Drew Beckie was just 11 years old and his younger sister Janine was only 7 when their father, Gary Beckie, passed away following a three-year battle with skin cancer.
It was a loss that molded both future professional soccer players in a major way.
“It shaped me and my siblings into who we are — it brought us a lot closer even though I think something like that can often tear a family apart,” Janine Beckie said. “We also surrounded ourselves with sports, and friends, and soccer coaches and teammates to help us get through it. Real Colorado was amazing to us during that time, and we owe a lot to the club for that.”
In the 16 years since his death, both players have done much to make their late father proud.
Drew, 26, starred at Arapahoe High School and the University of Denver before building a career for himself as a defender in the North American Soccer League, where he plays for Jacksonville Armada FC.
Meanwhile, former Valor Christian and Texas Tech standout Janine, 22, is one of the top strikers on the Canadian Women’s National Team, in addition to her burgeoning pro career with the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League.
Their success is largely a credit to the strength of their mother — Sheila Beckie raised all four Beckie kids by herself following her husband’s passing — as well as their participation in Kids Alive Colorado while their father was sick. The program that provides support for children whose parents have cancer.
Drew’s experience in the program caused him to found Walking In Grief’s Shadow (WINGS) in 2014, a program that helps kids and their families deal with the death of a parent. He earned the 2015 NASL Humanitarian of the Year Award for his efforts, which included grants from the city of Ottawa for the club to put on parties and other events for affected families.
“Kids Alive had a profound effect on me as a child on dealing with those emotions in the correct way, and I really wanted to bring that therapy I got from that program to soccer,” Beckie said. “It was about bettering someone’s life by bringing them around a professional sports environment and getting their mind off of whatever they’re going through. I’m certainly not a therapist by any means, but I know that support and that talking about things can make the process easier.”
At 15, Drew moved to Canada to sign with the Vancouver Whitecaps of United Soccer League, only to change his mind after two months and return to Arapahoe, retaining his amateur status for college.
“Everyone in that program wanted to be the next players to go over to Germany and play for clubs like Borussia Dortmund or Mönchengladbach,” Drew said. “At the time, I didn’t think I was ready for that, even though a lot of players did stay and get those opportunities to play in Germany. But a lot of those players, maybe 75 percent of them, aren’t playing soccer anymore. They got burnt out, and I didn’t want that to happen to me and not have an education to fall back on.”
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Meanwhile, Janine, the 2012 Colorado Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year, continues to focus on honing her goal-scoring skills. She netted the fastest goal in Olympic women’s soccer history last year in Rio de Janeiro when she scored 20 seconds into Canada’s match against Australia, and has racked up 18 goals in 34 appearances for Canada to date.
“My national team success has a lot to do with the belief the team has in me, and coach John Herdman has put a big emphasis on me doing big things in the game,” Janine said. “Playing next to a legend like Christine Sinclair doesn’t hurt, so this environment really allows me to be my best and I’ve found another level of my game. And I think there’s another level that hasn’t yet been unleashed, and that’s only going to come with time and experience against more international opponents.”
As for the future? Both Beckies are ready to jump on any opportunity that comes their way, whether that means Janine’s emergence into an international star or another shot at playing in the MLS for Drew.
“I’m a very spiritual guy, so I’m on God’s plan, and I know that if I get an opportunity, I’ll take it,” Drew said. “Right now, I’m excited I get to play soccer for a living a [...]
Grandview graduate Brie Oakley added another accomplishment to a long list, running the second-fastest two-mile race for a high school girl Saturday at the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle.
Oakley, a two-time Colorado high school champion in the 3,200 meters who is headed to the University of California this fall, finished in 9 minutes, 51.35 seconds which is the fastest ever run outdoors. The only girl to run faster was Mary Cain (9:38.68), who set the mark indoors.
Oakley won the Colorado 5A cross country title last fall and the Nike national cross country meet in December. Lauren Gregory, a Fort Collins High School grad who will attend the University of Arkansas, placed fourth Saturday in 10:05.26.
