Is it time to put on the Purple Virtual Reality glasses and watch the Rockies baseball? In the second inning, it looked like Chatty was going to be the next Tyler Matzek and restart the “Annual Slide Into Oblivion.” After giving up the first HR of the season pitching away from Coors to the Rocky Killer (James Loney), he gave up a single with two outs and walked the eight-hole hitter and the opposing pitcher to load up the bases. He promptly started off with a 3-0 count to Curtis Granderson. Then the baseball gods sent an angel to give Chatty the greatest gift in a time of greatest need. Granderson popped up on a 3-1 count to end the inning.
Chatty with multiple bounces in his step went into the beast mode giving up only two more base runners after that near-fatal second inning. One runner was erased on a double play grounder. With a 3-1 lead going into the eighth inning, Walt Weiss decided to hand the ball to Jake “always trying to go backwards instead of almost all the way back” McGee to face the two left-handed batters including one pinch hitter cold off the bench. Not surprisingly, both of them got on with base hits. Only difference from the previous night was that he was pulled after two batters instead of three in favor of Gopherg. One-two-three pitches AND one-two-three outs. Gopherg did an awesome job for the second night in a row playing the role of following the horse (McGee) in a parade and cleaning up his horseshit spotless. He no doubt will be promoted to higher leverage late game pitcher when Zero, Wild Thing, and Boone Logan are unavailable.
CarGo drove the final nail into the Mets’ coffin with a three-run 450-foot blast into the second deck after NoDo was IBB to so that Bastard(o) can play the LOOGY (actually loony) role.
The victory came after the Rockies rallied to beat closer Jeurys Familia who blew his second consecutive save after 52 straight saves. The rubber game in Baltimore was impressive as well since they won the series against the team who owns the best home record in baseball.
With a 6-1 victory over the Mets, Colorado has awaken a lot of fans from their annual summer hibernation. They improved to 51-52 overall after winning eight of the last nine games. They are five games out of the WC chase with Pittsburgh, NYM, Miami, St. Louis, and Los Angeles (soon to be replaced by San Francisco). They are 11-4 since the ASB. Further breakdowns: 8-8 interleague against the powerful AL East teams with four more against Texas (crapped against TB at home); 25-24 at home (should do much better than that) and 26-28 on road (really good); 14-16 vs LHP (we are historically bad vs LHP); 22-25 vs NL West (most losses against SD, clean that up); 14-6 against NL East with 0 games vs. Nats yet); 7-13 vs. NL Central (crapped against Reds/Phillies); 8-13 in one-run games (crappy bullpen when using the wrong pieces). It is the latest in the season since 2010 that the Rockies has been as good as one game under .500. We should read Dr. C’s Musings now. He just added three features the last few days. One of them talked about learning how to win consistently; see all the games in parenthesis that should have been for the taking. Dr. C nailed that on the head.
Weiss after the game was quoted, “We want to be playing after the regular season is over — that’s how we’re thinking this year.” Give him credit for sticking with the team through thick and thin and the team still wanting to play for him. His bullpen management skill is madly driving us crazy. The rotation, which now consists of Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, JDLR, Chatty, and Chettis, have helped make even a Little League manager manage the bullpen the proper way. Just stay away from McGee in high-leverage situations. Jordan Lyles and Chris Rusin have settled into their long relief roles. Lyles gave us a hint that he might be able to be a one-inning guy later in the game as in the seventh.
Colorado’s recent surge can be credited with the farm supplying the needed pieces. Give Zach Wilson, the Rockies’ director of player development, a big round of applause. Quoted from the DP today, “Wilson thinks an adjustment in the development program four years ago could be a factor too. A development supervisor was added to the staffs of five of the Rockies’ six minor-league clubs…..The improved lines of communication have resulted in what appears to be a more aggressive approach to development.” He’s been talking about Matt Carisiti’s development. It’s time we keep an eye on him.
The rookies have contributed mightily this year and this is just the first wave. Tony Wolters (not Rockies developed but still scouts spotted him), Trevor Story, and Jon Gray (DL to start the year) started the year and plugged in the holes that were thought to be the black holes his year. Then came Anderson who went through three levels (AA-AAA-MLB) this year in a short time but it was said by several insiders that he “pitched 200 innings last year” even though he hardly pitched. He’s been watching every pitch and making notes. A few times after Anderson was pulled from the game this year, he was seen writing notes in his book while observing the game as well as about himself. Anderson is fifth best in baseball for highest percentage of soft-hit balls. That means hitters are having difficulty squaring up despite his average FB velocity. Gray is having a coming out party as the ace that can go head to head against the Kershaws and the MadBums. David Dahl is a recent addition to the club at the expense of the energetic Brandon Barnes. He currently has a five-game hit streak going after five games including a HR to dead center field.
There are a few more knocking on the door ready to come up. Jeff Hoffman is the best known guy ready to come but he is not needed once the five man rotation got settled down and gave the Rockies quality start after quality start. There’s Jordan Patterson but he’s passed by Dahl and blocked by Gerardo Parra. Miguel Castro and Matt Carisiti are possibilities for the back end of the bullpen if needed. But Gopherg is holding up so far.
Tonight the Rockies take on the ageless Bartolo Colon working on three-days rest. JDLR will oppose Colon in the Rockies’ attempt to get back to .500 ball. The game will be played at 5:10 MT if it starts on time after Mike Piazza’s number retirement ceremony.