Colorado played clean baseball Rockies’ way in a 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh. They ended the trip east to Chicago and Pittsburgh with a 4-3 road record. The win also snapped a three-game losing streak. All top three teams in the NL West have yet to have a four-game losing streak. The Rockies’ record improved to 42-26 and they remain in a virtual tie with the Dodgers atop the Wild West division just a half game ahead of Arizona.
From Sunday through Tuesday, the lumber never got out of their bags. And the rookie starting pitchers wobbled a little bit. For at least the fifth time this year, Jordan Lyles failed to keep the Rockies’ tie or lead when he gave up the go-ahead homer on Tuesday. CarGo had contributed mightily to the team’s offensive slump going 5 for the last 55 ABs. Bud Black finally decided to give him two days’ rest Wednesday and Thursday.
That opened the door for Raimel Tapia to get his rare start. He responded by going four for four with a double and scoring three runs in Wednesday’s 5-1 victory. He also looked like he plays effortlessly in right field using his speed to cover a lot of space. He easily scored on a safety squeeze by German Marquez even though it went a little hard at the first baseman.
German Marquez did well going five-plus innings giving up just a single run. There was a minor dust up when Marquez hit Francisco Cervelli in the fifth. Tony Wolters and Cervelli had a little conversation going when that brought everyone out of the dugout and the bullpen. It became a stare down contest and no punches were thrown. No ejections either. Then both teams went back to the business of playing baseball.
The bullpen with the exception of Otto did an excellent job keeping the door locked on the Pirates. Marquez gave up a double and a single to put the runners on the corners leading off the inning. The turning point came when BB popped out of the dugout. This may impact the rotation and bullpen plans in the near future.
Agbayani commented, “Bud Black vs. Walt Weiss: Black pulls Marquez tonight even though he’s still working on a shutout in the 6th inning and his pitch count isn’t that high, but 2 runners on base. 3 run lead. Weiss: “give the kid a chance to work out of it.” Black: “nice work, kid, but you’re done.” This is the second time in a row he’s had the quick hook for Marquez. Two weeks ago I would’ve said it’s an incredibly tough decision as to which rookies drop out of the rotation when Gray and Anderson come back. But right now, the obvious #1 candidate is Marquez, with Senzatela as #2. No way Hoffman goes back down to AAA, and I think Freeland is safe thanks to his consistency/ability to always pitch 6 innings. The best news: Senza or Marquez bump our friend Jordan Lyles into DFA land …”
BB had Chris Rusin ready to go when he gave Marquez the hook. WW probably would have had the bullpen empty at that time. Double play ball while sacrificing a run shut Pittsburgh’s door. And he finished the inning. Otto had some drama in the seventh when he gave up a hit, walk, and HBP to load the bases with one out. Once again we saw the difference between BB and WW; BB called Jake McGee moving him up to the seventh inning from the planned eighth inning to put out the fire. He stranded all three runners in his quick work to get the final two outs. McGee came back out for the eighth and Greg Holland had a quick job in the ninth to ensure Colorado’s victory.
Another comment from Agbayani regarding CarGo: “Cargo humbled: Black sits him today and tomorrow. Cargo humiliated: 7th inning, key game situation (a hit probably puts this game away with Tapia on 3B), Bud calls on the mighty Alexi Amarista to pinch hit instead of Cargo. And … he delivers the RBI line drive. Ouch (for Cargo).”
Jon Gray made a rehab start Wednesday night going four innings, striking out five with 1 walk, and no runs allowed. The club will decide if he needs one or two more rehab starts. That’s two weeks at the latest when Gray returns to lead the staff. Tyler Anderson is also about ready to come off the DL; it’s just a matter of whether he needs rehab work or not. Tom Murphy has been tearing the cover off the ball in Albuquerque the last week or so. So will he be back with the big club this weekend or next?
On Monday, not too much attention was paid to the MLB draft. Ryan Vilade was the first pick in the second round. He is a high school player with a high ceiling for right-handed power bat. Tommy Doyle was drafted in the competitive balance phase at the end of the second round. Several bloggers were scratching their heads over this selection. On day two, Colorado picked up a whole bunch of pitchers.
The ASG voting continues where you can vote five times per day up to 35 times total. DJLM is in 3rd place for second basemen far behind Dan Murphy and Javier Baez. Nolan Arenado trails Kris Bryant of course with the market that Bryant plays in. Chuck_Nazty is in second place solidly behind runaway #1 outfielder Bryce Harper. It is disgusting to see all three lackluster Cubs outfielders sitting in 3rd, 4th, and 8th places.
Colorado turns their attention to the Giants for a four-game set starting Thursday night. The Giants have been beaten down and worn out sitting in the cellar behind the Padres. Jeff Hoffman will start the series opener and he will be followed by Antonio Senzatela, Kyle Freeland, and Chatty. MadBum is still on the DL so we miss him. We also miss Johnny Cueto. The Rockies need to win the first three games since Chatty is going on Sunday at Coors which typically spells disaster.