AUGUST ASPIRATIONS

REINFORCED ROX HOST METS, PHILLIES FOR 3 APIECE IN LODO

The Colorado Rockies took 2 of 3 from the Washington Nationals in the District of Columbia Saturday and Sunday, recovering from a sweep at the hands of the St Louis Cardinals earlier in the week at Busch Stadium in St Louis, finishing week 16 of the 2017 MLB season 2-4.  The Rockies are winning at a clip of .566 with 2 games to play in the season’s second 1/3 as the calendar turns to August and the post-season beckons in the distance.

Colorado added catcher Jonathan Lucroy for a player to be named from the Texas Rangers late Sunday with yesterday’s non-waiver trade deadline looming.  Right-handed reliever Pat Neshek came over from the Philadelphia Phillies for 3 minor leaguers on Wednesday, the Rockies dealing judiciously for two veterans with expiring contracts as the stretch run approaches.  Long suffering Jordan Lyles was designated for assignment to make way for Neshek, and Tony Wolters was optioned to AAA Albuquerque to accommodate Lucroy, who will team with fellow veteran Ryan Hanigan in a break from Colorado’s original plan to roll with young catchers Wolters and rookie Tom Murphy.

The Rockies crashed and burned in St Louis.  The somewhat forgotten sea level blues returned to haunt them Monday and Tuesday when they managed only 2 runs each night.  Antonio Senzatela was ineffective in his second start back from a brief stint in the bullpen and lasted only 4 innings Monday, surrendering 4 runs the offense couldn’t match on 6 hits and 2 walks.  Senzatela struck-out 5.  On Tuesday the offense wasted a decent 5 inning appearance by Jon Gray, who held the Cards to 2 on 8 hits. Colorado got one back in the 7th and tied things in the 8th on a solo shot by Trevor Story, but St Louis walked-off as manager Bud Black tried to get 2 innings out of Jake McGee.  Harrison Bader doubled to lead off the 9th, moved-up on a ground ball, and scored on a Jedd Gyorko sacrifice fly.  McGee landed on the Disabled List with a strained back to thank for his efforts.

The hitters began to emerge Wednesday, and had a 4-2 lead going for Jeff Hoffman as he headed into the bottom of the 4th. Hoffman left it with Colorado trailing 7-4 after 5 of the first 6 Cardinals batters reached and scored.  St Louis would prevail 10-5.

In DC for the weekend, the team was off Thursday and rain washed-out the festivities Friday, leaving a single game Saturday followed by a day-night double header on Sunday.  German Marquez was dazzling in the Saturday contest, perfect over 5-1/3 until Matt Wieters dumped a hump-backed liner in front of left-fielder Gerardo Parra.  Parra spit on it, slapping the offending single to the ground with his glove before tossing it back to the infield.  Parra for President.  Wieters would score on a Howie Kendrick double, and Kendrick would follow on a single by Wilmer Difo, but Marquez regrouped and made it through 7.  Neshek made his first Colorado appearance in the 8th and got a taste of the defense behind him, getting outs on 3 outstanding plays. Greg Holland logged save 32 in the 9th.

The Rockies took the day game Sunday 10-6 behind Kyle Freeland and 6 extra-base hits, then went back into hibernation and wasted another decent start by Gray, falling 3-1 to the Nats and Edwin Jackson, a guy we usually pound.

Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado and Parra continue to lead the offense, and Story is quietly transforming back into the form he strutted in 2016, getting a lot of RBI among a lot of strikeouts.  Mike Dunn has regained his mojo out in the ‘pen and Scott Oberg has made it through 2 consecutive outings without allowing a run.

The New York Mets are in Lodo this afternoon for the first of 3 tonight, tomorrow and Thursday afternoon, when there will be no TV.  Steven Matz (2-4, 5.51), who Colorado roughed-up on July 16, gets the call for New York against Hoffman (6-3, 5.58), who is looking to rebound from a rough July of his own.  First pitch is 6:40 MT down at the old ball yard.  Tyler Chatwood returns to the Rockies’ rotation tomorrow, facing Chris Flexen, and Marquez will go Thursday against Rafael Montero.  Neshek’s old boys from Philadelphia visit on the weekend for another 3 before the group heads out on a short but lengthy 5-game jaunt through Cleveland and Seattle.

The once lucrative Lucroy is hitting 8th in Black’s lineup with the stretch and meaningful games in September on the horizon.

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rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago

I’m m at the game tonight. Every month April through July Colorado finished each calendar month with .500 or better record. 30 more wins needed to reach 90. Only 15 each month and we’re probably dancing for one game. Never happened in franchise history that we had winning months in three first 4 months of the season. We need to take advantage of August schedule to start running away from the WC chasers.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago

I’m thinking of waiver deadline teases. Man, I’m dancing in the street if we are willing yup take on his salary…Giancarlo Stanton. Extend Arenado so he won’t feel unwanted. They can have Tspia, CarGo, McMahon, Almonte, and Patterson. All of a sudden Dodgers feel a threat!

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago

Rumor was the Yanks briefly flirted with Stanton.

