Last Stand in LoDo

The Colorado Rockies returned to Coors Field in Denver Friday afternoon for 10 final romps at the old ballyard, and took the weekend series from the San Diego Padres 2-1, to wrap-up week 24 of the 2015 MLB season an even 3-3.  The weekend work included 5 slick frames from Chad Bettis on Friday, and a romp on Saturday behind a fine piggy-back outing from Christian Bergman, who came on for human backstop Yohan Flande, he of the 150 foot carom.  That, of course came ahead of the Kyle Kendrick-fueled beer league softball affair that broke-out Sunday, when all of the fat guys seemed to be playing for the Padres.  Colorado lost 2 of 3 in Los Angeles to the Dodgers earlier in the week, including the Jon Gray-Clay Kershaw face-off Monday, as well as the 16-inning war of attrition that kept Gary awake all night on Tuesday.

There’s a full slate on hand at Coors for week 25, as Pittsburgh visits for 4, with LA hot on the Pirates tails for 3 on the weekend.  Pittsburgh is slugging it out with the Chicago Cubs for 2nd place in the National League Central, despite both having the Wild Card slots in the bag, as St Louis cruises toward the finish, leading the Pirates by 4.  The Dodgers have the West under control, and the New York Mets remain comfortably in front of Washington in the East.  Over in the American League Toronto leads the Yankees by 2-1/2 in the East, while in the West the Texas Rangers now have a game and a half lead over Lone Star State rival Houston, 4 over LAAo’A.  The Yanks and Astros have the current handles on the Wild Cards— Minnesota and the Angels trail Houston by 2-1/2.  The Royals have been coasting in the Central for about 6 weeks now.

Pittsburgh’s Clint Hurdle is sending veteran right-hander AJ Burnett (8-5, 3.15) out to face the Rockies tonight, and he matches-up against the rookie Gray (0-1, 5.00) for a 6:40 start in lower downtown Denver.  Burnett hasn’t won since the middle of July.  He was out Wednesday against the Cubs, allowing 2 over 5-1/3 on 8 hits in a game the Pirates eventually dropped 3-2.  Gray matched-off with the great man for 4-2/3 before succumbing on Monday.  He took his first MLB loss after surrendering 2 earned runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking-out 8.

As expected Pittsburgh will bring it loaded-for-bear.  They’ll go 2-3-4 with left-fielder Starling Marte, center-fielder Andrew McCutchen and 3rd-baseman Aramis Ramirez.  Less-motivated Colorado will come on pretty strong as well.  Carlos Gonzalez will hit 3rd in right-field, NL RBI leader Nolan Arenado cleans-up, and Justin Morneau will hit 5th at 1st-base.  Tom Murphy will catch Gray and hit 8th.

It’s a fine, warm last day of summer in Denver.  Partly cloudy skies will clear as the game progresses under temperatures falling from the mid-80°s to mid-70°s.  There’s very little humidity in the Mile High air tonight, and the wind will blow from right to left at 6 to 8 MPH.  You gotta think George Frazier will be on hand for one more performance before his adoring Colorado fans, although you never know, but in any case Drew Goodman’ll have the play-by-play on ROOT Sports.  Jerry Schemmel and Jack Corrigan do the radio on 850 KOA.

PITTSBURGH (89-60)
Gregory Polanco (L) RF
Starling Marte (R) LF
Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
Aramis Ramirez (R) 3B
Neil Walker (S) 2B
Francisco Cervelli (R) C
Pedro Alvarez (L) 1B
Jordy Mercer (R) SS
A.J. Burnett (R) P
COLORADO (63-86)
Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
Jose Reyes (S) SS
Carlos Gonzalez (L) RF
Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
Justin Morneau (L) 1B
DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
Corey Dickerson (L) LF
Tom Murphy (R) C
Jon Gray (R) P

[sac_happens]

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Gary
Gary
5 years ago

Actually Jeem I tuned out after we blew the lead for the second time in the 12th.Figured on the road we were doomed and I’d seen that horror movie too many times this year. Next season I won’t be able to afford cable so since my sleeping/not watching seems to breed winning the Rox should make the playoffs.

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago

So let’s think about this – So far this year Jeff Luhnow has had his computer hacked by the Cardinals, had 30 year old assistant David Stearns (Harvard Grad) hired by the Brewers (he’s younger than 7 current Brewers!) and another assistant – Quiton McCracken (Duke Grad) being interviewed by the Red Sox. His rebuilt Astros are currently the 2nd AL WC team (but they may yet win the AL West). This is one of these no-brainier moments. You don’t… Read more »

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

If Monfart were smart (alright – I can hear the laughing echoing through cyber space) he’d pick up the phone and call former Rockie McCracken and ask if he wanted to be the Rockies President.

RocketMan
RocketMan
5 years ago

So another blah start for Gray, 81 pitches to get 14 outs, 9 hits , 5 SOs. I think he’s shown all he can, and is now too over tired to risk further damage. Shut him down.

Also bases load in the 5th and 6th, NADA both times, once with Nolan swinging at a terrible pitch for strike 3 and once with Natzy swinging for the fences. Small steps boys, singles will do fine.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Ed, Big P update: will miss his next start (and I imagine that’s it for the year) with Achilles tendinitis. And somehow I missed this — after his last start (2-0 loss), DLR: “I’ll just wait for my teammates to start hitting better and maybe win a game,” De La Rosa said after the game.” Big talk from the “ace” who’ll end the season with 149 innings pitched and a 4.19 ERA. And remember how that ace started the season:… Read more »

Gary
Gary
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Actually Ag I think Cargo for sure and Tulo and NoDo all mentioned bad pitching back in the July pitching collapse.However these are the kind of remarks that should see our “ace” shuffled off to…? Means more of our big winter pickup K.K. and hopefully a couple starts for Bergman.

roxnsox
roxnsox
5 years ago

At least Spilborghs is usually a delight

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

RocketMan, I guess what I’m saying is I think it’s gonna be a long, long time …

RocketMan
RocketMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Amen, brother.

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