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Sunday afternoon, the worst-kept secret in the NBA was broadcast to the masses: Indiana Pacers star Paul George, one of the league’s best two-way players, plans to play out the final year of his contract and enter free agency next summer — with the intent of heading back to his native southern California to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
But while George’s wishes were widely known, the fact that his agent, Aaron Mintz of Creative Artists Agency, was willing to tell the Pacers exactly what his client plans to do sets up the dominoes that will impact everything this summer. And it’s made George the grand prize for every team to pursue over the coming months.
It was already expected to be a busy summer, one that began this weekend when the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers agreed to a trade for the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s draft, an offseason filled with more uncertainty and intrigue than any in years. While Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are all but certain to remain with the Golden State Warriors once they hit free agency on July 1, and Chris Paul is likely to do the same with the Los Angeles Clippers (despite rumors to the contrary), all-stars such as Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin and Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry all could potentially change teams — and change the balance of power in both conferences if they choose.
Those players are talented, to be sure, but none of them possess the same upside as George, who is not only the youngest of them (a couple months younger than Hayward) but also the best defensive player. In a league where wings who score efficiently and defend are at a premium, George’s value is immense.
That’s why there will be a rush of teams angling to secure his services, even if there’s just one year remaining on his contract. For all of George’s bluster about his desire to go only to the Lakers, teams with aspirations of a deep playoff run will hope that, after a year in their system, he’ll want to stay.
And the Lakers are all but certain to stink next season (assuming they don’t get George this summer), and the idea of leaving a contending team to play for a struggling one will be harder for George to stomach than his current situation — leaving a middling team with no clear path to the top of the East.
So, over the next few weeks, expect George’s name to come up constantly. Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard — who only came into the job earlier this offseason, after Larry Bird decided to step down — will face a difficult set of negotiations, given his lack of leverage due to George’s contract status and stated desire to go to Los Angeles.
But that won’t stop Pritchard’s phone from ringing off the hook. Plenty of teams are going to be after the all-star forward, beginning with the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Rumors had already been percolating that the Cavaliers were going to make a run at George (a friend of LeBron James) this offseason, and George would be a perfect fit for a team trying to gear up to take another swipe at the Warriors next spring. Cleveland also has the best present-day asset any team is going to give up to get George in Kevin Love, who would be an outstanding fit next to young center Myles Turner in Indiana’s frontcourt.
The Celtics should also be in the mix. Boston now has eight first-round picks in the next three drafts after making the deal with Philadelphia, which is expected to be approved Monday, and have no one even close to George’s overall talent level. With so many assets available to them, the Celtics seem like an obvious fit whether or not they can get someone such as Hayward or Griffin as a free agent this summer.
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And, of course, expect the Lakers to get in on the action. It’s hard to see any scenario in which Los Angeles would give up the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, nor should it. But it’s still unclear exactly how the Lakers will operate under the new stewardship of Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka.
It must also be noted that owner Jeanie Buss’s stated desire is to have an all-star on the roster for next season’s All-Star Game in Los Angeles. It’s been a long time since the Lakers have been abl [...]
We’re entering football’s dead zone as all teams have a month-plus break before returning for training camp in late July. The Broncos got better in the trenches, but the quarterback question still lingers. Here’s an educated projection of what the Broncos 53-man roster could look like once all the summer competition is over:
John Leyba, The Denver PostQuarterbacks Paxton Lynch, left, and Trevor Siemian during the first day of Broncos minicamp Tuesday, June 13, 2017.
Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch.
Why: Going light at quarterback allows the Broncos to go a little heavy on next three skill position groups and let Chad Kelly heal completely. Mike McCoy has gone with just two quarterbacks in the past.
John Leyba, The Denver PostDenver Broncos running back Jamaal Charles (28) runs through drills during practice at mandatory mini camp on June 15, 2017 at Dove Valley.
Running backs/fullback (5)
C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker, Jamaal Charles, De’Angelo Henderson, Andy Janovich.
Why: This entire group is led with, ‘if healthy…’ Anderson, Booker and Charles (ABC!) have the talent and versatility to be a top-end backfield. Henderson has proven himself too valuable to try to sneak onto the practice squad. McCoy will use a fullback so Janovich is safe, too.
John Leyba, The Denver PostDenver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) catches a pass during practice at mandatory mini camp on June 15, 2017 at Dove Valley.
Wide receivers (6)
Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Carlos Henderson, Isaiah McKenzie, Cody Latimer, Jordan Taylor.
