’t have a good feel for it.” Chatwood walked four batters, three in a row, in a three-run third inning alone — the kicker being a four-pitch walk to Kershaw with the bases loaded. He walked two batters back-to-back in the second and Logan Forsythe, the first, scored. If there is one thing Black, a former pitcher over 15 seasons, cannot cotton to, it is walks. He yanked Chatwood with one out in the fourth, but it did not turn them around. The Rockies lost a fourth consecutive game for the first time this season. Chatwood tied a career walks high. He also did it July 24 last season against Atlanta. Less than a week ago, Colorado (47-30) held first place in the National League West. The Dodgers (50-26), winners of nine in a row, wrested the top spot and are now 3 1/2 games ahead of the third-place Rockies. The rash of walks halted Chatwood’s recent run. He had allowed two or fewer runs in six of his previous seven starts and his 1.73 ERA in June was the third-best in baseball among starters. But he fell to 6-8 with 4.32 ERA overall. Related ArticlesJune 24, 2017 The Rockies are leaning on rookie pitchers. But how long can they last? June 24, 2017 Keeping pace in the NL West means learning on the fly for the Rockies June 24, 2017 Saunders: Rockies are not a fraud, but they are flawed June 23, 2017 Rockies skidding hard after loss to Dodgers, as Alex Wood washes them again and Yasiel Puig hits a ball far June 23, 2017 Rockies rotation changes take shape, with Colorado eyeing Tyler Anderson’s imminent return Joc Pederson did him in twice, first with a solo homer on the first pitch of the Dodgers’ third inning, a looping shot to center field, then with a lead-off walk in the fourth, the last issued by Chatwood. The Dodgers offense seems unstoppable of late — they have homers in 16 straight games, the club’s longest streak since 1956. “It just snowballing on him and he couldn’t get out,” Black said. And the Rockies started the game with such promise. DJ LeMahieu lined a double to left field off Kershaw and Nolan Arenado rocked a single to shortstop that Enrique Hernandez could not corral. After Mark Reynolds walked to load the bases, in a nine-pitch battle for strike zone, Colorado had two more outs to kick Kershaw in the shins. But he quickly struck out Ian Desmond swinging and Trevor Story looking. Kershaw’s next inning needed only 13 pitches. He struck out eight and, deftly, walked just one in six shutout innings. “You have to capitalize on those and get at least a run,” Black said of Kershaw, noticing what the Rockies lacked. “He’s a strike-thrower. His efficiency is a result of him throwing strikes.” The Rockies on Sunday hope to get a kick from of the return of lefty Tyler Anderson, whose hitchy windup nearly mirrors Kershaw’s. They will settle for some strikes in trying to avoid a Dodgers sweep. [...]
2
Like
Save
Rockies skidding hard after loss to Dodgers, as Alex Wood washes them again and Yasiel Puig hits a ball far
LOS ANGELES — Stalked by a pesky swarm of gnats around first base, Mark Reynolds waved his glove and swatted his hat in defense. Then Yasiel Puig trotted by and all the buzz fell to a stop. The Dodgers’ Cuban slugger slammed a home run to center field so deep, it buried the Rockies in a 6-1 loss Friday in front of 43,787 fans at Chavez Ravine. The Rockies’ sudden hangover, a headache after two blowout losses to the Diamondbacks at Coors Field, has now extended into an ear-splitting skid to start a difficult nine-game, 10-day road trip through the National League West. A first-place team less 72 hours prior, Colorado has quickly fallen 2 1/2 games into third place behind the Dodgers and Diamondbacks. And on Saturday, they have to face the Ace of aces, Clayton Kershaw. “We have to play better,” Rockies left fielder Ian