Braves, Beachy Rip Rockies

Brandon Beachy held the Colorado Rockies scoreless for six innings and Freddie Freeman homered and tripled as the Atlanta Braves swept Colorado in three games at Coors Field.

With Rockies’ manager Jim Tracy increasingly desperate for depth from his starting pitchers, Juan Nicasio was cruising along nicely with two outs in the third when the Atlanta batting order turned-over for the first time.  Lead-off hitter Michael Bourn singled as did left-fielder Martin Prado, bringing Freeman to the plate.  Governor Hickenlooper better look sharp, because Freeman owns Colorado and the result was predictable, a big fly into the bullpens.

The Braves were threatening to blow the game open in the fourth, Jason Heyward having walked and scored after consecutive singles by Juan Francisco and David Ross and a force-out by Tyler Pastornicky. With runners on first and third with one out Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez tried a suicide squeeze that busted.  Beachy missed the bunt and Hernadez ran-up the third-base line to tag Francisco. Pastornicky had meanwhile wandered toward second base, and Hernandez threw to Tulowitzski to stop him in his tracks.  Tulowitzski threw to Scutaro who chased Pastornicky down 10 feet short of second base.  Atlanta added two in the sixth on Freeman’s triple and singles by Dan Uggla and Francisco.

Beachy, meanwhile deployed a preposterous strategy against Rockies’ hitters, throwing first-pitch strikes to 19 of the first 21 he faced.  Colorado hit the ball hard, but heading into the seventh Beachy had retired 14 straight batters when he ran out of gas.  Troy Tulowitzski led-off with a single and advanced to second on a slow roller by Jason Giambi to Beachy, who threw him out at first.  Tulowitzski then made third on a Beachy wild-pitch and scored on Michael Cuddyer’s single.  Ramon Hernandez followed with a third single to center, Cuddyer to second.  Beachy then walked Dexter Fowler and Gonzalez went to his pen for Cristhian Martinez.  Pinch hitter Tyler Colvin drove-in Cuddyer with a force-out to second and Martinez retired Marco Scutaro to end the threat.  Martinez went-on to finish, retiring the Rockies in order in the eighth and ninth.

Colorado heads to San Diego with Drew Pomeranz to face Edinson Volquez at 8:10 MDT at Petco Field. After Pomeranz the starters are unknown and the bullpen is running on fumes.

In retrospect the wheels started to come-off for Colorado back in Pittsburgh on April 25, when the Rockies needed six relievers to negotiate the traditional double-header that compensated for a prior rain-out.  Then the team returned home and used five relievers in the 18-9 blow-out of the Mets, then 4, 5, 4, 3, 4, 6, 4 and 3 to accomplish the homestand.  Guillermo Moscoso flopped as a stand-in for Jeremy Guthrie, Jhoulys Chacin got himself demoted, and neither Pomeranz, Moyer nor Nicasio have been good for more than six innings.  Jim Tracy is cutting and pasting frantically and no one is stepping-up.

After three in San Diego Colorado heads up the PCH for three against the division leading Dodgers at Chavez Ravine and three more with the Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco before returning to Coors Field on May 16 to face the Diamondbacks for two to close-out a round-robin of the NL West.

Suck it up and tough it out.

 

BRAVES’ CHIPPER JONES TO MAKE FINAL REG SEASON APPEARANCE AT COORS
Rockies Look to Nicasio to Salvage Series Finale

Chipper Jones is retiring in November following an eighteen career likely to land him in the Hall of Fame. Jones is out of the line-up for Atlanta in the final game of the Braves’ only 2012 appearance in Denver, but will no doubt make some kind of cameo for the benefit of Rockies fans.  Colorado sends Juan Nicasio to the mound in an attempt to salvage one of three in a series that’s proved to be a nightmare for the Rockies, who blew a five-run first inning lead on Friday and a six-run lead in the second last night. Atlanta will counter with Brandon Beachy.

The lowly Braves took Jones with the number one pick of the 1990 draft after the immortal Todd Van Poppel, the consensus top-prospect, pulled a “John Elway” and made it clear he would not sign with Atlanta.  Jones moved quickly through the Atlanta system and joined the team for the stretch run of the magical 1993 season when it unexpectedly coalesced mid-season to snatch the then National League West division title from the San Francisco Giants on the season’s final day.  Early in Spring Training the following year however Jones blew-out the ACL in his left knee and missed the entire 1994 season. Healthy in 1995, Jones debuted as the Atlanta third-baseman, sliding over from shortstop, which he had played coming-up,  in deference to incumbent Jeff Blauser.  Fifteen productive and generally injury-free seasons followed, and Jones moved from third-base to left-field and occasionally back to short defensively, adjusting to the Braves’ needs and personnel.

