ROX 7 OF 10 FOR 2017;
WORLD CHAMPS, DODGERS VISIT LODO
After each wrenching loss, the Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox used to counsel his troops to “shake it off– just win the series.” The Colorado Rockies added two more series to their 2017 tally last week, taking 2 of 3 from the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on the heels of 2 out of 3 over the San Diego Padres earlier in the week in south California. The Rockies have won all but 3 series so far in the still fresh campaign, and split that little 2-step in Los Angeles with the Dodgers on April 18-19, running their record out to 20-12 for 1st place in the National League West, 2-1/2 games out ahead of LA and the Dbacks.
Week 5 of the 2017 season ended on a particularly optimistic note, with right-hander Tyler Chatwood turning-in a 7 inning
1-run/2-hit victory over Arizona a day after Tyler Anderson shut-out the Diamondbacks over 6 in Saturday’s 9-1 triumph. Big performances by the “veterans” in the Colorado rotation have been few and far between so far in 2017, so a little more help for the three overachieving rookies who’ve been leading the way will be a welcome development. The 9-run romp Colorado pasted on Arizona Saturday in Lodo came 3 days after they ran-out to an 11-3 win over the Padres Wednesday in the land of the dreaded Marine Layer, so it looks like the offense is finally rounding into shape as well, although Carlos Gonzalez and Trevor Story continue to struggle and pose as rally crushers.
Chatwood succumbed to a 5-run San Diego 6th in the loss on Tuesday, and after taking German Marquez deep with a solo shot in the 1st inning Friday, Dbacks all-star Paul Goldschmidt followed-up with a reminder in the form of a 3-run blast 2 innings later. Marquez got the message, electing to walk the slugger in the 5th, but the Rockies were unable to overcome Goldschmidt’s brilliance in that one. Antonio Senzatela got a win Wednesday with 3 runs on 6 hits over 6 innings on Wednesday evening, and Kyle Freeland dropped a 6-1/3 inning 1-run/3-hit outing on the Padres in the Thursday afternoon win, which featured a couple of those serendipitous incidents that make one wonder if magic is in the wind. Ryan Hanigan, the journeyman catcher general manager Jeff Bridich snatched-off the waiver wire at the end of spring training, was on catching Freeland with Tony Wolters on the 7-day concussion protocol DL. Hanigan delivered a 7th inning solo shot to extend a slim Colorado margin that was soon to vanish, then in the 11th managed the game winner with a 2-out bases-load ground single that San Diego shortstop Erick Aybar was unable to convert.
Mark Reynolds continues to lead the Rockies’ offense– he had another homer, his 11th, to kickoff Colorado’s game winning 3-run 6th yesterday. Charlie Blackmon, @ChuckNasty, is getting into the long ball action as well, hitting his 8th with a solo shot yesterday in the 7th. Reynolds leads the team in RBI with 27, Blackmon has 26, and Nolan Arenado lurks a couple of points away with 22. DJ LeMahieu continues to come on after his slow start– Le Mahieu had 8 hits on 25 at-bats for the week and his average is now up to .275, and Gerardo Parra has extended his redemption drive, raking at .289 with 13 ribbies of his own.
The World Champion Chicago Cubs are on down at the old ball yard tonight, chomping-at-the-bit to get the match in after losing to the Yankees in 18 innings Sunday night and arriving at DIA around 5 am. Unhappily the weather is problemmatic. Nightfall and an unsightly blast of hail and rain descended on Capitol Hill about 45 minutes ago, mid-afternoon, and rain continues to fall as the radar on WeatherBug looks decidedly uninviting. Should they somehow get it in it’ll be Senzatela (4-1, 2.84) going for the Rox against the 2015 Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta (4-1, 4.63) of Chicago. The scheduled start time is 6:40 MT. Colorado manager Bud Black, undaunted, has Gonzalez and Story in their usual batting slots, and Hanigan will do the catching, that is if there’s anything to catch.
The Rockies and Cubs will be trying to get 3 in tonight through Wednesday. Freeland is supposed to take on John Lackey tomorrow and Marquez is slated to face Kyle Hendricks Wednesday afternoon. The Dodgers are on for 4 over the weekend, including a family photo day on Sunday afternoon.