Rockies offense missing (again!)

The Rockies have now not scored in nineteen innings, being shutout in two straight games against two of the league’s worst teams. Both Matt Moore and Clayton Richard have struggled against the Rockies, but with an offense missing the pitchers looked excellent. The Rockies hit into three double plays on Thursday and struck out 12 times to amount to a terrible game.

It really sucks when the offense is missing, but it is made even worse when the pitchers perform. Tyler Anderson was not perfect, but he was only an out away from a quality start and allowed the only three runs of the game. The bullpen kept the Padres scoreless, but the offense couldn’t get a runner to cross home plate.

Christian Villanueva for the Padres did most of the damage hitting a home run and a single to drive in two of the three Padres’ runs. The other run came on a Hunter Renfroe single, but it was hardly the dagger in the heart that the Rockies seemed to be exhibiting. However, with the offense missing at the worst time of the season, the Rockies are clearly in trouble.

It comes down to Friday’s game as Jordan Lyles takes the mound for the Padres and Jon Gray toes the rubber for Colorado. This is easily the biggest game of the season, as each game of the season will be until the Rockies either clinch a spot or fall out. Jordan Lyles is, simply put, a terrible pitcher and the Rockies should beat up on him. If they cannot score AT LEAST four runs against Lyles, there is a serious sign that the Rockies may finish the season looking from the outside in to the playoff race.

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Series Preview: Rockies (82-70) vs. Padres (68-84)

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Thursday, September 21st 8:10pm: Tyler Anderson (5-5 5.28) vs. Clayton Richard (7-14 4.82)

The Rockies go into their final road trip of the year in a series they need to win to stay ahead of the Brewers. They just played a bad series against the Giants so hopefully they play better in San Diego, but that will remain to be seen. Colorado sends Tyler Anderson and in his first start since being activated from the DL, he was excellent. Anderson went six innings while allowing no runs and the Rockies need that same kind of production from him in this game. The Rockies have done well against Richard this year, scoring at least four runs in each start against him, but they had done well against Moore until Wednesday and look how that worked out for them.

Friday, September 22nd 8:10pm: Jon Gray (8-4 3.75) vs. Jordan Lyles (1-3 7.35)

Gray was shut down after a lengthy rain delay in his last start in a game the Rockies would eventually lose. That was the start of their three game losing streak and will hopefully not be the games that dictate their season. Gray was doing really well in that game and he has started to heat up late in the year, but if the Rockies do not perform Gray will not get to make the playoff start he is destined to make. Facing Jordan Lyles definitely bodes well as he has been worse with the Padres than he was with the Rockies and that means a lot considering Lyles was awful in Colorado.

Saturday, September 23rd 6:40pm: Chad Bettis (1-3 6.23) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (12-10 4.12)

Chad Bettis has been good for only eating innings and even that is a questionable skill when your team loses the games. Bettis needs a better start on Saturday as the Rockies, and himself, would love to get six quality innings. Bettis made the comeback game from cancer that every fan wanted to see, but since then he has really struggled and that has hurt the Rockies, and Bettis’ chances at a spot in the rotation come 2018. The Rockies face Chacin for the second time in a week and they were well on their way to doing damage their last time out before the rain delay hit, and that has already been mentioned how that game turned out.

Sunday, September 24th 2:40pm: German Marquez (10-7 4.41) vs Luis Perdomo (8-10 4.57)

The Rockies send Marquez to the mound in the series finale and hope to see a better start out of him. Marquez is likely experiencing some fatigue so seeing some rejuvenation from the young pitcher is key in this start. The Rockies absolutely need to win this series and get some offense while they are at it, something that should be possible considering who the face. The Padres have a better record than the Giants this year, but the Rockies have played well against San Diego and have some momentum from their last series against them to take into this one.

Giants sweep mini series

Thearon W. Henderson, Getty Images

There was one positive from Wednesday’s game and it did not even come from the Rockies game. With the loss to the Giants, and their third straight loss, the Rockies one game wild card lead was in jeopardy. Luckily for the Rockies, the Pirates took care of the Brewers to keep the Rockies a game ahead.

The win for the Pirates was certainly the biggest thing of note on Wednesday as the Rockies played a very poor game to the Giants. The Rockies had six hits on the afternoon but force no runs across, giving Matt Moore his first scoreless start in over a year. This is especially notable as the Rockies had beat up on Moore in many previous starts.

Tyler Chatwood allowed three runs to the Giants on Wednesday and walked two while allowing five hits. It was a decent start by Chatwood and he certainly started to settle in in the later innings, but he got no offensive support which really buried him and the Rockies. The Giants would score one run off the bullpen to give them an unneeded insurance run when they touched Oberg for a run in the seventh.