Here’s why no one, not even the Yankees, will touch Stanton:

He’s signed through 2027. 335M dollars. That’s correct. 3-3-5 MILLION. You can send them Cargo, Jordan Lyles, Nick Hundley, and the ghost of Jeremy Guthrie and they would do it in a heartbeat if we assumed the contract.

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Steven Matz/Tyler Matzek. Or is it Steven Matzek. Uncanny resemblance.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Or maybe Steven Tyler.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago

We’re going to lose if Hoffmann keeps walking leadoff hitters every inning.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago

We ain’t going to win tonight. Against a 5+ ERA pitcher nothing has gone into the outfield thru 4 innings.

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

RMH, I had forgotten about this team’s propensity for making struggling starters look like All Stars. Edwin Jackson, now Steven Matz.

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

But don’t the Mets have a horrible bullpen? Get that pitch count elevated!

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Guess who just took the lead in the NL Wild Card race! RMH, you caught a good one tonite.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago

Saved only by Rally Killer swinging bunt for equalizer. Lucky it wasn’t GIDP. Told my wife were going home as soon as 8th inning is over behind 4-3.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago

Did anyone catch the beat down the Cubs gave the Snakes last night? Snakes have also lost Chris Owings for the year. He’s a really solid, extremely versatile player for them.

roxnsox
roxnsox
3 years ago

RMH’s premature gloom notwithstanding, now THAT was the kind of game that a winning team wins.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago

I had another premature gloom tonight when I wrote on Twitter that our trend of making a lesser pitcher look like Cy Young winners continued. Then boom we score 5 runs. So more gloomy comments coming to wake up the Rockies.

My next concern is Chatty as he usually has that one bad inning where he can’t throw a strike.

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Good news: Chatty threw strikes! And he had 13 groundouts, 0 flyouts. Bad news: he had 0 flyball outs because all the fly balls went over the wall. Oops. He’s now pitched himself right out of this rotation. And Oberg is going to Jordan Lylesland very soon. This one fell apart … fast. Hey, it’s Coors, I’m not giving up yet!

roxnsox
roxnsox
3 years ago

And THAT’S the kind of game that a shaky midlevel team loses…. I sure hope Ag is right – Chatwood cannot start for this team again.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago

What happened to Chatwood working out of the Pen? Granted, I’m skeptical. But I KNOW he’s not working out as a SP at the moment. I was sort of excited about the gamble. Senzatela looks great in the Pen. In fact, given the status of the Pen at the moment, I wouldn’t hesitate to use that kid in high leverage situations. Lucroy brought something legit to the (previous) black hole #8 slot in the lineup. I’m still whining for a… Read more »

jaredean
jaredean
3 years ago

Tried to run a query using the MBL Sorting Stats and apparently it was too much data because it told me i was asking for too big of a query and to try again…so, maybe someone else can find out for me something i have a sneaky suspicion about and that will line up with Chatty out of the pen…what are his splits 1st inning vs 2nd inning vs 3rd inning vs 4th inning? I am pretty sure 1st and… Read more »

roxnsox
roxnsox
3 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

Exactly what my eye test tells us as well, Jared! He is often dazzling early and then falls completely apart. One of the stat guys here will no doubt answer with hard numbers. Good to see you!

roxnsox
roxnsox
3 years ago

….and….THAT’S the kind of game that illustrates sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good!

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Jared (by the way, great to hear from you again!), your instincts are sound. Chatwood against a hitter the first time through the order: .212 batting average, 667 OPS against The second time: .270 BA, 841 OPS against The third time through: .269 BA, 970 OPS against (ouch!) Now every starter is worse the 2nd and 3rd time through. That’s why all other things being equal, relievers have an easier job (and usually a lower ERA to show for it).… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Expanded rosters: only 25 games left in August! I checked: in 2009, the Rockies called up nearly everyone on the 40 man. 36 players on the September roster, and Bridich was right here with O’Dowd. The upshot: we’ve go a lot of young pitchers who right now are struggling to make it through 6 innings. But a 5 inning start – even a 4 inning start – is a perfectly sustainable model in September. Bettis will take one rotation slot,… Read more »

Bob K.
Bob K.
3 years ago

The Rockies are back to having an open 40 man roster spot. Dustin Garneau was obviously put on waivers since he has been claimed by the Athletics.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/08/athletics-claim-dustin-garneau-from-rockies.html

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  Bob K.

Good for Dustin G! Good luck. The A’s (my favorite AL team) are a nice potential fit for him.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago

Hurts to lose Freeland. Kid is a great athlete. Hopefully this will be just a couple of weeks (which could actually be beneficial in the long run). Otherwise, big win.

Side note – MST has totally spoiled me as a baseball fan. Been on the east coast all week and the 2 hour time difference is brutal on folks like myself that go to sleep at a reasonable hour. I’ll be happy to get back to MST.

Bob K.
Bob K.
3 years ago

Rockies activate Chad Bettis and option him to AAA. Freeland to 10 day DL. Shane Carle and Estevez recalled. Oberg sent to AAA.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/08/rockies-reinstate-chad-bettis-place-kyle-freeland-on-10-day-dl.html

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