The Colorado Rockies have dropped 5 of the first 6 games on their 10-game road trip, with one more to go in Pittsburgh and a visit to the borough of Queens pending. Todd Helton is observing that playing good teams “shows your weaknesses, and ours [are] glaring,” Roy Ozwalt has re-wrecked his hammy, and at 9-1/2 games behind the unconscious Dodgers, Colorado is wondering exactly what its purpose is over its remaining 50 engagements. No better time to introduce some suspense into the speculation. Juan Nicasio (6-5, 4.52), one of the Rockies’ prominent question-marks, takes the mound for Colorado against the Pirates in this afternoon’s rubber game of the weekend series at PNC Park. “Play-ball” is at 11:35 with Nicasio’s opponent AJ Burnett (4-7, 2.86) raring back for the first pitch to Corey Dickerson.
Burnett, run-out of the borough of the Bronx, is said to be the anchor of the Pittsburgh staff. He allowed a run on 3 hits in 7 innings of the Pirates 10-inning 2-1 win Tuesday over St Louis that bumped Pittsburgh back into the NL Central Division lead. The bad Juan was up for the Rockies that day in Atlanta, throwing 92 pitches in only 4 innings, allowing 8 runs on 10 hits and walking 3 as the Braves hammered Colorado 11-3. Nicasio nevertheless can conger-up a sparkler every so often, and the RWO will tolerate nothing short of that this afternoon.
Center-fielder Dickerson leads-off in Rockies’ manager Walt Weiss’ Sunday lineup. Nolan Arenado gets the day off with DJ LeMahieu sliding over to 3rd, batting 2nd ahead of Carlos Gonzalez, who returns to left-field with his aching thumb. Yorvit Torrealba is charged with ensuring the good Juan predominates. Neil Walker moves back to his customary no. 2 slot in the Pirates’ order, to which Pedro Alvarez, Russell Martin, and Garrett Jones return.
Partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 70°s return in Pittsburgh with 60% relative humidity. It’s windy, and will be blowing-out to right-center at 11 to 12 MPH. ROoT has the TV, radio’s on KOA.
IN GAME CHAT
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