ROX DO THE SPLITS IN SD, SF; LA IS NEXT
The Colorado Rockies elected to tread water the week of May 14. They won one and lost one in San Diego, setting RMH off on a bit of a rant, then won 2 and lost 2 in San Francisco. In the meantime the Division leading Arizona Diamondbacks, apparently in reaction to a unassuming whine by RoxnSox, have won only once in their last 10, leaving Colorado only a half-game off the pace in spite of their own lackluster showing.
The early week news was ominous, DJ LeMahieu landing on the Disabled List with a broken thumb that the medical authorities are now telling us shouldn’t be too big of a deal, but the Rockies used home runs by Daniel Castro, Noel Cuevas, and Gerardo Parra on Monday to overcome the Padres. Then Tuesday former Rockie Jordan Lyles, who I remember as being generally bad and failing to show even momentary brief flashes of brilliance, went El-Perfecto for 7-1/3 out front of a 4-0 San Diego victory, prompting a “.115-.138-.148” exposé by RWO mainstay Agbayani, as well as the later RMH rant, which I had actually also composed in my head early Wednesday, further proof that great minds fume alike.
The series in San Francisco’s China Basin started Friday evening. Chad Bettis started for Colorado, opposed by Jeff Samardzija, and left the game tied at 3-3 after 6, where it would remain 3-3 into the 12th inning when the Giants’ Pierce Johnson walked Chris Iannetta and Charlie Blackmon with one out. Cory Gearrin came on for Johnson and got Parra to fly out, but walked Nolan Arenado to load the bases for Carlos Gonzalez, 0-4 at that point and having failed with 2 on and 2 out two innings earlier. This time Gonzalez delivered, a 2-run single to center that would seal things-up. Wade Davis came on to grab a save despite walking 2 Giants during his half-inning of fun.
Kyle Freeland was out Friday and turned-in what I think is now his 4th straight quality start, lasting 2 outs into the 7th and allowing only a run on 5 hits and a walk. Ian Desmond got loose for the Rockies, stroking a big 3-run shot to center in the 4th and doubling-in Arenado in the 6th. Blackmon iced things for Colorado in the 9th with his 12th 2018 homer, a 2-run job over the wall in right. Prospects were looking strong with big Jon Gray set to go Saturday afternoon.
Gray, inconsistent all year, didn’t have it. San Francisco knocked the right-hander around for a run in the 2nd, 3 in the 3rd, and he was lifted in favor of Chris Rusin with 2 out in the 4th before another score nicked his mark. The Giants would go on to score 2 more off of Rusin in the 5th and 2 off Brooks Pounders, who turned-in 3, in the 6th on their way to a 9-4 win. Lefty Tyler Anderson’s start was Sunday, and things were looking good into the bottom of the 5th with the Rockies out to a 4-1 lead. One out in however, Miguel Gomez singled and rode home on a Gorkys Hernandez homer to the very deepest part of AT&T Park. Anderson coughed-up 2 more in the 6th for a 5-4 San Francisco lead, but the Rockies tied it in the top of the 7th, and then Agbayani, who had a big week, got his due.
Shaky Jake McGee, subject of Ag’s critical eye as far back as August 2017, took over for Brian Shaw, who had surrendered a leadoff single to Hernandez and walked Evan Longoria with one out. 24 hours prior, Agbayani had spoken thus: “McGee: trust me, the meltdown is coming.” Brandon Belt lined a 3 run homer to right, and Bob K’s favorite, Nick Hundley, followed by lifting a fly into the stands in left, then Brandon Crawford and Austin Jackson singles later, it was Harrison Musgrave time ahead of a pensive and quiet flight down to Los Angeles.
Mediocre results aside, it’s worth noting the hits that made the wins came with names like Cargo, Castro, Cuevas, and Desmond attached. Chuck Nazty, in fact, is in a bit of a funk with his sidekick LeMahieu nursing the thumb, but Trevor “Air” Story continues to emerge as a force, the BA up to .250 behind the well-documented 10 home runs and 35 RBI. Perhaps a couple fewer holes through the offense will make for a late spring surge.
German Marquez (2-5, 5.15) gets Colorado’s first shot at the Dodgers in 2018. He’s up against right-hander Walker Buehler (2-1, 2.67) for an 8:10 MT start tonight at Chavez Ravine. Los Angeles, as widely known, has suffered through 2018 to-date. Corey Seager is out. Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and the legendary Clayton Kershaw are all rotation pieces currently on the shelf. All-star 3rd-baseman Justin Turner has also missed time, but he’s back and the Dodgers are currently riding a 4-game win streak. They swept the Nats in Washington over the weekend. Bettis and Freeland get the starts tomorrow and Wednesday against hurlers yet to named by LA, there’s an off day Thursday, then the Rox begin a 9-game home stand featuring 3 with Cincinnati, and 3 more each with the Giants and LA.
I’m off next week, tripping to Kansas City to take in the sights, which will include the Negro Baseball Hall of Fame. I’ll be in west Missouri, Rox. Show me.