SPARKS AREN’T CATCHING

ROX FUMBLE HOME STAND; ON TO KC, ATLANTA

Chad Bettis returned to the Colorado Rockies August 14 amid an overwhelming wave of emotion, and it couldn’t have gone better.  The right-hander delivered 7 scoreless innings, and the Rockies scored 3 times in the 8th inning off of castaways Rex Brothers and Jason Motte before Greg Holland finished things off for a giant win to open a 7-game home stand.  With lefty Kyle Freeland coming off the Disabled List the following night, Colorado would not only be getting a boost out of Bettis’ inspirational return, but from a practical standpoint was adding a pair of top-shelf arms to a pitching staff that had mixed and matched its way through the success-so-far, yet was showing unmistakable signs of wear.  Freeland was shaky through 6, but exited in a 3-3 standoff.  The Rockies had no finish, however– the Atlanta Braves scored the game winner in the 8th when Brandon Phillips doubled and the usually impeccable Nolan Arenado pulled Mark Reynolds off of 1st-base on Tyler Flowers’ ground ball.

Not to worry, the Colorado offense scored 14 times in the first 5 innings Wednesday and threw-in 3 “insurance” runs in the 8th to hammer the Braves, a harbinger, no doubt, of good things to follow.  They didn’t happen.  An allegedly ill Jeff Hoffman set the tone for a listless squad Thursday afternoon that scored twice in the 2nd then went silent until it trailed 10-2 and bled-out a couple of meaningless tallies in the 7th and 9th.

Three weeks prior general manager Jeff Bridich made his play, acquiring right-hander Pat Neshek to shore-up the bullpen and catcher Jonathan Lucroy to bolster the young pitching core, each move discernibly improving the team, alas with little noticeable affect.   85 days or so hence, one can state with confidence the 8-game losing streak in late June swept away the starch that propelled the Rockies on a romp through the first third of the campaign, just as surely as the summer grind has worn down the edges on the gears:  Colorado appears to be running on fumes as it heads-out for a challenging 6-game trip through the Kansas City Royals and a return visit to the Braves, who are now actually located in a place known as Marietta, Georgia.

The Rockies lost 2 out of 3 to the Milwaukee Brewers on the weekend.  German Marquez gave-up 4 runs over 5-2/3 and Colorado got home runs from Charlie Blackmon, Gerardo Parra, and Carlos Gonzalez in an 8-4 win on Friday night.  On Saturday they fell behind 3-0, rallied to tie things-up in the 7th, then had nothing more to add.  Holland coughed-up the contest in the 9th.  Sunday the Rockies got a run in the 1st and were behind 6-1 before they got another one in the 8th and 2 in the 9th to fall 8-4 to the Brew Crew, which picked-up a game in the Wild Card chase.  Colorado leads the Arizona Diamondbacks by a half game and is up on Milwaukee by 4.  St Louis trails the Brewers by a game and the Florida Marlins follow the Cards, another game and a half in arrears.

Jon Gray (5-2, 4.74) gets the call tonight in Kansas City to do just what he’s counted on for, to be a stopper and set the course for a successful trip on the cusp of Meaningful Games in September.  Gray faces left-hander Danny Duffy (7-8, 3.82) of the Royals, who are in a Wild Card chase of their own, a game and a half behind the Minnesota Twins, who in-turn trail the New York Yankees by 2-1/2 for the top slot in the American League.  Antonio Senzatela returns to the rotation Wednesday, replacing Hoffman, whose flame-out last Thursday earned him a trip back to New Mexico.  Senzatela will face-off against our old buddy Ian Kennedy, the one-time Padre.  Marquez gets the Thursday day-game (there will be no TV), and he takes on Jake Junis, a right-hander getting his first MLB experience in 2017.

This week’s rest happened yesterday and is already over.  It’s on to Georgia Friday afternoon for a 5:35 start in the first of 3 against the Braves, and we’re right back for more American League action Monday August 28, with the Detroit Tigers setting-down for 3 at Coors Field.