Desmond said. “There are ebbs and flows to a season, but this is one of those times when we need to pick it up.” On Friday, a third Rockies rookie in a row fell to defeat. Lefty Kyle Freeland gave up seven hits in the first two innings as the Dodgers made contact with just about everything he threw, accounting for four runs. Even the outs hurt. Cody Bellinger’s sacrifice fly to deep center field in the first scored Corey Seager. Freeland wriggled out of the inning with the bases loaded. Boxscore: LA Dodgers 6, Colorado 1 To lead off the second, though, Freeland walked catcher Austin Barnes, a brutal mistake. The Dodgers’ offense is a buzzsaw, with a major-league best plus-128 run differential, the best in the majors. They have scored six or more runs in seven consecutive games. Seager and Justin Turner singled and Bellinger doubled. Add three more runs. Freeland’s second walk to Barnes, in the third, drew the ire of his manager, Bud Black, who visited the mound for a spirited discussion. Black, a former pitcher himself, has a difficult time stomaching walks at the bottom of an order. Black described the confab as “a baseball discussion.” Freeland responded by forcing a keen 2-5-4 double play, to third and first, on a miffed bunt. In dropping his record to 8-5, Freeland, he said, fell victim to complacency. In his two previous starts against the Dodgers, the 23-year-old mastered a sinkerball to ground their hitters into weak-contact groundballs. He gave up just two runs over 10 innings. “They figured out how I was planning to pitch them,” Freeland said. “It’s no secret I’m a sinker pitcher. And they hit my sinkers. They hit my mistakes and they hit ’em hard. But they saw my gameplan early and attacked it.” Puig’s home run off Freeland in the fourth came on a curveball that stayed low but crept up just high to hit the hitter’s sweet spot. He crushed his homer 445 feet to the batters eye in center field. The Dodgers have home runs in 15 consecutive games, their longest streak since 1977. “We threw him quite a bit of fastballs,” Freeland said. “He hits fastballs well. I noticed on video sometimes if you throw him a weak one there on the plate, he’ll swing over top of it. But I didn’t get it to my spot.” Related ArticlesJune 23, 2017 Rockies rotation changes take shape, with Colorado eyeing Tyler Anderson’s imminent return June 22, 2017 Tyler Anderson gets relief work for Rockies; rotation could be in flux June 22, 2017 Rockies’ Bud Black not alarmed by poor outings by rookies Antonio Senzatela, Jeff Hoffman June 22, 2017 Rockies fail NL West test vs. D-backs, look to get right vs. Dodgers June 22, 2017 On The Rox podcast: Are the Rockies “frauds”? Freeland, at least, fared better than his rookie counterparts, Jeff Hoffman and Antonio Senzatela, who gave up nine runs apiece against Arizona. But they were all outdueled by Dodgers starter Alex Wood. Wood, who now has struck out 17 Rockies in 12 innings this season, allowed just one run, on Tom Murphy‘s double to left field in the second that Franklin Gutierrez took a wrong route to in the corner. That was also the last hit Wood allowed. He retired 14 of the next 15 he faced, and no baseball traveled farther than the infield dirt. The 26-year-old lefty, whom the Dodgers wrangled in a mega-trade with the Braves in 2015, is slinging through Colorado’s hitters. Way back on May 13 at Coors Field, Wood was even better. He struck out 10 and walked just one over six shutout innings. “He has funky delivery and right now he’s hitting his spots,” Desmond said. The Rockies moved even on the season at 5-5 against the Dodgers, who won a season-high eighth consecutive game. “We have to tighten it up,” Desmond said. “We’ll see what the future has.” Chris Carlson, The Associated PressColorado Rocki [...]