Then in August of 2010 Jones blew-out the ACL again, bringing an end to what had been a poor season that had prompted him to consider retirement as it played-out.  Like the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera vows in recent days, Jones refused to let the injury end his career and was able to rehab effectively enough to be in the line-up at third to start the 2011 season.  He managed to appear in 126 games in 2011, batting .275 with 18 homers and 70 RBI.  To-date in 2012 he is ripping-it-up, hitting .318 with 5 home runs and 21 RBI in 18 games.  Against Colorado so far this weekend he’s gone 6-11 with one of those homers and 7 RBI.

Atlanta teams have won 1585 games (54.3%, 88 per) with Jones as the sole common denominator.  They won 12 division titles, 2 pennants, and the 1995 World Series.    Jones was the NL Most Valuable Player in 1998.  For his career, in 2405 games, Chipper Jones has hit .304 with 458 home runs, 1582 RBI, an OBP 0f .402 and slugging percentage of .533.

Beachy is a 25 year-old right-hander from Kokomo, IN, in his second year with the Braves.  He managed 9-6/3.68 marks with Atlanta in 2011 and is 2-1 with a sparkling 1.38 ERA in 2012.  Nicasio is looking for his 3rd 2012 win against no losses and is rocking a 3.32 ERA.  The line-ups behind them:

Atlanta (17-11)
CF        Michael Bourn

LF         Martin Prado
1B        Freddie Freeman
2B        Dan Uggla
RF        Jayson Heyward
3B        Juan Francisco
C          David Ross
SS        Tyler Pastornicky
P          Brandon Beachy
Colorado (12-14)
2B        Marco Scutaro

3B        Jonathan Herrera
LF        Carlos Gonzalez
SS        Troy Tulowitzki
1B        Jason Giambi
RF        Michael Cuddyer
C          Ramon Hernandez
CF        Dexter Fowler
P          Juan Nicasio
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
46 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
8 years ago

That was brilliant with those color coded lineup! Today is the dreaded Sunday lineup so I’ll use the occasion to fine tune my cheering skills before I go to the Pepsi Center tonight.

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago

Nice work, Jeem. I agree with you on Chipper. Never liked him, never liked the Braves in their prime years, etc, etc. But he’s been a helluva player for one team, just as much an identity between Chipper and the Braves as Helton and the Rockies. Maybe more since the Braves have been consistently better. So in a weird way I’ll be sad to see him go. Makes me feel old … Hey, Sunday lineup includes only one sub, Giambi… Read more »

Matt G
Matt G
8 years ago

Fowler is not a good hitter

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
8 years ago
Reply to  Matt G

Neither is Colvin nor Young.

egossage
egossage
8 years ago

Colvin is better than dexter

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
8 years ago
Reply to  Matt G

I think I get why some are down on Fowler but I really don’t see that big of a gap between Fowler and say, Helton right now. Not trying to drag down Helton I’m just sayin they are in the same neighborhood.

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

Hey 4-0 deficit, the Rockies are probably think “right where we want them.”

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

I know how much everyone loves to rag on Ubaldo and cheer when he does poorly. Not today.

7 innings. zero runs, 2 hits, 5 walks, 6 strike outs against the AL champs.

lwesche
lwesche
8 years ago

Nice colors and nice write-up, Jeem!

I too feel old…..remember watching the Braves all the time cause that was a team we would get here in Wyoming on TBS every day. Never been a Chipper fan, in fact at times I wished him ill-will, but he is a great player. As far as the Rocks losing right now, 4-0, I am optimistic cause the past two games we were ahead and lost, so am hoping they will come from behind.

lwesche
lwesche
8 years ago
Reply to  Jeem

Love to quote him and try to impersonate him, but wouldn’t say I was a fan.

pooter
pooter
8 years ago

How does 8 and 10 at home sound? I think it sounds pretty shitty

Wyorox
Wyorox
8 years ago

SSDD. Tracy has GOT to shake up the rotation somehow. White? Moyer to the bullpen? Any suggestions?

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago
Reply to  Wyorox

I think Moyer would retire before going to the bullpen. The players that could be called up are equally as bad if not worse than what we have up here, otherwise they’d be here, wouldn’t they? This is what we have unless someone decides to trade for something. In which case, what are we willing to give up? While Chris Nelson and Herrera aren’t world beaters by any means, would simply adding another bat do anything for this team? Lose… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago
Reply to  ProgMatinee

And time for Bob Apodaca to go. I’m sure he’s a great guy, bless his heart, but our pitching is going nowhere fast and he’s not an innocent bystander to it.

