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Rafael Betancourt blew his 7th save in 38 2012 tries, his 2nd in as many nights, surrendering a 3-run homer to Aaron Hill, dooming the Colorado Rockies to their 98th 2012 loss, 5-3 Tuesday night at Chase Field in Phoenix.  The win was no. 81 for the Arizona Diamondbacks, assuring them at worst a .500 record with one to play versus the lowly Rockies Wednesday.  Hill came to bat with 2 on and 2 out, Colorado leading 3-2 on Jordan Pacheco’s RBI double.  Betancourt had come-on for Rex Brothers, who pitched a perfect bottom of the eighth after Pacheco’s drive.  He struck-out Chris Johnson leading-off, but John McDonald, who had given the Dbacks a lead with a 2-run homer in the seventh, singled to left.  Pinch hitter Mike Jacobs flew to center, and El Deliberado had Gerardo Parra down 2 strikes before he lofted a single in front of Charlie Blackmon, bringing Hill to the plate with runners on 1st and 3rd.  Hill drove Betancourt’s first pitch about 10 rows up into the left-field stands.

Jhoulys Chacin started for the Rockies and turned-in five crispy innings.  He dealt with 2-out runners in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd, used a double-play to dodge a 2 on one out situation in the 4th, and turned-in a 1-2-3 5th.  Chacin held Arizona scoreless on 4 hits, walking 2 and striking-out 4.  He threw 75 pitches, 46 strikes.

Colorado took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd and carried it into the bottom of the 7th.  Guillermo Moscoso had come-on for Chacin in the 6th, giving-up singles to Hill and Justin Upton, and escaping on a double-play grounder from Miguel Montero and a rocket-shot by Paul Goldschmidt directly at 2nd-baseman Josh Rutledge.  Moscoso hit for himself with 2 on and 2 out in the top of the 7th, MFL Jim Tracy cognizant of the electric stuff the right-hander was dealing on the mound, and struck-out to end the threat. Back for the bottom of the inning, Moscoso served-up a lead-off double to Jason Kubel, then delivered a gopher-ball to the brawny McDonald, who hammered his 6th big fly of the fading 2012 campaign for a 2-1 Diamondbacks lead.

The Rockies answered promptly.  Rutledge led-off with a single, Tyler Colvin hit his second of two doubles, Rutledge to 3rd, and Pacheco drove them in for a 3-2 Colorado lead that Betancourt could not protect.

There’s one last dance Wednesday in the desert, a chance at loss 99 for the Rockies in this season gone-awry.  Jeff Francis will pitch for the Rockies, hoping to impress as he heads to free-agency.  Ace Ian Kennedy will be on for Arizona, which with a win will finish the year in positive territory.  First pitch is 5:10 pm.

 

RACE WARS
The slates are set for the playoffs, but in the American League the match-ups are yet to be determined.  The Tigers, Yankees,  Orioles, Rangers, and A’s are in.  Detroit, with the worst record of all the contenders, relaxes watching Miguel Cabrera chase the first triple crown in 45 years (he had 2 hits and an RBI Tuesday).  The Yankees lead Baltimore by one.  Should the two tie, they’ll play for the division on Thursday in Baltimore.  Texas and the A’s are tied.  The AL West goes to the winner of their season finale tomorrow in Oakland.  Who goes in the Wild Card, and where they go at it, has to wait at least another day.

Division titles have been long decided in the NL, going to Washington, Cincinnati and San Francisco, despite a late run on the Nationals by Atlanta.  The Dodgers long run expired Tuesday when they fell
4-3 to the Giants.   World Champion St Louis, which also lost, travels to Georgia Friday night to get Wild against the Braves.  TBS will televise both Wild Card games.

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jeem
jeem
8 years ago

If anyone cares, Cabrera leads Mike Trout in BA .331 to .324. He has 44 home runs to Josh Hamilton’s 43. He leads by 11 in RBI, 139 to Hamilton’s 128.

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago

Speculation is that Cabrera will play today rather than sitting to preserve his batting average. Of course, that would never happen if Jim Tracy managed Cabrera. Last night we saw (correction: “read about it later”; I doubt anyone was actually watching) Jim Tracy sit Chris Nelson so Chris can preserve his .301 batting average. Which is fine with me if you’ve got enough other capable hitters to not hurt the team. But which is definitely not “fine” if it means… Read more »

Bill
Bill
8 years ago

Nelson could have pinch-hit last night. I doubt that a 0 for 1 night would drop his BA two points this late in the season. But so what. I didn’t see the game but noticed that Chacin seemed to pitch ok but again was taken out after 75 pitches. Why? Didn’t he get the notice that the Rocks are junking the 75 pitch limit? Perhaps he’s trying to make a point to management. Who knows what Tracy is thinking. My… Read more »

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Bill,
You make a good point about an accomplished manager coming in here under the present conditions. Here’s my prediction and you’ve heard it here first- Stu Cole wll be the next manager of the Rox. He’s been a loyal member of the organization and has paid his dues. But more importantly, he would be real cheap to hire.

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago

Cisco, good point. “Cheap” is probably the number one factor if they’re going to reassign (not fire; whatever you call it, it’s the same thing) Tracy and continue paying Tracy his 1.4 million. Did anyone notice that Pedroia played for the Red Sox last night with a broken finger? Said he wanted to “change the culture” of the Red Sox. Probably equal parts leading by example and slapping Bobby Valentine. But whatever the reason, he thought it was important to… Read more »

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
8 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Teams take on the personality of their manager. MFL checked out (quit) when he was saddled with the 4-man, 75 pitch rotation. The way MFL has acted the past couple of months borders on insubordination. If MFL was a military leader, he’d be court martialed.

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