4
Like
Save
Rockies’ Bud Black not alarmed by poor outings by rookies Antonio Senzatela, Jeff Hoffman
Antonio Senzatela broke down his performance to its simplest terms. “I didn’t pitch very good,” the Rockies’ rookie right-hander said late Thursday afternoon after giving up a career-high nine runs in a 10-3 loss to Arizona at Coors Field. The more complex matter is whether or not the Rockies’ rookie starters, who’ve helped build a 47-28 record and put the club on a playoff path, are beginning to break down as opponents see more of them. Wednesday night, for example, the Diamondbacks torched Jeff Hoffman for nine runs in 3 ⅔ innings. Rockies manager Bud Black has said multiple times since spring training that his young pitchers would experience peaks and valleys. But he wasn’t clinging to that theory Thursday. “How many games have we played?” he asked. Told that the number was 75, Black said: “So this is two games. Time will tell. I think that’s the way I’m going to answer that. This will always be a game of adjustments moving forward. “In regards to Jeff and Antonio, time will tell. But we have a lot of confidence in them moving forward. We are hoping these guys will continue to grow as pitchers and will continue to win games.” Maybe so, but there is no getting around the fact that Arizona’s potent lineup pummeled the rookies. In fact, the two games marked just the third time in Rockies history that starters allowed nine or more earned runs in consecutive games. The last time it happened was in 1998 at Seattle when Mike Saipe gave up nine earned runs on July 1 and Darryl Kile gave up 10 the next day. Senzatela, 9-3 with a 4.79 ERA, said his biggest problem Thursday was a lack of fastball command. That led to a batting practice afternoon for Arizona hitters. Three-run homers — by Chris Owings in the third inning and by Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth — all but put the game out of reach early on. “It’s tough to overcome two, three-run homers,” Black said. “The pitch to Owings was intended to be inside and a little bit up. It didn’t get there. It stayed in the middle. Related ArticlesJune 22, 2017 Tyler Anderson gets relief work for Rockies; rotation could be in flux June 22, 2017 Rockies fail NL West test vs. D-backs, look to get right vs. Dodgers June 22, 2017 On The Rox podcast: DJ LeMahieu joins the show. And what to do with the Rockies bullpen? June 22, 2017 Tyler Anderson comes off DL as Rockies’ rotation continues to evolve June 22, 2017 Rockies Mailbag: Will Colorado make moves to bolster the bullpen? “And the pitch to Goldschmidt caught a lot of the plate. And he’s swinging well, he really hot right now. Like a lot of their other guys.” Goldschmidt is sizzling. He went 3-for-5 with four RBIs Thursday, extending his hitting streak to nine games, during which he’s hit .463 (19-for-41) with five home runs, four doubles and 17 RBIs. Now it’s time for the Rockies’ young pitchers to adjust. “These last two games, we got beat,” Black said. “They swung the bats and we didn’t make enough pitches. We talked to Jeff and Antonio about some things, that we will keep private. But I guarantee that we are aware of what’s going on with our players.” [...]
4
Like
Save
Tyler Anderson gets relief work for Rockies; rotation could be in flux
The Rockies began tweaking their rotation and bullpen Thursday. The club optioned struggling right-hander reliever Carlos Estevez to Triple-A Albuquerque and reinstated left-handed starter Tyler Anderson off the disabled list. Then Anderson pitched the ninth inning in relief in the Rockies’ 10-3 loss to Arizona. He struck out the side after allowing a leadoff walk. “It was weird, getting loose … then there are couple pitching changes and then you end up throwing 45 pitches down there,” said Anderson, who had not pitched out of the bullpen since 2010 when he was at the University of Oregon. Now the question becomes, what does the club do with Anderson for the long-term? He is officially listed as a starter, but he could also see time in the bullpen going forward. “I’m sure we are going to do something, but I don’t know for sure what. But we have a lot of options, which is a good thing,” said Anderson, who said his swollen and sore left knee has fully