Wyorox
Wyorox
8 years ago
Reply to  ProgMatinee

Makes sense, (even though he’s a great prospect) but what team would be looking to deal this early? Is there a good team missing that piece of the puzzle?

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago
Reply to  Wyorox

Braves might be interested. Not sure if they like their 3B in waiting or not. I’m sure Jurrjens would be available, not sure what else.

Not sure what it would take to pry King Felix out of Seattle. Probably Arenado plus Wheeler plus Matzek. Maybe more.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
8 years ago

I noticed that in the past few weeks that the pitchers have been starting off every batter with two or three ball counts. ROOT showed the stats today that opposing batters are hitting over. 300 with two strikes on them while the league average is. 177 on two -strike counts. Depressing.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
8 years ago

That was a perfect illustration :Uggla hits a HR on a 0-2 pitch.

EdtheUmp
EdtheUmp
8 years ago

NEVER, EVER throw a strike on 0-2…period!

Alex Colfax
Alex Colfax
8 years ago

Will Rox see .500 again this season?

Wyorox
Wyorox
8 years ago
Reply to  Alex Colfax

Must sweep Padres. Must sweep Padres.

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago
Reply to  Alex Colfax

good question. should have been 14-12 coming into today. will leave 3 games down. I agree with wyorox, at this point you have to think sweep the Padres, but I don’t see it. I’ll hope for 2.

I’m not sure I see a winning streak of more than 2 or 3 games any time soon with this rotation.

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago

Pitching help? 1. There’s a decent chance White will be an o.k. or better starter. The stats don’t give us reason to believe that, but with the season going south fast, it’s time to roll the dice. Stick with a Moscoso type and we’re doomed to noncontention. 2. Same with Friedrich. 3. Beyond that, it’s a real reach. Really nobody else to turn to. The next best candidate would be Edwar Cabrera, who most people think is at least a… Read more »

Wyorox
Wyorox
8 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Nice job, agbayani, I like it. If we had Guthrie, Pomeranz, and DLR going deep into games, the bullpen could probably handle a Moyer start. His junkball, although bad yesterday, has still been more consistently effective than Chacin.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
8 years ago

It’s time to do wholesale changes. Belisle, Brothers, and Betancourt are safe. Move Moyer to the pen as he’s good for two times though the lineup. Bring in Outman and Putnam. Torres or similar for final spot. Guthrie, Nicasio, and Pomeranz in the rotation. Add two of Friedrich, White, Chatwood. This much is clear : status quo isn’t working and it’s time to find out who can help us in the future.

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

start the fire sale with the coach.

3 months with a new coach and Hammel is suddenly a Cy Young candidate.

Bob K.
Bob K.
8 years ago
Reply to  ProgMatinee

Can Tracy and throw in DOD for good measure. DOD essentially admitted that is no longer effective. During the shows they put on about the winter meetings DOD when talking about the Iannetta trade said that he believed that if he had tried to initiate the trade that it wouldn’t have happened. According to that he can only make a trade if the other team initiates it. That makes him useless and throw in his player evaluation over the years… Read more »

Miketober
Miketober
8 years ago

Just got back from the game. I will say this, Beachy was not as good as his stat line suggests. The Rockies hit the crap out of the ball today, but everything seemed to hang up and find a glove. Two almost-HR balls to the deep spot in LC field. The double pick-off and Freeman striking out looking were the highlights of the game. I thought he was going to cry the way he stood there and argued with the… Read more »

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
8 years ago
Reply to  Miketober

I went to all 3 and this had to be one of the worse Rockies series I’ve attended. While I agree there were a lot of hard hit balls I would suggest that a great defense is very much part of it for a pitcher. Some are great at ground balls, some toss fly balls. I guess we could debate stats/semantics. I do think that if I was Beachy, I would be taking Michael Bourn out to dinner at a… Read more »

Julian
Julian
8 years ago

I also was at the game and agree with Miketober that we had a lot of hard hit outs. Also, the Braves had some great defensive plays in the outfield. Still, it’s hard to overcome the hole that Nicasio put us in. I thought that the new guys in the bullpen pitched well.

sdcarp
sdcarp
8 years ago

It’s going to be a long year. I thought 500 for the year would be a great performance by the Rox. No way I see that happening now. That being said, time to suck it up prepare the staff for the future. I see it this way ( in no particular order ): Guthrie Nicasio ( he has to learn ) Pomeranz ( same as Nicasio ) Moyer ( simply a placeholder, and maybe a coach ) White ( needs… Read more »

SteveinAurora
SteveinAurora
8 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

So, you’re saying that there should be a “plan” in place??

