ROX SNAG LAST 2 OF 3 WITH SAN DIEGO;
TRIBE IN TOWN FOR 2 IN LODO
The Colorado Rockies escaped the Great Northwest with a victory over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday afternoon but dropped their opener versus the San Diego Padres on Friday night, making for 4 losses in 5 starts to begin the 9th week of the 2017 MLB season. Victories over the Padres Saturday and Sunday brought the record for the week back to 3-4, Colorado’s first losing week of 2017, but with the 2 weekend wins they’ve also taken 3 of their last 4, and lead the National League West with a record of 36-23, a game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers and 2 in front of the Arizona Diamondbacks. As documented elsewhere here on the RWO, the 2017 season’s opening 1/3 could hardly have gone better for the 36-23 Rockies, and the outlook moving forward is positive as well, although the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are not expected to be giving any concession speeches before the campaign transitions into the summer phase.
German Marquez had a rough time of it at Petco Park on Friday evening, squandering a 3-0 lead and exiting with a 6-4 deficit the Colorado offense would be unable to overcome. But Saturday afternoon the Rockies got 8 road innings out of Tyler Chatwood, who is reportedly receiving psychological counsel from a certain Dr. H.R. Black, and romped their way to a 10-1 blasting of the Padres that included a 2-run shot in the 5th by Nolan Arenado and a 7th inning grand slam off the bat of 1st-baseman Ian Desmond.
The week included a couple of intriguing roster moves. Reliever Adam Ottavino was placed on the Disabled List with shoulder soreness early in the week in favor of Carlos Estevez, then Saturday it was revealed that Tyler Anderson has been battling a bad knee for the better part of 2017, and Jeff Hoffman (3-0, 2.61) was recalled to take Anderson’s Sunday start. Hoffman responded with a 7-inning 1-run/3-hit outing that included 9 strikeouts in a 3-1 Colorado triumph. The Rockies got all the runs Hoffman needed in the 4th on a Mark Reynolds double and run-scoring singles from Trevor Story and Tony Wolters. Hoffman is getting extremely difficult to ignore, and on top of that, right-hander Jon Gray has begun to throw some serious practice pitches and catcher Tom Murphy’s rehab with the Albuquerque Isotopes is in full-swing, just in case the Dodgers and Diamondbacks happen to be investigating.
Colorado is back in Denver for two with the Cleveland Indians, starting tonight at Coors Field, where right-hander Antonio Senzatela (7-2, 3.49) is getting set to face fellow righty Mike Clevinger (2-2, 3.10) of the Tribe at 6:40 MT. The quick inter-league set continues tomorrow afternoon down at the old ballpark starting at 1:10, when Rockies’ left-hander Kyle Freeland takes on Trevor Bauer of the defending American League champions.
By Thursday evening the show will have moved on to the city of Chicago, Illinois, that toddlin’ town, when a 4-game series with the Cubs opens at 6:05 MT. The 2-step with Cleveland interrupts a stretch of 14 road challenges for the Rockies, who’ve handled the load away from altitude with a remarkable tally of 21 wins against 10 losses. They return to Coors Field on June 15 to start a stretch of 15 in a row inside the NL West.