healed. Anderson said the Rockies have not told him what his role will be, but there could be tweaks in the rotation as the Rockies head to Los Angeles on Friday for a critical three-game series against the Dodgers. “As far as a plan, things will become clear here over the next couple of days,” Black said, without divulging more. Rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland is scheduled to face the Dodgers on Friday night, with veteran right-hander Tyler Chatwood in line to pitch Saturday night. The Rockies are cognizant of overworking their young starting pitchers, Black acknowledged, so the team could be mixing and matching starters for the remainder of the season to preserve the arms of rookies Antonio Senzatela, German Marquez, Jeff Hoffman and Freeland. Related ArticlesJune 22, 2017 Rockies’ Bud Black not alarmed by poor outings by rookies Antonio Senzatela, Jeff Hoffman June 22, 2017 Rockies fail NL West test vs. D-backs, look to get right vs. Dodgers June 22, 2017 On The Rox podcast: DJ LeMahieu joins the show. And what to do with the Rockies bullpen? June 22, 2017 Tyler Anderson comes off DL as Rockies’ rotation continues to evolve June 22, 2017 Rockies Mailbag: Will Colorado make moves to bolster the bullpen? “As time goes on, the players will tell us, though their performance, how we will handle this,” Black said. “We are going to do everything we can to ensure that physically they stay sharp, and mentally they stay sharp, as we go through the summer.” Asked if the Rockies would consider completely shutting down one of their rookie starters this season, Black replied: “In theory, yes. But we might not let it get to that number (of innings).” Black said he likes the idea that the Rockies could use as many as eight different starting pitchers, once Jon Gray and Chad Bettis are completely healthy and ready for big-league duty. Gary is scheduled to pitch his third rehab game with Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday. Footnotes. Black said that outfielder David Dahl, on the DL since the second game of spring training, is slowly getting better from his rib injury, but said there is no timetable for Dahl’s return. … Pat Valaika continues to perform well for Colorado as a pinch hitter. He hit an RBI double in the eighth inning and is now 8-for-23 (.348) with five doubles, one homer and five RBIs as a pinch hitter. … Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt batted 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs. He has reached base in 61 of his last 63 games vs. the Rockies, with a .380 batting average. Looking ahead Rockies RHP Kyle Freeland (8-4, 3.42 ERA) at Dodgers LHP Alex Wood (7-0, 1.90), 8:10 p.m., ROOT TV, 850-AM Wood was the best pitcher in the National League in May, including a dominating performance in a victory over the Rockies, in  which he struck out 10 and walked just one over six innings. After Wood dominated the Reds last week over eight innings, allowing just one run on four hits, he became the first Dodgers pitcher since Orel Hershiser in 1985 to win go unbeaten in his first 10 starts to a season. The Rockies are undefeated in the rookie Freeland’s two starts against the Dodgers. He is coming off a bend-but-didn’t-break outing against the Giants, with eight hits against him, but only one run. Nick Groke, The Denver Post Saturday: Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood (6-7, 4.08) at Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (10-2, 2.61), 8:10 p.m., ROOT Sunday: Rockies RHP German Marquez (5-3, 3.92) at Dodgers RHP Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 2.87), 2:10 p.m., ROOT Monday: Rockies at Giants, pitchers TBA, 8:08 p.m., ROOT [...]
4
Like
Save
Kiszla: One trade the Rockies need to make to cement their status as World Series contenders
