ROX SWEEP DODGERS IN LA; AT DBACKS AS MILWAUKEE, ST LOUIS MAINTAIN PACE
My female house cat, the one that is called Sun Green, has taken to pulling down rags. The rags I’m talking about have been where they are, hanging on their hooks, for the entirety of Sun Green’s 4 year tenure as presiding officer of our household, but for reasons that will certainly go unexplained, starting last week Sun determined it is most fulfilling to pull these rags down to the floor, crouch over them, and purr. Similarly without explanation, the Colorado Rockies, who as recently as 8 days ago had decidedly taken on the aroma and demeanor of a carcass, ran off 6 out of 7 for week no. 24 of the 2017 MLB season, including a 4-game weekend sweep of the lordly Los Angeles Dodgers.
Colorado capped it off yesterday, taking a 2-0 lead into the 8th inning when Mark Reynolds blasted a large home run into the left-center-field Dodger Stadium seats, with Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, and Nolan Arenado aboard (if you can believe it), to ease the Rockies to victory. Colorado got 8 innings of shutout pitching from Tyler Chatwood, who went 5, Carlos Estevez, Mike Dunn, and Scott Oberg. Adam Ottavino, the future San Diego Padre, will not be mentioned for fear any commentary may be considered unfairly critical.
At post-time one week ago the Rockies were tied at 3 with the San Francisco Giants. They would go on to walk off, after Blackmon reached in the 9th on a Mac Williamson error, moved to 3rd as San Francisco’s Steven Okert walked the bases full, then scored when Carlos Gonzalez drew a 2-out walk off of Ryder Jones. That snapped a 4-game losing streak, and Colorado would go on to win Tuesday behind 8 relief pitchers who covered following a 3-inning spot-start by Chatwood. The Rockies were up 6-1 after 6, but the Giants made matters difficult with 2 runs off Antonia Senzatela in the 7th and 3 more off of Jake McGee in the 8th, but the offense answered with a run in the 7th on consecutive 2-out singles by Arenado, Reynolds, and Gerardo Parra, then got 2 more in the 8th on a Jon Lucroy single and doubles by Gonzalez and LeMahieu.
The loss came in a sloppy affair Wednesday afternoon, then it was immediately off to Los Angeles and a date with legendary left-hander Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw was not sharp in his second start back after about a month of rest dealing with a sore back. Colorado got a fast start when Blackmon singled leading off, LeMahieu doubled and Arenado drove both runners home with a 3-run shot over the wall in left-field. The Rockies would tally one more off Kershaw in the 4th, and 5 off of 5 Los Angeles relievers over the distance to run off with a 9-1 win. Friday Colorado had a rare look at Yu Darvish to negotiate. They got a 1-0 lead in the 1st on a home run by Gonzalez, but German Marquez had a tough start and gave-up 4 in the bottom of the inning. The Los Angeles lead held until the 5th, when Alexi Amarista doubled with one out, Lucroy took a walk, then Raimel Tapia, Blackmon, and LeMahieu delivered back-to-back-to-back doubles to chase Darvish with a 5-4 lead that would hold-up behind the relief of Senzatela, Chris Rusin, who got the win, Pat Neshek and Greg Holland, who pitched a 1-2-3 9th for his 38th 2017 save.
Saturday the antagonists were Chad Bettis and Alex Wood, and the Rockies went up 4-0 in the 2nd on a 2-run Trevor Story homer and a pair of run-scoring singles. LA got to Bettis for 3 in the 4th and another in the 5th, but Colorado answered with single tallies in the 5th and 9th, and despite a 9th inning homer by Logan Forsyth leading-off against Holland, prevailed 5-4 ahead of Sunday’s sweeping win behind the Reynolds slam.
The 6 wins for the week nevertheless only padded the Rockies’ Wild Card lead by a half game, they’re up by 3, as the Milwaukee Brewers, St Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs are suddenly in a 3-way battle for the NL Central. Chicago’s lead is down to 2 games over the 75-68 Brewers and Cards, and as sdcarp reports on last week’s thread, the 3 will be going head-to-head as the calendar heads toward October. Washington became the first to clinch yesterday, taking the East, and despite having now lost 15 of their past 16, the Dodgers still lead the Dbacks by 9 in the West. Over in the AL Houston and Cleveland have the West and Central well under control, carrying 13 game leads. Boston leads the East with the New York Yankees lurking 3-1/2 back. New York leads the AL Wild Card by 3-1/2 games over the Minnesota Twins, but no less than 6 potential spoilers are within another
3-1/2 of the Twins.
Colorado is in Phoenix, Arizona this afternoon for the first of 4 with the Diamondbacks, and as RMH has reported, they are BIG with a capital B. Kyle Freeland (11-10, 3.99), who hasn’t been particularly good lately, gets the call against Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.01) in a 7:40 MT start at Chase Field. Jon Gray is out against Taijuan Walker tomorrow, Marquez gets Pat Corbin on Wednesday, and Thursday afternoon Bettis will battle Zack Godley without the benefit of television. The Rox return to Coors Field for 3 with San Diego on the weekend before heading back to the coast and more of San Francisco.
Week 25 kicks-off with game 144; 18 remain. Look sharp.