Breather Before Break

The Colorado Rockies have won 3 of their past 20 games, those 3 started by the left-hander Jorge De La Rosa.  In their sole victory during the first week of July, De La Rosa turned-over a 6-run lead to the bullpen to start the 7th on Saturday, only to see Nick Masset surrender 2 doubles, a single, a walk and 4 runs without getting an out, heading to the Disabled List with a case of 1st-degree embarrassment. DLR was not the only starter to give Colorado a fighting chance and see the relief corps toss it in the trash. Yohan Flande turned a 2-1  Monday lead over to Rob Scahill, who transformed it into a 6-2 deficit, yielding 2 doubles, 2 walks and a hit-batsman.  Scahill won a paid flight to Colorado Springs for his exceptional effort.  Christian Friedrich joined him there later in the week after failing to get out the the 4th on Tuesday.  Chad Bettis picked-up for Friedrich, allowing 2 doubles and a single to generate 3 additional runs for the Washington Nationals.  Tonight’s starter Tyler Matzek (1-2, 4.25) left in the 7th Wednesday in a 3-3 tie before Ian Desmond sent Matt Belisle’s second pitch over the right-center-field wall for a 4-3 Washington win.  And Thursday Frankie Morales, always good for an unexpected performance after returning from the ‘pen, had the Rockies in a 2-2 wrassle Thursday for a rusty LaTroy Hawkins to lose.

Jair Jurrjens, who many thought was dead, was brought-in to cover for Jhoulys Chacin, who landed on the 60-day DL, and Jurrjens may indeed be dead; he was no match for Clayton Kershaw on Friday, giving-up 8 in 4.2 as Kershaw extended his scoreless string to 36 innings with a 9-0 triumph.  Boone Logan returned from a sore shoulder to replace Scahill, ineffectively, and Brooks Brown made his Major League debut Sunday in place of Masset, who has a strained patellar tendon.

More notably, third-baseman Nolan Arenado was activated when the team returned to Denver on Thursday, making remarkable plays instantly, outs that would have been hits earlier in the week.  Carlos Gonzalez headed to the Springs to join Scahill and Friedrich, but for rehab, and Brett Anderson is scheduled to rejoin the squad after the All Star Break.  Eddie Butler, Tyler Chatwood, and Jordan Lyles are all set to ramp-up their rehab efforts shortly, with Christian Bergman a tick behind as Colorado hones its roster for the September pennant drive.

In the meantime, the Rockies’ opposition eases a bit as the leagues wind-down toward the All Star Game, starring  Troy Tulowitzki and Charlie Blackmon July 15 in Minneapolis.  The Twins (39-48) arrive Friday for 3 over the weekend, but first it’s the San Diego Padres, at 39-49 the first Colorado opponent without a winning record since they took-on the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first week of June.  The Padres lead the Rockies by 2-1/2 games in 3rd-place in the National League West, and Colorado means to reverse that order by the time Thursday’s off-day rolls-around.  Ian Kennedy (6-9, 3.87) will match-up with Matzek for San Diego tonight in a 6:40 MDT start at Coors Field.  Kennedy lost to the Rockies way back on April 17, giving-up all of the runs in 7 innings of a 3-1 Colorado win.  Kennedy beat the Reds last Tuesday, giving-up a run on 7 hits in 6 innings.  Matzek had given-up 3 runs on 6 hits in 6-1/3 Wednesday before Belisle grooved the slider to Desmond.

The hated Chris Denorfia will lead-off for Bud Black’s Padres, who feature a number of unfamiliar names in today’s lineup.  Tommy Medica, Rene Rivera and Brooks Conrad hit 4, 5, and 6 in Black’s lineup, at 1st-base, catcher and 2nd-base respectively.  Arenado is back in the 6-hole in Rockies’ manager Walt Weiss’ order.  Michael McKenry follows at catcher and Zero Improvement Guy DJ LeMahieu hits 8th at 2nd.

It’s hot (get a lot) in Denver for the opener of the 3-game set.  Game-time temperature should be hanging in the 90ºs before falling steadily with isolated thunder showers developing later in the contest. Humidity of 23% will rise as the temperature falls and it’ll be windy, blowing in from right-center at 11-12 MPH.  ROoT’s got the TV; radio’s on KOA.

SAN DIEGO (39-49)
Chris Denorfia (R) RF
Chase Headley (S) 3B
Carlos Quentin (R) LF
Tommy Medica (R) 1B
Rene Rivera (R) C
Brooks Conrad (S) 2B
Cameron Maybin (R) CF
Alexi Amarista (L) SS
Ian Kennedy (R) P
COLORADO (37-52)
Charlie Blackmon (L) RF
Drew Stubbs (R) CF
Justin Morneau (L) 1B
Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS
Corey Dickerson (L) LF
Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
Michael McKenry (R) C
DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
Tyler Matzek (L) P


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7 years ago

Excellent write-up, Jeem. Got some chuckles too.

7 years ago

Jeem, fantastic. LOL is way overused, so I’ll just say I did actually laugh. Out loud. Twice. (Jair Jurrjens and the September pennant drive)

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
7 years ago

Interesting, Cargo is playing RF tonight for Col Springs. Why is it he can play RF there but not with the Rox? The things that go on in this organization are maddening.

7 years ago
Reply to  Cisco Kid

Cisco, good point. Now they finally have to admit that Cargo needs to play RF. Dickerson is hitting, but has a noodle arm so he can only play left. I also wonder why Rutledge continued playing SS in the minors when it was obvious that (1) he was kind of blocked by the incumbent at the position, (2) we don’t have a second baseman who can hit. Pitching: the Cards are always moving guys from starter to reliever. Trevor Rosenthal:… Read more »

7 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

I’ll go one step further with Rutledge (given his athleticism and pop, but lack of infield defense) – could he be an outfielder? He has a SS arm (in theory) – that normally translates well to the OF.

7 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

Back to back wins? Amazing. sdcarp, I had thought about Rutledge as a centerfielder — lots of guys make that move, and we still need a righthanded outfielder who can hit a little and bring some speed (and at a low salary). Why not give it a try? At a minimum, Rutledge has to play every day. If he hits, we’ll find a place for him. If he doesn’t, we’ll move on from him. Sitting him on the bench makes… Read more »

Julie G
Julie G
7 years ago

Ag, good comments, especially: Try something. DO SOMETHING. Don’t just keep doing the same crap and expecting different results. This has to be the most moribund organization as well as the manager that I can think of.

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