Summer is here, with the Colorado sun hotter than the race in the National League West. And the hardy Rockies bullpen is beginning to wilt. As an incorrigible worrywart, I felt obligated to ask manager Bud Black: Are his relievers tired? “I’m going to say no,” Black replied. “Have they been tested? Sure. Have they overall, in the big scheme of the season, done their job? Yes, for sure. Have there been some body blows over the last couple of weeks? Yes. Have they taken the body blows and held their ground? I think so. That’s going to happen during the course of a heavyweight fight. You’re going to take some blows.” Cut me, Mick. The Colorado bullpen can’t stop the bleeding. After losing 16-5 Wednesday to Arizona, the Rockies’ relievers have a horrendous 9.23 earned run average and a troubling 1.93 WHIP, while surrendering 12 home runs, during the past 10 games. Ouch. That’s a pummeling. Nobody’s panicking around here, even with the recent struggles of Mike Dunn, Jordan Lyles and Chad Qualls. Not to mention names, but if ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser says Colorado is a fraud, then he needs to take more treks between the White House and Capitol Hill to see what people not to be trusted look like. These Rockies are for real. While we can all get as moist as a beer bottle on a muggy, 96-degree afternoon while toasting our misty, water-colored memories of October 2007, this is the best team in franchise history. The time to go for the World Series is now. And that means general manager Jeff Bridich needs to be an aggressive buyer as the trade deadline approaches. Don’t get me wrong. Colorado doesn’t need much to hang with the Dodgers, Nationals or Cubs. The Rockies are two-deep in MVP candidates, with Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon. The kids in the starting rotation are all right, whether we’re talking now or in the August heat of a playoff race. But the Rockies appear to be one arm shy in the bullpen. I see three options to reinforce the relief corps. German Marquez, Rockies: Of all the young guns in the starting rotation, the stuff of Marquez seems most easily translated to the pen. Set up batters with his 95 mph fastball, put them away with that nasty curve. He could be a good answer in the seventh inning, but the Rockies can do better, if they’re willing to make a trade. Brad Hand, San Diego: The Padres are going nowhere in the NL West. But Hand will be in demand, not only because he is averaging 1.25 strikeouts per inning, but because the 27-year-old is a lefty and arbitration eligible for two more seasons. His bargain salary of $1.375 million, however, might well drive up the price a trade suitor must pay in minor-league prospects. Pat Neshek, Philadelphia: Can I make a little confession? I have a little man crush on Neshek. I’m enthralled by his funky sidearm delivery. And what’s not to like about the 36-year-old right-hander’s refusal to walk anybody, which gives him a WHIP under 1.00? His salary is $6.5 million. He’s a pending free agent. His past postseason experience with four major-league teams makes him an ideal hired gun. Related ArticlesJune 20, 2017 Kiszla: Trading for Jimmy Butler would be bigger get for Nuggets than hiring Chauncey Billups June 17, 2017 Kiszla: Why Nolan Arenado believes Rockies can be “most dangerous team in the major leagues” June 17, 2017 Kickin’ it with Kiz: Will Chris Paul be the NBA free agent to erase Denver’s reputation as a fly-over city? June 16, 2017 Kiszla: Only one word to describe these Rockies and this baseball-crazy town: Un-funky-believable June 15, 2017 Kiszla: If the Rockies are legit playoff contenders, Nolan Arenado must be legit MVP candidate Let’s give a standing ovation to Bridich for his recent rebuild of the relief corps. Now Bridich needs to grab his cellphone and work a trade for more bullpen help. Sooner rather than later, well before the wheeling and dealing gets totally insane in late July. The Rockies are 45-0 when leading after seven innings. Make the real strength of this team stronger, rather than allow Coors Field to wear out the bullpen. “If there are eight guys in the pen, you’d like to have five or six guys really throwing the ball well, and couple guys that are probably not,” Black said. “You need those type of ratios, of guys who are performing to guys who aren’t. The same thing as on the hitting side. The more that you get away from those good ratios and they become bad ratios? Rough action.” When I peer out to the Rockies’ bullpen in right field, the royal shade of purple is turning to a burned-out shade of brown. Well, the boss is in the house. I saw Dick Monfort wearing his trademark purple sneakers, leaning against [...]