Why: The first four are virtual locks, leaving Latimer, the first of three Broncos high-draft picks on the roster bubble, Taylor, Bennie Fowler and Marlon Brown competing for one or two spots. Latimer’s special teams play and Taylor’s size, red zone prowess earn them spots.
Joe Amon, The Denver PostTight end Virgil Green #85 goes against A.J. Derby #83 of the Denver Broncos during blocking drills on the first week of OTAs at the UCHealth Training Center on May 23, 2017 in Englewood.
Tight ends (3)
A.J. Derby, Virgil Green, Jeff Heuerman.
Why: Heuerman, the second of the draft bubble trio, will need to stay healthy and hold off Henry Krieger-Coble for the final spot. It might be smart for Denver to play it safe with Jake Butt, who may not be 100-percent by September. A veteran signing could make sense here, too.
John Leyba, The Denver PostDenver Broncos linebacker Vontarrius Dora (68) and offensive tackle Garett Bolles (72) watch drills during practice at mandatory mini camp on June 14, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Dove Valley.
Offensive line (8)
Garett Bolles, Max Garcia, Matt Paradis, Ron Leary, Menelik Watson, Michael Schofield, Ty Sambrailo, Connor McGovern.
Why: The Broncos go a little light here because of versatility among the backups. The Stephenson experiment ends abruptly while Sambrailo, the final of the draft bubble trio, gets one last shot to prove he isn’t a draft bust. Denver is giving McGovern every chance to win the backup center job.
John Leyba, The Denver PostDenver Broncos defensive end Jared Crick and defensive end Derek Wolfe (95) head to drills during practice at mandatory mini camp on June 14, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Dove Valley.
Defensive line (7)
Derek Wolfe, Domata Peko, Adam Gotsis, Zach Kerr, DeMarcus Walker, Jared Crick, Tyrique Jarrett.
Why: This unit is a lot deeper than last year with five defensive ends capable of seeing significant playing time. The veteran Peko will have to prove he has something left in the tank while Pot Roast Jr. wins the backup nose tackle job.
John Leyba, The Denver PostDenver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) runs through drills during practice at mandatory mini camp on June 14, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Dove Valley.
Outside linebackers (5)
Von Miller, Shane Ray, Shaquil Barrett, Kasim Edebali, Vontarrius Dora.
Why: Barrett’s injury will have a big impact on how the back-end of this position looks. He may not be 100-percent ready to attack by the season opener, but if he’s close, the Broncos could have Edebali and Dora to man the extra reps until Barrett is ready.
John Leyba, The Denver PostBroncos inside linebackers Brandon Marshall, left, and Todd Davis during a practice last season.
Inside linebackers (4)
Brandon Marshall, Todd Davis, Corey Nelson, Zaire Anderson.
Why: Same four as last season, but they might need to seek outside help if an injury occurs. Marshall has looked fast this spring. Davis should start opposite him, but Nelson could see close to an even split as a coverage specialist.
Helen H. Richardson, The Denver PostDenver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib meets with members of the press after an early season Broncos practice at Dove Valley on April 25, 2017 in Englewood.
Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, Bradley Roby, Lorenzo Doss, Brendan Langley, Chris Lewis-Harris.
Why: They go a little heavy [...]
Each week, The Washington Post’s Mark Maske provides in-depth NFL analysis with “First and 10,” a dissection of the league’s most important developments.
How totally crazy would it be if Brock Osweiler ends up as the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns?
Actually, how completely Browns-like would it be? Very Browns-like.
When the Browns traded for Osweiler in March, the move was viewed as the Houston Texans dumping Osweiler’s salary and the Browns cleverly facilitating that. There was little to no thought at the time that Osweiler actually might figure into Cleveland’s quarterback mix.
The Browns possessed the No. 1 and No. 12 overall picks in the NFL draft and the conventional wisdom at the time was that they’d turn No. 12 into their next quarterback, either selecting Mitchell Trubisky or Deshaun Watson, or trading for Jimmy Garoppolo.
But the draft ended with Garoppolo still in New England, Trubisky in Chicago and Watson in Houston. The Browns traded down from No. 12, passing up the chance to select Watson. They did choose a quarterback, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, in the second round. So Hue Jackson, the team’s second-year head coach coming off a 1-15 debut season, is left to pick from among Kizer, second-year pro Cody Kessler and Osweiler as his starter.