The grind lingers a bit longer; the stretch run looms.  Time to get busy.

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rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago

A walk always followed by an XBH as was the case tonight in 9th inning.

Bob K.
Bob K.
3 years ago

Time to DL Holland. He hasn’t been any good since he cut his index finger on his throwing hand.

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

August 1: Holland will definitely opt out of his 2nd year with the Rockies. Dammit, we’re gonna have to find a new closer for 2018.
August 24: Holland has a $15 million player option for 2018? He’ll definitely exercise it. Dammit, we’re stuck with another killer contract!

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago

An admittedly unscientific, somewhat subjective, seat of the pants look at current impact bats (meaning guys that can change a game with one swing of a bat) on the best teams in baseball. 1. Dodgers – 89 wins – Seager, Turner, Bellinger 2. Astros – 77 wins – Springer, Altuve, Gurriel, Bregman 3. Nats – 75 wins – Harper, T Turner, Zimmerman, Eaton, Murphy, Rendon (unbelievable lineup when healthy) 4, Red Sox – 73 wins – Betts, Devers (kid has… Read more »

Bill
Bill
3 years ago

I was thinking similar things last night. Really not much after the #3 hitter. Parra is not a clean up hitter although he sure is better than last year, Reynolds was great early in the year but there was a reason why he was available. Trevpr Story has had 3 good months in the bigs and unfortunately non were in 2017. Someone is masquerading as Cargo. At least he can still field. Guys who were counted on have not produced.… Read more »

Bob K.
Bob K.
3 years ago

Ex Rockies minor league pitcher Dan Winkler made his return to the Braves bullpen by getting Robinson Cano out. Due to the amount of time he has spent on the DL, there is still an outside chance that the former Rule 5 pick could be returned to the Rockies. He must start the 2018 season on Atlanta’s active roster or be offered back to the Rockies.

http://m.braves.mlb.com/news/article/249811404/braves-dan-winkler-makes-return-to-mound/

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago

Sorry no new post from me this week – weekend trip to Chicago.

Bob K.
Bob K.
3 years ago

Interesting look at Holland and the Rockies bullpen.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/08/rockies-notes-holland-bullpen-cargo.html

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago

That’s about what I would have written about this week, but Connor said it perfectly. It also talked about what sdcarp had talked about for months:

https://www.purplerow.com/2017/8/25/16202376/colorado-rockies-offense-abyss

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago

I have one mild disagreement with Connor. He states that Cargo’s drop-off was totally unpredictable. I disagree. I think the magnitude of the drop-off is surprising……but remember this sad truth in life (for all of us) – “Father Time always wins”. Cargo has shown signs of decline for the last two seasons. I personally expected continued decline at the same (slow) rate for 2017. But of course we’ve witnessed a dramatic, rapid decline in 2017. So Connor – some of… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Sleeper prospect: Josh Fuentes, Arenado’s cousin. He’s closing strong at AA Hartford. 1.001 OPS in July, 1.231 in August. I have a hunch the Rockies will want to keep him around not only because he’s showing something this year, but also as a little incentive for Nolan to sign a long term deal too …

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Absolutely.

The Rox have done a very nice job scouting the amateur draft in recent years. That’s why I’m not fazed at all by giving up Pedro Gonzalez in the Lucroy deal. I’m laying even odds Lucroy signs a FA deal with the Rox.

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Finally Bud pulls the plug on Holland. He’s just got nothing right now. Even in the save he picked up on Thursday he was hit hard, with a couple balls ripped into the OF but playable. If they don’t want to DL him with a phantom injury to attempt to freshen him up, at least they can bury him in an expanded bullpen roster in a week or so. I wouldn’t use him in a competitive game until he strings… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

ERA = 250
WHIP = 108
WAR = 2.3

Whose stats? The Rockies best RP. Meet Chris Rusin.

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