Rox Wax ‘Stache

Carlos Villanueva (1-3, 3.93) had his handlebars twirled to perfection, up-turned expertly to frame his regal nose.  The Colorado Rockies didn’t care, knocking Villanueva around for 7 runs on 12 hits in 5 innings to go on and defeat the Chicago Cubs Tuesday night at Wrigley Field 9-4.  Jeff Francis (2-3, 6.00) was meanwhile channeling Mark Twain:  “The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.”

The left-hander limited Chicago to one run on 3 hits over 6 innings, a blast over the wall in left-field by 2nd-baseman Darwin Barney.   Francis retired the Cubs in-order in the 1st, 2nd and 6th.  He gave-up a single to Barney in the 3rd, a double to Starlin Castro in the 4th, and walked pinch-hitter Julio Borbon after Barney’s solo-shot in the 5th.

The Colorado hitters had very little trouble with the meticulously groomed Villanueva.  They tallied one in the 1st on an Eric Young Jr double, Dexter Fowler sacrifice and Carlos Gonzalez single, the first of 5 hits in 5 at-bats for the left-fielder, who is now hitting .312.  They ran themselves out of a run in the 2nd when Stu Cole waved Todd Helton home from 2nd-base on a Josh Rutledge single, the Rockies’ third of the inning.  Helton looked like a startled cat spinning-out on a hardwood floor, and was out at the plate on a strong throw from Alphonso Soriano and Welington Castillo’s reach-tag.  But Francis knocked Arenado-in with a sacrifice fly, and EYJ followed with a 2-run shot to straight-away center-field that plated Rutledge.

Gonzalez led-off the 3rd with his 8th 2013 home run, then in the 5th Dexter Fowler ran Colorado out of another run trying to stretch a lead-off double into a triple.  Cargo followed with a double of his own and scored on the third consecutive double of the inning, by Troy Tulowitzki.  Helton singled-in Tulowitzki to make it 7-0 Rockies.

Edgmer Escalona relieved Francis and dispatched Chicago in the 7th, then he and Young gifted the Cubs a pair of runs on back-to-back thoughtless errors in the 8th.  David DeJesus singled with one out and moved-up to 2nd when Castro’s fly ball into the right-field corner bounced-off the heel of Young’s glove and onto the ground. Anthony Rizzo then smacked a tailor-made double-play grounder to Escalona, who threw it into center-field, scoring DeJesus and moving Castro to 3rd, where he scored on a ground-out by Soriano.

The Rockies answered with 2 in the 9th, including 2013 home run no. 9 for Gonzalez, who had 3 RBI. Rafael Betancourt was shaky in the bottom of the inning, surrendering a run on doubles by Castillo and Barney, who went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI.

Colorado will be looking to take the series tomorrow evening, when it sends Jon Garland (3-3, 4.83) out against Jeff Samardzija (1-5, 3.70) at 6:05 pm MDT, again at Wrigley Field on Chicago’s north side.

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jaredean
Admin
jaredean
7 years ago

Jeem, have i told you how much i love your pre-post game write-ups? You make me laugh every time with your classic dry wit and writing…again, thanks for covering me while i’m out of the country…i’ve found it very difficult to keep up with things while here, so your help and help of others is keeping me sane! So, i was able to listen to a couple of innings, as well as caught the wrap-up here (“up-turned expertly to frame… Read more »

TJinPhoenix
TJinPhoenix
7 years ago
Reply to  Jeem

Great Job Jeem! I can cover Thursday’s pregame. MAYBE post..depends on the 3 yrd old, but if needed I can do it.

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
7 years ago
Reply to  Jeem

Jeem, you rock, as always!

Thanks TJ, hope it is a good one (KILL THE GIANTS!!!)

GARY
GARY
7 years ago

Fun write up Jeem.even without your favorite punch line[Cuddyer]available for comic relief.Thank god we have that “crafty”not dead yet lefty in the rotation.Didn’t see the game-still no ROOT-but highlights of Cargo’s night seemed to have three of his hits on the same pitches[low and away] he was whiffing on just last week.

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
7 years ago
Reply to  GARY

Gary, i think you bring up Jeem’s “Cuddy Comment’s” more than Jeem makes Cuddy Comments 😉

GARY
GARY
7 years ago
Reply to  Jeem

Should probably get the IRS and DOJ to look into it,and have the State Dept.write up the talking points!

Cameo
Cameo
7 years ago

Good to see Francis pitch well but I am going to need to see him do it over 3 or 4 starts before I start getting excited. I will still have a bad feeling come 5 days from now with him on the mound. Rox proved me wrong last night though, cuz I didn’t have a good feeling with Francis taking the hill. A little momentum today would be nice by winning the series.

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
7 years ago

Marc Stout, I love your optimism and readily admit that your “1 more win per week” theory sounds good. I didn’t realize we were only 5 games better than last season. For whatever reason it seemed like we were more than that to me.

sabrchip
sabrchip
7 years ago

Good win, but we need to start winning series. Win 2nite and 3 of 4 on the weekend and I’ll be feelin’ fine.

Anybody else getting an uneasy feeling about Bettancourt and Belisle giving up late runs in these blow outs? I like Brothers as the eventual closer. What’s the thoughts ’bout EE setting him up?

roxnsox
roxnsox
7 years ago
Reply to  sabrchip

Hasn’t Raffy been pretty solid until last night? (I haven’t seen every game.) I definitely was thanking the stars for a big lead on a night he was floundering, though!

Belisle has worried me sometimes. Downside of career?

I’m just not sure Rex is ready to close QUITE yet, but he should be a good one.

GARY
GARY
7 years ago
Reply to  sabrchip

I.ve already mentioned I’m worried about Betancourts control problems.Too many walks and too many pitches/deep counts!

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