Osweiler no longer is an afterthought, in part because the Browns, puzzlingly, again failed to do whatever it took to land a prospective franchise quarterback, making these curious moves one year after they traded the No. 2 overall selection to Philadelphia rather than using it themselves on Carson Wentz. In addition, Osweiler has looked good enough in offseason drills to play his way into the starting mix, which doesn’t take all that much in Cleveland, after all.
Regarding Osweiler as a potential NFL starter didn’t used to be a preposterous notion. He played reasonably well for the Denver Broncos in 2015, throwing for 1,967 yards and 10 touchdowns with six interceptions in eight games, including seven starts. He had a passer rating of 86.4. But after the Broncos went back to Peyton Manning for their run to a Super Bowl title, Osweiler opted to exit via free agency for the $18 million-per-year contract offer from the Texans.
He wasn’t the answer in Houston. Far from it. He regressed to 15 touchdown passes, 16 interceptions and a 72.2 passer rating last season, becoming an NFL reclamation project.
Kessler remains the favorite to open the season as the starter for the Browns. He was competent at times last season as a rookie, making eight starts and posting a passer rating of 92.3 in his nine games. Kizer could take over at some point.
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But Osweiler at least is in the conversation, and that is a development that few could have foreseen when the trade was made. The Browns have spent years being the NFL destination where quarterback reputations went to perish. Wouldn’t it be odd if, in Osweiler’s case, Cleveland becomes the place where a quarterbacking career went to be revived?
… AND TEN
1. Decker to Titans … You have to like the way the Tennessee Titans are going about building their team around quarterback Marcus Mariota. They devoted resources to giving Mariota a reliable offensive line and a running game. And now, they are giving him receivers. Tennessee used the fifth overall selection in April’s draft on wide receiver Corey Davis. On Sunday, the Titans agreed to a one-year contract with veteran wideout Eric Decker, who was released by the New York Jets as part of that team’s roster purge. The Titans have made themselves respectable again and are inching ever closer to contender status.
2. Shanahans everywhere … Mike Shanahan spent time at the offseason practices of the San Francisco 49ers, now coached by his son Kyle. But there remains no official role in the organization for the elder Shanahan. The Shanahans seem to be sticking to what Kyle, then the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, said at the Super Bowl: Mike will be only an unofficial adviser.
“I always anticipate asking my dad for advice and stuff like that, just like I think anybody would in their profession if their dad had done the same thing and been successful at it,” Kyle Shana [...]
During a joyous occasion in 2001 at the Pepsi Center, Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote was being interviewed at his locker stall when 2-year-old Callan Foote approached his dad for a congratulatory hug. The interview continued, as did the hug.
The Avs had just defeated the New Jersey Devils in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, and Adam Foote couldn’t let go of the moment with his first-born son.
Sixteen years later, the former Avalanche captain will share a similar moment with Callan, who now goes by Cal. A 6-foot-4, 215-pound defenseman of his father’s ilk, Cal is all but certain to hear his name called in the first round of the NHL draft at the United Center in Chicago. He’s rated 12th among draft-eligible North American skaters, and third among defenseman.
He is exactly what the Avalanche need — a possible franchise defenseman who is effective in all three zones — but probably not worthy of fourth overall, the Avs’ first pick. However, Cal is bound to be selected sooner than his father, who went No. 22 to the Quebec Nordiques in 1989.
“I know both of my parents are going to be proud,” Cal said recently from Denver. “They’re going to be excited, like my brother and the rest of the family. I know they’re going to be excited about what lies ahead.”
Cal, a product of the Littleton Hawks (Double-A) and Colorado Thunderbirds (Triple-A), recently completed his second season with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, and his first with younger brother Nolan Foote on the team. Nolan, a 16-year-old forward, was the Rockets’ youngest player who contributed 19 goals and 35 points in 52 games. Cal had 57 points (51 assists) in 71 games.
“It was unreal. It was special for not only him and I, but my parents,” Cal said of playing with Nolan, a possible first-round NHL pick in 2019. “First time we’ve played hockey together. He had a great year and I’m excited for what he has to offer next year.”
The Footes will likely play together in Kelowna again next season — unless the team that drafts Cal has different ideas.
