ROX TAKE ON NATS AFTER 5-1 WEEK 3
The Colorado Rockies move into week 4 of the 2017 MLB campaign riding high, 13-6 for the young season and leading the NL West by one over the Dbacks. Sdcarp said it prior to the season’s start, making it through a tough April that featured 5 with the Dodgers, 7 with the Giants, and 4 with the Washington Nationals without getting buried would go a good ways toward building a successful 2017, and with a week to go Colorado has managed masterfully thus far. As RMH reported earlier, the Rockies split 2 in LA Tuesday and Wednesday, with little to note other than that Clayton Kershaw agrees with me that Tyler Anderson appears to be somewhat of a red-ass. Apparently Tyler was in no big hurry to get started on another lackluster outing against the LA ace, and it didn’t sit well with the big lefty.
They followed that up with an exuberant 3-game sweep of the hated Giants at Coors Field, and head into the 4-game set with Washington behind a major dose of momentum. The early season hunt and peck routine continued on Friday night, as San Francisco singled and doubled Tyler Chatwood into a 3-run deficit in the 2nd. Colorado answered-back with a bunch of singles of their own 2 innings later, but they punctuated it with one of those good old Grand Salamis, off the bat of shortstop Trevor Story, for a 6-3 lead. Chatwood made it through 6 for the win, surrendering 4, but it took 4 relievers to finish-up, Greg Holland throwing-out a 1-2-3 9th to close it out.
Then Saturday and Sunday the sticks got loose. The Rockies were nursing a 6-3 lead along Saturday after giving 2 back to the Giants in the 8th, then blasted-away at the San Francisco bullpen for 6 in the bottom of the inning to run away 12-3. Antonia Senzatela went 7 for the victory, giving-up a run on 4 hits and 3 strikeouts. Colorado had even more fun yesterday, when they got 7 shutout innings from left-hander Kyle Freeland, and ran a 3-run lead into 8 with a 5-run bottom of the 6th. The big wins gave the back end of the bullpen a welcome rest on the heels of the 2 off-days Monday and Thursday.
Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra, back from paternity leave, continued to lead the charge, with help from Charlie Blackmon, who had an inside-the-park homer in the aftermath of Story’s slam, and Story himself seems to be coming out of his funk, with 8 RBI in the last 7. Story is still striking-out about half the time, while hitting the other half typically out of the yard, but his defense remains steady as he battles the early struggles.
Senzatela continues to excel, Freeland was stellar at home after a couple of shaky road outings, and Chatwood had his usual issues at altitude after the April 15 complete game shutout. The ‘pen continues to excel as well, and logged the aforementioned rest with the Nationals coming to call. Anderson (1-3, 7.32) goes tonight, and he’ll face a spot start from Jacob Turner (0-0, 2.61 with Syracuse of the IL), as Stephen Strasburg is also indulging in a little childbirth over the next several days. Colorado misses Strasburg and Wealthy Max Scherzer, who defeated the New York Mets yesterday at Citi Field.
The Rockies’ empty rotation slot comes-up tomorrow, when German Marquez, who’s been ripping it up in New Mexico, is rumored to be in line to get the start, then Chatwood goes Wednesday with Senzatela drawing the home stand finale Thursday afternoon. RMH will have more on Friday, when Colorado travels to Phoenix for 3 with Arizona to close-out the month.
Anderson toes the rubber tonight at 6:40. WeatherBug says it’s going to be windy, gusting right-to-left, with temperatures falling out of the 60°s as play carries on. Drew Goodman’s back for ROOT, and KOA am has the radio.