19 REMAIN AS ROX CLOSE OUT WITH ARIZONA, PADRES
In other parts of the world, the Boston Red Sox have a 2 game lead on the Baltimore Orioles and Troy Tulowitzki’s Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East. The Cleveland Indians have a fairly insurmountable 7 game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the Central and the Rangers have won the state of Texas and lead the Houston Astros in the West by 9-1/2. The O’s and Jays have the wild cards currently in-hand, but Detroit, the New York Yankees, and Houston are all inside of 4 games behind, working the outside chance.
In the NL the Washington Nationals have a solid 9 game lead over the New York Mets, the Chicago Cubs are up over the St Louis Cardinals by a whopping 16, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are maintaining the 3 game advantage they’ve been holding over the San Francisco Giants for the past month or so. The Giants have a handle on the first wild card, leaving the Mets and Cards to battle for the second.
The Colorado Rockies meanwhile won 4 out of 7 during week 22 of the 2016 MLB season, taking 2 of 3 from San Francisco, and splitting 4 with the San Diego Padres. Nice, but not making-up much ground on the .500 mark. Colorado remains 5 games under and could use a 6 or 7 game winning streak to push themselves over the hump and concoct at least a fighting chance to finish 2016 a winner. They’re in Phoenix, Arizona tonight, opening a 3-game set with the Diamondbacks with a 7:40 MT start at Chase Field. Tyler Anderson (5-5, 3.35) gets the call for the Rox against fellow left-hander Shelby Miller (2-11, 6.89).
Colorado gets an off day at home Thursday after closing-out their 2016 slate versus the Dbacks, and on Friday starts a final series of 3 with San Diego. St Louis follows for 3 more next week.
Chad Bettis was the big story for the Rockies in week 22. He was out a week ago delivering a 6-0 shutout over the hated Giants. Colorado scored all of the contest’s runs in the bottom of the 3rd, 4 on a Carlos Gonzalez grand slam and a 5th on a solo shot from the hated Nick Hundley. Bettis was back yesterday and delivered 7 strong frames without a decision as the Rockies outlasted the Padres 3-2. San Francisco got back on Colorado Tuesday with runs in the 8th and 9th to prevail 3-2 in the Rockies only honorable loss of the week, but Wednesday Colorado came up with a walk-off, overcoming a 2-run deficit behind a 2-run Cristhian Adames double.
By startling contrast in San Diego on Thursday, Jeff Hoffman, German Marquez and Matt Carasiti had Rockies fans reminiscing fondly about the Drew Pomeranz/Alex White era, digging Colorado a 12-0 hole by the end of the 6th in a contest that would end 14-1. The Rockies turned it around Friday behind 6-2/3 slick innings from Tyler Chatwood with a 4-1 victory, but rolled-out another clunker on Saturday. Jon Gray couldn’t find his slider and surrendered 6 over 4 while the offense mustered nothing until a pointless 3-run 9th.
But Bettis (12-7, 4.78) left Colorado in a 2-2 tie after 7 innings Sunday. The early offense was courtesy of Charlie Blackmon, who had a solo homer in the 4th and drove-in the hated Hundley, who had doubled, in the 5th. The Padres scored their runs off Bettis in the 6th when Travis Jankowski doubled with one out and Will Myers followed with a triple. Myers scored on a Yangervis Solarte fly ball. No scoring occurred during the 7th, 8th, and 9th, as Boone Logan, Jordan Lyles, and Jake McGee held matters in-check for the Rockies, and Brandon Morrow, Ryan Buchter and Brandon Maurer did the same in relief of Edwin Jackson (4-5, 5.32) for San Diego, then Mark Reynolds led-off the 10th for the Rockies and deposited Kevin Quackenbush’s 6th offering into the left-field seats. Adam Ottavino handled the Padres in the bottom of the inning for his 4th save, keeping it interesting by issuing a lead-off walk to Jon Jay.
Anderson will make the 16th start of his MLB career tonight against the Diamondbacks. The lefty delivered 7-1/3 strong innings in the Tuesday loss to the Giants, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits and walking and striking out 2 each. Miller’s saga is well chronicled. Obtained from Atlanta in a Dbacks off-season ripe with flashy transactions, he’s struggled mightily, relegated to single A Visalia for the better part of July and August. Miller’s been out twice since returning, showing well against the Giants in a loss on August 31, but he got knocked-around by the Dodgers Tuesday, giving-up 5 (4 earned), on 11 hits in 4-1/3.
Colorado manager Walt Weiss will test out a new defensive twist tonight, with Raimel Tapia getting a start in left-field for David Dahl. Tapia will hit in Dahl’s 5-hole, followed by Reynolds at 1st, Daniel Desclaso at shortstop, and Tony Wolters doing the catching. Chip Hale’s got Jean Segura, who has absolutely murdered the Rockies in 2016, leading-off ahead of Brandon Drury, the 2nd-baseman, and Paul Goldschmidt at 1st. Mitch Hanigan will be in center-field for Arizona, hitting 8th.
It may be sweetly pleasant in Denver, but the weather is smoking in Phoenix, so expect the roof to be closed. Drew and Jeff have the TV on ROOT with Jerry and Jack on radio 850 KOA.
Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
Carlos Gonzalez (L) RF
Raimel Tapia (L) LF
Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
Daniel Descalso (L) SS
Tony Wolters (L) C
Tyler Anderson (L) P
Jean Segura (R) SS
Brandon Drury (R) 2B
Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
Welington Castillo (R) C
Yasmany Tomas (R) RF
Jake Lamb (L) 3B
Kyle Jensen (R) LF
Mitch Haniger (R) CF
Shelby Miller (R) P