After selling 2.9-mil tickets (and associated parking, hot dogs and beers) last year to fans willing to watch a non-competitive team on the field…would you, as a business owner, look to modify the blueprint for the organization?

As fans, we were subjected to the “Todd and the Toddlers” years with a promise of improvement in the future.

We should be there by now.

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago
Reply to  SteveinAurora

I agree with your sentiment, however “be there by now” is a bit misleading, IMO.

WE WERE THERE!

The problem is when we got there everyone got off the bus and the bus continued on with a new set of passengers.

2 players remaining from a World Series team of only 5 years ago is unacceptable.

sam
sam
8 years ago

O’Dowd is terrible i think he’s only had 1 good draft and that was getting tulo, he missed on longoria (HOW IN THE WORLD CAN HE DO THAT) and drafted greg reynolds no idea what he is doing these days think he’s in the rangers minor league system. He talks about accountability he’s the main reason we are in this mess he is useless!!! there were pitching options available in the off season Edwin jackson etc but he done nothing… Read more »

EdtheUmp
EdtheUmp
8 years ago

Everyone, please remember that before and during spring training almost all of us here at RWO agreed that 2012 would be a year to check out our talent. This would be a “bridge” to 2013…remember? I agree with most that 81-81 is going to be a (very)long shot. I put money on the Rox getting 81+ wins, winning the west and world series(I got VERY good odds on the final two bets). Point being, we really didn’t expect the first… Read more »

Swede
Swede
8 years ago
Reply to  EdtheUmp

Totally agree Ed.

Wyorox
Wyorox
8 years ago
Reply to  EdtheUmp

True ‘dat. I can live with a tough year if we are improving. Are we? Pro: Cuddyer Pomeranz White (maybe) Scutaro (more soon I hope) Rosario (I hope) Guthrie (I hope) Neutral: Two headed monster at third Con: Errors by Tulo Fowler’s struggle at the plate, and thus finding a spot in the order for him to settle in Chacin Moyer (third time through the rotation) Tulo swinging for the fence instead of seeking contact and a pitch he can… Read more »

Miketober
Miketober
8 years ago
Reply to  EdtheUmp

I was with you until your last paragraph, Ed. I do NOT agree with punting the season after 50 games. As a potential paying customer, the Rockies will find me tuning out and staying home if June-September 2012 turns into a repeat of September 2011. I don’t think that makes me a fair weather fan either. I will happily go down with the ship if it means my favorite players are out there every day fighting for every win. But… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago

Ed, it strikes me that we’re right back where we were this time last year. Last year: struggling through bad performances by Felipe Paulino and Franklin Morales in key situations. Both guys would’ve been sent down except they were out of options. Other clubs knew that, so they had essentially zero trade value. O’Dowd was unwilling to dump them because they were obviously talented, but as long as the team had dreams of contending it was awfully hard for Jim… Read more »

Pooter
Pooter
8 years ago

My prediction: The Rockies will be in 1st place before the All Star break! The Rockies have shown this year that when they get a quality start from a pitcher that they win those games. I feel that when DLR and Guthrie pitch in a rotation with Pomeranz, Moyer, and Nicasio this will be the most talented rotation in Rockies history along with the most overall team talent in Rockies history. My prediction that EYJ will start in center field… Read more »

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
8 years ago
Reply to  Pooter

Pooter,

I appreciate your optimism. It’s a welcomed respite from some of the doom and gloom coming across lately.

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
8 years ago
Reply to  Pooter

Pooter, while I also appreciate your optimistic, purple rules, approach to being positive, I am sticking with me NL West predictions from back during ST.

Right now #1 and #2 are reversed but the rest are where I expect the season to end.

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody
8 years ago
Reply to  Pooter

Pooter: Goodness, gracious! Can I get the formula for your Kool-Aid? (just kidding) I think there’s a bigger chance the Rox will be in last place before the All-Star break, instead of first. (It hurts to write this, but there it is.) Only one of the keys is working – offense. The bullpen is being overworked, and they were not strong enough to carry this team anyway. Starters are killing us. Enough said. Defense? Where the he## are all those… Read more »

46
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x