“My goal is to develop as much as I can and try to improve on my weaknesses and raise my game,” Cal said. “You want to make the next level as a kid but I might not be ready to make that jump. I want to be back in Kelowna; I’m excited for our year up there and playing with my brother again.”
Adam Foote declined to talk about his son and the draft besides saying, “it’s Cal’s time and I’ve decided not to be interviewed by media until after he has been drafted.”
Cal said he interviewed with all 31 teams, including the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, but didn’t meet with any team twice. With the Avalanche, he interviewed with general manager Joe Sakic’s advisors. Sakic wasn’t in the room, he said.
“It was cool for me,” Foote said of his meeting with the Avalanche. “I grew up, obviously, a fan of them for many years. It was special to be in the room with them.”
Foote is the latest NHL product of the Thunderbirds, who previously developed alums Seth Jones (Columbus Blue Jackets), Jaccob Slavin (Carolina Hurricanes), Gustav Olofsson (Minnesota Wild) and Brandon Carlo (Boston Bruins). Thunderbirds director and 16-under coach Angelo Ricci, a former University of Denver forward, coached each of those players.
“Cal has the potential to be right up there with all of those players,” Ricci said. “One thing I always continue to stress is all these young men didn’t rush the process. They each took their time and allowed the proper development process to work for them. It’s really great to see. I am so proud of these guys. And another special piece of it is all these guys have worn a ‘C’ or ‘A’ for me, which speaks volumes about their character.”
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Adam Foote coached both his boys with the Thunderbirds.
“I remember watching the old Thunderbirds practices and seeing guys like Carlo out there,” Cal said. “He was always a guy I looked up to, especially being a late (month) birthday and going to the WHL. And I played with Slavin’s younger brother, Josiah, and (Jaccob) is obviously having a lot of success. It’s cool to see. And Olofsson, I got the chance to sk [...]
Avalanche director of amateur scouting Alan Hepple said Monday that the team could trade the No. 4 overall pick for multiple picks if it does not select “the best available player” at that position at the first round of the NHL draft Friday in Chicago.
Colorado, which finished with a league-low 48 points last season, is in a roster rebuild but an elite young defensemen is at the top of the needs list. Problem is, the draft’s highest-rated defensemen don’t appear worthy of the No. 4 overall pick. Right-shooting Cale Makar of Canada is the top North American defenseman but is rated ninth among North American prospects. Finland’s Miro Heiskanen, a lefty, is the top European defenseman, but No. 4 overall among his peers.
The Avs, who have selected just two defensemen in the first round of the draft’s past 10 years, might trade down to select Makar or Miro Heiskanan — or even home-grown product Cal Foote of Englewood, who is No. 3 among North American defensemen and projected to go between picks 10 and 15.
“There’s always a chance of trading back,” Hepple said. “We would have to see what we’re given, what’s presented to us, and we’ll take it from there. We’re ready for that scenario.”
If Colorado keeps No. 4 in the first round, it could be a forward for the fifth consecutive year. The Avs’ last four first-rounders were forwards Tyson Jost (No. 10, 2016), Mikko Rantanen (No. 10, 2015), Connor Bleackley (No. 23, 2014) and Nathan MacKinnon (No. 1, 2013). The Avs didn’t have a 2012 first-round pick and their last first-round defenseman was Duncan Siemens in 2011 (No. 11). Siemens has played just four NHL games.
“At the time of that fourth pick, it will be the best player available,” Hepple said. “And you know what? There could be a D gone before then. So we’ll just have to see.”
Foote, a right-handed shooter, is the eldest son of former Avalanche defenseman and team captain Adam Foote. Cal is 6-foot-4 and nearly 200 pounds, with a size-16 shoe. He played with the triple-A Colorado Thunderbirds before choosing the major-junior route and the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League.
“We’ve got a good book on Cal, from his dad and things like that,” Hepple said of the younger Foote. “We know a lot about him. He’s gotten better over the last two, three years and he’s going to keep (developing). His skating’s got to (improve) but he’s big enough, smart enough and a good puck-mover. Like I said, we know him very well.”
Wherever Foote is drafted, he’ll likely return to Kelowna next season. But if the Avs keep the No. 4 pick, the player they select has a chance to play in the NHL immediately.
