ROX STAGGER OUT OF SF WITH WIN BEHIND MARQUEZ; GET FIRST OF 2 VS PADRES
The Colorado Rockies are up off the mat, blinking the eyes, seeking focus, trying to gain a grasp on what just hit them. Depending how you look at it, Colorado is either on a 2-game run behind strong starting performances by German Marquez and Antonia Senzatela, they’re 2 for 5 on their first west coast swing of 2019, or they’re a dismal 2-8 in their last 10. Reflecting on the 3-RBI performances by Nolan Arenado on Sunday, and by .164 slugging Ian Desmond Monday night, we’ll go with the former for the purposes of this post.
Marquez was exquisite in the San Francisco finale, perfect through 5, when he hit Kevin Pillar leading off the 6th. He kept a no-hitter alive until one was down in the 8th, then Evan Longoria grounded the Giants’ lone single clear of Arenado and into left-field. Undeterred, Marquez set-down the following 5 in merciless order for the first one-hit complete-game shutout in Colorado history. Arenado figured in all 4 of Colorado’s scoring tallies, walking with 2 out in the 3rd and coming around on Trevor Story’s double to deep center. The newly minted face-of-the-franchise followed singles by Charlie Blackmon and Garrett Hampson in the 5th with his 2nd 2019 home run, high and deep to left, lifting Marquez to a 4-0 cushion he really didn’t need.
Senzatela got his first 2019 start in San Diego yesterday, recovered from a foot infection that put him in the International League, I mean on the Injured List, to start the season. Colorado avoided a Jeff Hoffman start on April 10, when the latest version of the bomb cyclone blew through Denver and washed out the 3rd of 3 with Atlanta in Denver, leaving Monday as the next opening for injured left-hander Tyler Anderson’s slot in the rotation. Senzatela was slick, giving-up a single run in 6-2/3 on Franmil Reyes’ solo drive over the right-field wall leading off the 4th. The Rockies got 2 in the 2nd on a Story single, Mark Reynolds walk, and Desmond double to right-center off the glove of a diving Reyes. Arenado homered again with no one aboard in the 6th, and Desmond matched him leading off the 7th as Colorado strolled to a 5-2 win behind relief appearances by Carlos Estevez, Scott Oberg, and Wade Davis.
The Rockies managed 6 in a series opening loss to the Braves on April 8, then got only one the following evening while Atlanta plated 7. They declined to score at what we are now calling Oracle Park on Thursday, eked-out 2 over 18 in a 3-2 loss deep into the night Friday, and 2 was the limit versus the Mad Bum Saturday ahead of Marquez’ Palm Sunday breakthrough. The offense showed subtle signs of life, featuring more selective hitting in the Sunday and Monday wins, generating base runners for the key Arenado and Desmond ribbies, but remains a shadow of pre-season expectations. Arenado leads the charge with a .254 batting average that trails injured left-fielder David Dahl’s team best .343 mark by nearly 100 points. The loss of Dahl and Daniel Murphy in the early going are clearly testing the Colorado depth, which isn’t looking too good until you consider just how many people are down. And luck doesn’t seem to be turning in any measurable way– Noel Cuevas, who was tearing-up the PCL, got a promotion Monday at the expense of Jonathan Daza, and promptly strained a quad that will buy him a couple of weeks on a Major League training table.
Dahl’s repeated flirtation with the IL draws more concern with each successive episode. I checked the Physician’s Desk Reference and could find no correlation between the loss of a spleen and other upper torso injuries, but it certainly makes you wonder. Similarly, the Anderson knee situation lingers tweak-to-tweak, start-to-start. By the way, how’s Tulo doing in New York?
The Rockies wrap things-up with San Diego at what we’re still calling Petco Park tonight at 8:10 MT. Jon Gray (0-3, 4.19), who’s really been pretty decent despite the numbers, gets the start for Colorado, and the sense here is Gray’s about to get it really rolling. He faces another one of these 22 year-olds I’ve never heard of, Nick Margevicius (1-1, 1.69), and an unfamiliar lefty with that type of line probably means Gray needs a Marquez-like outing to keep the Rox on their feet. Wednesday’s an off day, then the Philadelphia Phillies and Bryce Harper blaze into Lodo for the first of 7 between Colorado and the NL East.
In case no one’s reminded you yet, we’re barely half-way through April and have 145 yet to play. Go Rox.