FLORIDA IS PLEASURE TRIP, AS ALWAYS; CUBS, NEW YORK AHEAD
Whatever it is about Miami, Florida, it’s over, at least for 2018. The Colorado Rockies put on their usual display of strength and power in the Magic City over the barely past weekend, eking out a 1-0 victory behind Antonio Senzatela on Friday night, and thereafter confining themselves to a solo homer off the bat of Charlie Blackmon, dropping the 3-game series with the Marlins
2-1. I myself could be located some 900 miles to the north, in the bustling metropolis of Atlanta, Georgia, observing one of those rites of passage so popular with the young (despite the substantial risks), the marriage of my niece Jenny to some kid I’d never seen before, so I know even less about went on than usual. Miami will pay the Rockies a return visit to Coors Field in late June, but other than that Colorado is done with the torment so regularly rained upon them by their expansion cousins.
Earlier in the week things were a bit more pleasant back in Denver, with our old friends the San Diego Padres in town for 3. No fights broke-out, in fact Manuel Margot was at one point witnessed on top of 2nd base with a fairly major grin upon his face, having arrived there on a 2-out double, and perhaps he was also anticipating that before long Scott Oberg would be heaving those hard, fat fastballs at opponents of the Albuquerque Isotopes. Whatever the case, San Diego got over on the Rockies in the series opener Monday on the strength of a 9-run 7th at the expense of Oberg and Jake McGee, who preceded the right-hander and surrendered hits to 3 of the first 4 batters in the inning, including a 2-run Franchy Cordero home run, before issuing a walk to the final batter he faced. Oberg would allow 2 of McGee’s base runners to score, along with 5 of his own, and even recorded an out along the way. He was on a bus headed south in the morning, replaced by former LA Angel of Anaheim Brooks Pounders.
But Colorado came-out slugging on Tuesday, scoring 2 in the 1st on a botched bases-loaded double-play relay by Padres 2nd-baseman Jose Pirela. They continued their assault on San Diego starter Eric Lauer in the 2nd. A 1-out Noel Cuevas single, Kyle Freeland sacrifice, and DJ LeMahieu single resulted in an initial run, then a Blackmon single and walk to Nolan Arenado loaded them up for Trevor “Air” Story, who responded with a gigantic fly onto the left-field concourse for a grand slam. The Rockies would score again in the 5th, and Freeland would go 7 for his first 2018 win, a shutout completed by Brian Shaw and the aforementioned Pounders. Wednesday afternoon there was no TV, but Colorado got to scoring early again. 3 singles resulted in a run in the 2nd, then in the 3rd Blackmon and Arenado walked ahead of a 2-run David Dahl triple, and Dahl came home on a sac-fly by Story. The erstwhile Jon Gray turned-in 6-scoreless in that one for the win, backed-up by Shaw, Adam Ottavino, and Wade Davis. The Rockies prevailed 5 against 2.
Following a day off Thursday the dirge in Miami kicked-off on April 27. Tyler Anderson started for Colorado and lasted only 4 outs, exiting with some kind of heart issue that’s now claimed to be a non-issue in the 2nd. Senzatela took over and held the Marlins in-check through the 5th, when he knocked in Gerardo Parra, who had returned from his suspension and doubled, with a 2-out single. Shaw, McGee, Ottavino, and Davis would finish out the 1-0 shutout, and LeMahieu left the game after 4 with right hamstring tightness. Saturday the Rockies were held speechless, if not scoreless, by Wei-Yin Chen, who surrendered only the shot by Blackmon, and lost 4-1, then Sunday it would be the immortal Caleb Smith to buffalo Colorado. Smith held the Rockies scoreless over 7, besting a second consecutive quality start by Chad Bettis, who also went 7 but had the fatal misfortune of allowing a couple of runs while his offense declined to score. Smith was followed by Drew Steckenrider and Brad Ziegler as the Marlins held Colorado to 4 hits and struck-out 14.
In other news, Chris Rusin hit the DL Monday with an intercostal strain and was replaced by Harrison Musgrave. Rusin threw off a mound in Miami yesterday, and it’s hoped he’ll be ready when his 10 days expires. LeMahieu is day-to-day and hopes to get back to action in Chicago, where the Rockies find themselves for the first of 3 with the Cubs in a little over an hour. Freeland
(1-3, 4.33), who also battled injury after getting caught on the heel by a batted ball in his Tuesday start, will go against Cubs veteran lefty Jon Lester (2-1. 3.29), so it figures to be a tough go for the listless offense. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 MT.
Gray gets it tomorrow against Kyle Hendricks an hour later, and Anderson will test his health at 2:20 in the afternoon Wednesday, facing off-season Chicago acquisition Yu Darvish. Thursday is again an off day ahead of 3 in the borough of Queens, New York versus the Mets on the weekend. This week it comes down to one word: