The Colorado Rockies produced an inspiring 10-1 victory Friday night to open up a 3-game series against the NL Central Division leading Pittsburgh Pirates similar to their last win, the one that opened-up the 3-game series in Pittsburgh just a week and a day ago. After left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (11-6, 3.26) weathered another dicey 1st inning, Colorado turned singles by DJ Le Mahieu, Michael Cuddyer and Todd Helton, and a double by Wilin Rosario into 4 runs off Pirates ace Francisco Liriano (12-5, 2.83). They tallied 5 more in the 2nd on singles by Dexter Fowler, Cuddyer, and Charlie Culberson, along with a 2-run Rosario homer and a Nolan Arenado double, and added their 10th run in the 3rd before returning to the lair to hibernate for the remainder of the evening. De La Rosa meanwhile ambled-along respectably for 5 innings, allowing a run in the 2nd among 8 scattered hits and 3 walks. Adam Ottavino provided 2 innings of scoreless relief, followed by shut-out frames from Edgmer Escalona and Rex Brothers. The rare win gives Colorado an opportunity to go for two in a row, but they turn to no. 4 starter Juan Nicasio (6-6, 5.05), who, along with the parade of dregs who’ve followed him in the rotation, has presented an obstacle toward developing any kind of momentum in a season that’s come full-apart over the previous dozen days.
The Rockies won 5 in a row between April 2 and 7, then ran-off 8 starting April 12. In the latter part of May they managed 3 in a row twice, the last time between May 21 and 24. Since then Colorado’s longest winning streak would be matched with a victory tonight, which is where Nicasio comes in. During a season where everything was supposed to ride on the starting pitchers, the Rockies have received unexpectedly strong performances from Jhoulys Chacin and De La Rosa, and the currently disabled Tyler Chatwood emerged as a legitimate major league starter, but Nicasio and the parade of dregs have consistently thwarted any sense Colorado’s had of going on a roll. So here’s Nicasio again, following the first victory in a week, and the Rockies would love a strong performance and another win as they face-off against Pittsburgh tonight at 6:10 pm MDT over at the old ball park in lower downtown. Juan will have to improve on his previous effort, a 103 pitch 4-1/3 inning 4-run/6-hit clunker in which he was embarrassed by tonight’s opponent, AJ Burnett (5-7, 2.73), who handed-in a 9 strike-out complete game in Sunday’s 5-1 Pittsburgh triumph.
Our ol’ buddy Clint Hurdle liked how his boys tormented Nicasio that day, so he’s going with the same group, one that features outfielders Starling Marte leading-off, Andrew McCutcheon hitting 3rd and Jose Tabata in the 7-hole. Colorado’s Walt Weiss will have Corey Dickerson in left-field batting 2nd for LeMahieu, who gets the night off with Jonathan Herrera stepping in at 2nd base.
It’s been a spectacular Rocky Mountain day in Denver as the late afternoon clouds roll in. The evening will be mostly cloudy at Coors Field with a game-time temperature of 80° dropping into the low 70°s as the game progresses. Relative humidity checks-in at 33%, and the wind will blow-out toward right-right-center at 8 to 10 MPH. George, Drew and Marc Stout have the telecast on ROoT with Jerry Schemmel and Jack Corrigan on radio 850 KOA am.
IN GAME CHAT
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