1
Like
Save
Jeff Hoffman torched as Diamondbacks rout Rockies
For all of the good things the Rockies’ rookie starters have done this season, there remains a certain fragility to the rotation, and there are questions about its sustainability for a long season. That was painfully clear Wednesday night at Coors Field, where Arizona torched rookie right-hander Jeff Hoffman en route to a 16-5 victory. The talented Diamondbacks, winners of eight of their last nine games, put a screeching halt to Colorado’s six-game winning streak and moved within one game of the Rockies in the National League West. The red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers beat the New York Mets 8-2 to move into first place in the division, a half-game ahead of Colorado. Boxscore: Arizona 16, Colorado 5  Hoffman was charged with a career-high nine runs on eight hits in a mere 3 ⅔ innings. He allowed just one hit over the first three innings and looked sharp, but the fourth inning was a Titanic-hitting-the-iceberg kind of disaster. The Diamondbacks rapped out nine hits and scored 10 runs in the inning, and nine of those runs were charged to Hoffman. “I felt like I kind of cruised through the first three, and in the fourth I just couldn’t get the ball down below thigh high. And they put good swings on bad pitches,” Hoffman said. The only other time a Rockies pitcher allowed nine or more runs in one inning was when Mark Redman gave up 10 runs in the first inning to the Dodgers on April 26, 2008, at Los Angeles. How relentless was the Diamondbacks’ attack in the fourth? They became the first National League team to score 10 or more runs in an inning — without a home run — since the Phillies did it against the Marlins in Miami on Sept. 17, 2005. Hoffman entered the game 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA, but Paul Goldschmidt, Brandon Drury and Chris Iannetta raked him for doubles in the fourth as Hoffman’s ERA jumped to 4.29. Hoffman needed to make some key pitches but he simply didn’t execute them. Manager Bud Black called the two-out, RBI single Hoffman allowed to Arizona starter Taijuan Walker the “back-breaker.” “For Jeff tonight, it was a learning experience, no doubt about it,” Black said. “He was a couple of pitches away from keeping that game in order, but that didn’t happen. He’ll remember this one for a while and be able to reflect back on it and be a better big-league pitcher for it.” With right-hander Jon Gray and left-hander Tyler Anderson close to returning from the disabled list, Hoffman’s rough night will give Black and general manager Jeff Bridich plenty to contemplate in the coming days and weeks. Any thoughts about the Rockies getting back into Wednesday’s game with a miracle rally were short-circuited when supposed mop-up reliever Jordan Lyles replaced Hoffman. Arizona tagged Lyles for three runs on six hits in 2 ⅓ innings, sending his ERA to 7.16. Colorado’s rookie quartet of Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela and Hoffman entered the game 26-9 with a combined ERA of 3.60, but Arizona’s powerhouse lineup took it to Hoffman — and Lyles. Arizona’s 10 runs and nine hits in one inning set franchise records for a road game. The Rockies actually led 1-0 on Mark Reynolds’ solo homer to center in the second inning off Taijuan Walker. It was Reynolds’ team-high 18th homer. Nolan Arenado’s two-run double in the fifth cut Arizona’s lead to 10-3. Since June 1, Arenado is batting .367 with three home runs, 10 doubles, three triples and 25 RBIs. Related ArticlesJune 21, 2017 Kiszla: One trade the Rockies need to make to cement their status as World Series contenders June 21, 2017 Is Carlos Gonzalez on the verge of a breakout for the Rockies? “We’re just waiting,” Arenado says June 21, 2017 Ryan Vilade, Tommy Doyle and 32 other draft picks sign pro deals with the Rockies. Then they hit the road. June 20, 2017 Nolan Arenado triples in a winner, Carlos Gonzalez slams a HR as Rockies rally past Arizona June 20, 2017 Joe West umps 5,000th career game in Colorado. He gave Rockies manager Bud Black his first career ejection. But Lyles, and then Carlos Estevez (8.10 ERA) and Mike Dunn (6.35 ERA), failed to quiet the Diamondbacks’ bats. All told, Arizona rapped out 20 hits, the most allowed by Colorado this season, and the most it has allowed since giving up 21 hits to the Dodgers on Sept. 17, 2014. Thursday afternoon, Colorado has a chance to erase Wednesday’s ugly game and take the three-game series. Senzatela will be on the mound for Colorado. Former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle used to say that his teams “showered well,” meaning they washed off a bad loss quickly. Black thinks his Rockies will do the same. “Jeff had a tough night, and a couple of other guys h [...]