“There’s always pressure in that first round. We want that guy to play, we want that guy to be somebody to come in and make an impact,” Hepple said. “It might not be right away. But definitely down the road. … There’s a development time to those guys. We want smart players, we want fast players. The NHL now, it’s a track meet every night. It’s fast. And not only do you have to skate fast, you gotta think fast. That’s what we’re looking for now.”
The Avs have seven total picks, including the first selection in rounds 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 on Saturday at the United Center. They traded their third-round pick to New Jersey for defenseman Eric Gelinas on Feb. 29, 2016. Colorado obtained the 21st pick of the fourth round (114th) from the New York Rangers a year ago for defenseman Nick Holden. [...]
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Nolan Arenado wore the cut above his left eye like a prize fighter. The infield dirt smeared across his white uniform spoke to his blue-collar style. The giant smile finished off the perfect picture.
A few minutes before, the Rockies’ all-star third baseman had blasted a walk-off, three-run homer off closer Mark Melancon to beat San Francisco 7-5 in front of a delirious sellout Father’s Day crowd of 48,341 at Coors Field.
But this wasn’t just any walk-off homer.
This one sent shock waves rumbling through LoDo because it not only completed the first cycle of Arenado’s career, it capped the Rockies’ first four-game sweep of the Giants in the Rockies’ 25-year history. Arenado became the fifth player in big-league history to hit a walk-off homer to finish his cycle, and the first to do it since teammate Carlos Gonzalez shocked the Chicago Cubs on July 31, 2010, at Coors.
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“This is No. 1, probably the best moment of my career,” Arenado said, momentarily fingering the cut he suffered during the wild postgame celebration scrum. “Obviously, winning the WBC (World Baseball Classic) was big, and I’ve hit some big homers, but this was by far the best.”
The victory was the Rockies’ fifth straight overall and their ninth straight against the Giants, their longest winning streak against a National League West opponent in franchise history. Division leader Colorado (46-26) remains a game ahead of the Diamondbacks and Dodgers in the NL West.
At 20 games above .500, the Rockies are close to the high-water mark in franchise history. The Rockies were 92-68 with two games remaining in 2009, the last time they made it to the playoffs.
The Rockies trailed 5-3 entering the bottom of the ninth Sunday after Giants tagged fill-in closer Jake McGee for three runs in the top of the frame on a two-run, pinch-hit homer by Hunter Pence and an RBI double by Brandon Crawford.
Colorado’s rally started innocently enough with a one-out, bloop single to center by Raimel Tapia. Then Charlie Blackmon singled Tapia to third and DJ LeMahieu scooted a single through a hole at second base to score Tapia.
Arenado strode the plate to face Melancon, the proud product of Golden High School. Melancon’s first pitch was a fastball down and in and Arenado turned on it.
“I got a pitch and I was able to do some damage,” said Arenado, who is hitting .299 with 15 homers and 55 RBIs. “I thought it had a chance. I put some backspin on the baseball and I was hoping it would go out.
“I got it good, but I was a little nervous when I saw the left fielder (Austin Slater) go back. I hadn’t hit a homer in a while (since June 3), so thank God it went out.”
Melancon’s Giants, mired in the NL West basement with a 26-45 record, have lost a season-high six straight.
“My performance has been absolutely terrible,” said Melancon, who blew his second save. “I need to be better. That’s it.”
Melancon said he was hoping to induce Arenado to hit a groundball double play to short, but Arenado sat on the first pitch to cap the eighth cycle in Colorado history.
David Zalubowski, The Associated PressColorado Rockies’ Nolan Arenado follows through with his swing after connecting for a triple off San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ty Blach in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 18, 2017, in Denver.
BOX SCORE: Rockies 7, Giants 5
“I think everybody kind of thought that if Nolan got to the plate in the ninth inning, that’s what he was going to do,” said Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood, who gave up two runs over six solid innings. “He’s a special player and we have all been spoiled to see it forever.
“I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves nationally. I think with us winning games and being on top of the division, I think people are taking notice of him.”
Arenado was aware that he was a home run away from the cycle, but he kept things in perspective when to went to the plate with the game in balance.
“I wasn’t thinking about the cycle, honestly,” he said. “I didn’t want my ego to get in the way, I just [...]