Fresh Wounds

Not even the All Star Break and the return of three regulars could bring an end to the relentless dissolution that continues to characterize the 2014 Colorado Rockies’ season.  They got three consecutive strong performances from their starting pitchers in the weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but lost all three, blowing leads in each.  It was disclosed Home Run Derby contestant Justin Morneau, who has since been placed on the 15-day Disabled List, returned from the break with a flare-up of his chronic stiff neck, and that left-handed reliever Boone Logan, who’s proved to be an invaluable acquisition, had one as well.  All Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki came-up lame late Saturday with what was called a “hip flexor cramp,”  and his side-kick in Minneapolis Charlie Blackmon rolled an ankle.  Colorado went-up against Pittsburgh on Sunday with essentially 21 players, and even that included Matt Belisle, Rex Brothers, and Chad Bettis.

Those relievers were the face of the failed weekend.  Belisle apparently has nothing left but straight cheese, and Bettis is clearly not ready for prime time.  As for Brothers, can you say Zero Improvement Guy?  The 26 year-old left-hander’s lousy 2014 is emblematic of that of the Rockies in general.

A fresh home stand awaits.  The Washington Nationals, virtually tied with the Atlanta Braves atop the NL East, are on hand for games tonight, Tuesday night, and Wednesday afternoon (no TV).  The Pirates, who moved within a game and a half of the NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers by wiping-up Colorado, follow for three on the weekend.

Right-hander Doug Fister (8-2, 2.90) takes the hill for the Nats tonight, opposed by resilient Rockies’ lefty Franklin Morales (5-4, 5.26), in a 6:40 MDT start at Coors Field in downtown Denver.  Fister is on a roll; he’s only lost once since May 9, and he defeated the Orioles in Baltimore on July 9, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits over 7 innings.  A week earlier he took down Colorado in the District of Columbia, surrendering 3 runs on 7 hits, also going 7, and striking-out 5.  Morales has delivered two serviceable starts since returning to the rotation against the Dodgers on July 3.  He lasted 5-2/3 and got a win on July 8 against the Padres, giving-up a run on 4 hits and striking-out 6.

Washington manager Matt Williams has pencilled-in primarily the same group that whooped-up on the Rockies earlier in the month.  Switch-hitting Danny Espinosa is at 2nd-base, hitting 8th.  Blackmon’s going to try it for the Rockies in center-field.  Ben Paulsen, up from Colorado Springs for his major league debut for Morneau, hits 6th at 1st-base.

Cloudy skies prevail in Lodo, as do hot temperatures, in the low 90ºs with relative humidity around 25%. The wind will blow-out to left-field at a brisk 10-11 MPH.  ROoT has the TV, KOA’s got radio.

WASHINGTON (53-43)
Denard Span (L) CF
Anthony Rendon (R) 3B
Jayson Werth (R) RF
Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
Ryan Zimmerman (R) LF
Ian Desmond (R) SS
Wilson Ramos (R) C
Danny Espinosa (S) 2B
Doug Fister (L) P
COLORADO (40-58)
Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
Josh Rutledge (R) SS
Corey Dickerson (L) LF
Carlos Gonzalez (L) RF
Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
Ben Paulsen (L) 1B
Wilin Rosario (R) C
DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
Franklin Morales (L) P

[sac_happens]

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sdcarp
sdcarp
6 years ago

Ag – I know you’re out there somewhere in cyberspace! Interesting move made by the Jays today. TheY designated RP Sergio Santos for assignment. I think he’s owed about 1M for the rest of this year, and has an option for next year. Great, great live arm when it’s right (granted – it hasn’t been for a while). A team that had some sense (which eliminates us) would claim that dude, give him a rest break, clear his mind, fix… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
6 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

sdcarp, I’m not sure Santos is worth it — got DFA’d because he’s kind of gone all Carlos Marmol on the Blue Jays (7.8 BB/9!), but in general I think you’re onto something. Now is the time to stockpile some good arms, maybe relievers like that who have talent and are signed for next year or can be brought back pretty cheap. What have they got to lose? Hurting Matt Belisle’s feelings? And by the way, what is it with… Read more »

Trip
Trip
6 years ago

Good point Carp. Uncle Dick has said he ain’t getting rid of DoD until he knows who he is going to hire.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
6 years ago

When the hitters don’t have much confidence in the bullpen they don’t have any motivation for late game offense. Just plain useless Little League quality bullpen.

Agbayani
Agbayani
6 years ago

We did it! Rangers won, we lost, we’re tied for the worst record in baseball! So is there a Strasburg out there? I checked. The consensus is “no.” No clear # 1 pick so far. Just our luck to hit an all-time low with a weak draft coming up.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
6 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Brady Aiken might be available next year.

Colorado Thistle
Colorado Thistle
6 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

I think Ag has hit upon the “culture” of this organization: we’re so bad we can’t even do losing right.

gary
gary
6 years ago

When I left Vietnam in 1970 I got a plaque,letter of appreciation and a handshake.That’s what Matty B.should be given tomorrow.

sdcarp
sdcarp
6 years ago

Padres trade Chase Headley to Yanks for two milquetoast players. Classic snippet from MLB Trade Rumors: “For the Padres, it’s tough to describe the outcome as anything but disappointing. Headley looked to be on the verge of stardom following the 2012 season, and they could likely have netted a king’s ransom had they moved him then. Even this offseason, Headley’s value coming off a .250/.347/.400 season with excellent defense would have been fairly strong. Now, they’ll receive a player whom… Read more »

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