2
Like
Save
Nolan Arenado triples in a winner, Carlos Gonzalez slams a HR as Rockies rally past Arizona
Something otherworldly is falling into place when Nolan Arenado, who rarely hits triples, starts hitting triples like he’s Ty Cobb. He’s a slugger, hits homers, lives on doubles. But on Tuesday night at Coors Field, just like Sunday afternoon, Arenado hit another triple. This one he knocked off Arizona ace Zack Greinke. And once again, Arenado played the hero. To open a difficult six-game set against the two other best teams in the National League, the first series against a streaking Diamondbacks team, Arenado tripled in two runs off the right-field wall in the eighth inning as the Rockies again rallied, this time for a 4-3 victory. On Sunday, Arenado capped a rally with a walk-off home run that also gave him the cycle as Colorado came back to beat the Giants 7-5. “If I’m hitting triples, that just means the ball is getting away from the outfielder. I’m a doubles guy,” Arenado said. “As long as they’re extra-base hits, thats fine. I’m taking what they’re giving me.” Within a week, the streaking Rockies will face two Cy Young winners, the tallest obstacles to date in a headlong rush through the National League. First up: Greinke, the Diamondbacks’ wily veteran control artist, a pitcher with an enviable 10-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. He came to Denver with a perfect career record at Coors Field. The Rockies, though, are riding a snowboard on a moonbeam. Arenado, who led off Sunday’s game on his way to the eighth cycle in club history, lined a triple off out of town scoreboard in the eighth that tied up right fielder David Peralta. It scored Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu, who each singled in front of him. In front of 35,016 fans, with more chants of “MVP” raining down on Arenado, Colorado kept alive a ceaseless drive. “He’s doing Kobe Bryant stuff. He’s on a different level right now,” Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez said of Arenado. “I’ve been there before. It’s so much fun. You just ride it out.” Gonzalez, hitting 7-for-June and looking up at a slump so deep his belt was underwater, dug into the dirt around home plate in the fourth staring back at Arizona’s ace. And Gonzalez hid an upper hand. In 37 previous at-bats against Greinke, the Colorado slugger had four home runs and 13 hits. On an 85-mph slider that Greinke aimed at his hands, Gonzalez launched a 449-foot home run into the trees behind center field. Gonzalez tied Jason Giambi for most career home runs off Zack Greinke with his fifth. Boxscore: Colorado 4, Arizona 3 Gonzalez twice carried Colorado on his back. And the Rockies (47-26) dove into a wicked week that will force them to twice prove their worthiness atop the NL West. In a week-long round-robin tournament of the best teams in the NL, the Rockies opened by winning a sixth consecutive game, snapping Arizona’s seven-game streak. Colorado, now two games ahead of Arizona in the West, is scheduled for back-to-back series against Arizona (44-27) and at Los Angeles (45-26 before Tuesday), where the Rockies will likely face Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. The eighth inning was nearly Colorado’s undoing. Arizona’s Peralta crushed a 455-foot homer to the second deck in right field off lefty Chris Rusin to lead off the frame. Then Paul Goldschmidt followed with a first-pitch shot to right off Adam Ottavino. Within two pitches, the Diamondbacks quickly took their first lead off the game. “It’s one of those games where maybe we didn’t deserve to win, but we kept fighting,” Gonzalez said. The Rockies wasted little time pouncing on Greinke in the second inning. Ian Desmond legged out an infield single to the left side, then sprinted to second base when Arizona third baseman Jake Lamb launched a throw past first base. Greinke’s wild pitch to Trevor Story pushed Desmond up another base and he scored on catcher Jeff Mathis’ throwing error. Desmond’s marathon trip around the bases gave the Rox a 1-0 lead. Gonzalez’s one-out homer in the fourth gave them a two-run lead. After an 0-for-27 skid through June, Gonzalez now has a hit in four consecutive games. The Rockies were waiting for his surge. They might still be waiting. But Gonzalez in the fifth dove fully horizontal to nab a Peralta liner toward the gap, robbing him of at least a double and an RBI. Related ArticlesJune 20, 2017 Joe West umps 5,000th career game in Colorado. He gave Rockies manager Bud Black his first career ejection. June 20, 2017 Jon Gray will wait for his return, Bud Black says, because Rockies have the luxury of patience June 19, 2017 Carlos Estevez gets called up, believes he can bolster Rockies’ bullpen June 19, 2017 Rockies eager to face Diamondbacks as torrid NL West race heats up June 19, 2017 [...]
2
Like
Save


Broncos | Nuggets | Rockies | Avalanche | Rapids | Outlaws | Mammoth
Mile High | Coors Field | Pepsi Center | DSG Park

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | DMCA Policy