RMH BLOWS TOWN; ROX REEL-OFF 5 OF 6
Jon Gray held the Philadelphia Phillies scoreless over 6 innings. Trevor Story and Ryan McMahon drew walks to lead-off the bottom of the 6th. And light-hitting Ian Desmond and Tony Wolters delivered RBI singles and doubles respectively to put the Colorado Rockies up 4-0 and on their way to a 3-1 series victory over Philadelphia on a splendid spring weekend down at the old ball yard in lower downtown Denver. Sunday’s victory brought the end to a week that started with 5 consecutive victories coming on the heels of 8 consecutive losses that capped an undeniably horrible 2019 Colorado start. The Rockies tripped on Saturday, when Antonio Senzatela and those white veteran relievers in the Colorado bullpen had a smidge of malfunction, but Gray was feeling it the following afternoon, as he and 3 relievers limited the Phils to a single run for a 4-1 win.
The Colorado renaissance began all the way back on April 14, when the Rockies stormed out of San Francisco behind the German Marquez’ 1-hit complete game shutout, and continued in San Diego, where the promising Padres were swept away by a 6-2/3 inning 1-run/6-hit Senzatela season debut, followed by 7 innings of 1-run work by Gray. Senzatela was backed-up Monday by Carlos Estevez, Scott Oberg and Wade Davis. Gray’s Tuesday relief was delivered by Estavez, DJ Johnson and Seunghwan Oh, and I’ll say this about Oh: I have no idea how his first name is pronounced, but his last name? I’ve got that one down.
The Rockies loaded it up and headed out of California after Tuesday’s contest for a day of rest in Denver on Wednesday before getting set for Philadelphia, which made a lot of noise in the off-season adding veteran depth to its developing corps of youth, most notably the famously fabulous Bryce Harper, who undoubtedly relished the opportunity to taunt Colorado’s Nolan Arenado over the 3rd-baseman’s relatively punitive contractual arrangements. Kyle Freeland, coming-off a couple of shaky starts, had his command all back together at Coors, delivering 6 shut-out innings backed-up by the Estavez-Oberg-Davis connection. McMahon and David Dahl returned to the Rockies off the IL that night, and it was a jumbo one for McMahon, who launched a 3-run homer in the 6th, and backed that up with a 2-run shot in a 3-run 7th. Dahl got back into business with a double the same inning, scoring on a Story sacrifice ahead of the blast by McMahon. And Friday the pixie dust was sprinkled all over the park when Charlie Blackmon stepped-up in a 2-2 12th inning tie to hit with 2-out and Tony Wolters on 1st following a 1-out walk. Blackmon dug himself an 0-2 hole, took one, and then launched a big banana over the center-field wall. Rox Walk Off!
Not to be out-done, Chuck N’s next swing, the following day, produced a nearly identical result. Sadly it was only an otherwise isolated high note among the Rox’ sole loss of the week.
Tonight it is more of the National League East, this time the Washington Nationals, former employer of the wondrous Harper, and Washington slips into Denver sporting a less than sparkling 10 and 10 mark, which while far better than the Rockies’ tally of 9-13, isn’t exactly striking fear into the 16-9 Seattle Mariners. Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (2-0, 2.63) gets it for the Nats. Colorado is countering for the moment with “TBD,” who has been getting an inordinate amount of action so far in 2019, and TBD is suspected to be a return from the IL by lefty Tyler Anderson (0-2, 11.0), although it’s awfully damp and cold out there this afternoon, so all bets are off for the 6:40 tilt in Lodo. Freeland’s going to go again for Colorado tomorrow against our old buddy and fellow left-hander Patrick Corbin, late of the Diamondbacks, also at 6:40, and Wednesday’s fun will be conducted at 1:10 in the afternoon, Marquez starting for Colorado against Washington’s Anibal Sanchez. Thursday is another off day in advance of the Rockies’ next trip east, first to Atlanta versus the Braves and on to Milwaukee for a pair against the fearsome Brewers.
RWO guru and lead purveyor of superstition RMH attributes the Rox’ current success to his vacation from the area, hopefully to some treeless steppe, where he promises to stay away until the current good fortune subsides. Keep it warm in Lapland, RMH. Do they have any daylight there yet?