This was really a poor series all around for the Rockies and they now have to take themselves to San Diego for a series they absolutely need to dominate. The Padres have been bad this year, like the Giants, but it is obvious that in baseball a series can go any way. The Rockies need to get some more offense, something that has been so inconsistent this year, and would love to gain a game or two on the Brewers while they are at it.

Walk-off loss tightens wild card

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Runs come sparingly in San Francisco and Tuesday was no exception, with the winning team scoring only four runs. That winning team was the Giants and it came in the ninth, handing the Rockies a defeat via walk-off. The ninth inning was a disappointing one as the Giants hardly earned the win with hard hits, but that is just the game of baseball.

With the loss, the Rockies now hold only a one game lead over the Brewers in the wild card and if they do not start winning, their chances are going to dwindle. The Brewers have been surging at the right time and even with the Rockies 6-2 road trip a week ago, they kept pace with Colorado. The Rockies control their own fate, holding that one game, and can stay ahead of the Brewers with timely wins and even more timely losses.

German Marquez pitched decently on Tuesday, but may be experiencing some fatigue as his September has been the worst month of the year. He earned the quality start, allowing three runs over six innings, but that isn’t as good as it should’ve been facing a bad Giants team. Only Buster Posey was hitting over .290 in the lineup for Tuesday’s game, but he was not a large contributor in the game, offensively at least.

The Rockies had ten hits on the night and scored only three runs, going 2-9 with RISP. But the big negative for Colorado was grounding into double plays, as they hit into three on the evening. They scored their first two runs from, go figure, a Charlie Blackmon hit. He hit a two-run double to give the Rockies the early lead in the second.

The Giants retaliated with three runs between the fourth and fifth with the big hit coming from Hunter Pence in the fifth. The two-run shot put the Rockies down 3-2 and kept them at that score until the eighth inning. The clutch hit came from Gerardo Parra who doubled down the line with two outs to tie the game. It was the big hit of the game but it only set the Rockies up for disappointment in the ninth.

Chris Rusin came on for the ninth in the 3-3 game and was quickly hurt with soft hits. Pablo Sandoval, a not particularly fleet-footed player, hit a 60′ single up the third base line to lead off with a single. Ryder Jones then earned himself a bunt hit on one that got past Arenado and ended up behind the mound. Kelby Tomlinson hit a soft single through the right side of the infield to load the bases and set up Hunter Pence. With five infielders, Pence lined a ball to center where Cargo made an excellent catch, but it was all for naught as the winning run scored easily from third.

The game was a bad one and the Rockies need to rebound Wednesday afternoon. They have beat up Matt Moore, the starting pitcher of that game, and should do so again to split the series before heading out to San Diego.

Series Preview: Rockies (82-68) vs. Giants (58-93)

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Tuesday, September 19th 8:15pm: German Marquez (10-7 4.41) vs. Johnny Cueto (7-8 4.58)

This is a good chance for Marquez to rebound after a bad start to his September as he faces the lowly Giants. In his last three starts, he has gone six innings only once and has allowed four runs in each start. He faced the Dodgers once and the Dbacks twice, either of which is a team he would possibly face in the playoffs, so Marquez really needs to dominate the Giants to prove he is ready for some high leverage situations. Cueto has had a down year by his standards and has had two good starts out of three this year against the Rockies. Playing at AT&T definitely doesn’t help Colorado, but they have been known to have some good games there.

Wednesday, September 20th 1:45pm: Tyler Chatwood (8-12 4.57) vs. Matt Moore (5-14 5.39)

Chatwood was excellent in his home start, where he had struggled, so coming to San Francisco should play well for the hard throwing sinker baller. Moore has been one of the worst pitchers in the league and against the Rockies he has struggled in each start. He has given up five, six, and eight runs against the Rockies this year so they should have a good chance for an offensive showing during their afternoon game. This is a quick two game set for the Rockies and they should be able to take both games before heading off to San Diego.

 

Padres avoid sweep amidst rain delay

With one out in the bottom of the fifth, the Rockies-Padres game went into a rain delay in what likely ended up influencing the outcome of the game. At this point, the Rockies were up 3-0 and Jon Gray was cruising, allowing only two hits over five innings while striking out seven. His pitch count was excellent at only 63 and the Rockies offense, while not exploding, was in control of Jhoulys Chacin and the game.

Then the rain happened and all momentum was killed. Chris Rusin came on to replace Gray after the rain delay gave up a home run to Yangervis Solarte to give the Padres their first run. It was a questionable spot to put him in as Rusin is more valuable than a sixth inning arm when the Rockies are up three.

Some more questionable bullpen moves came in the eighth when Bud Black seemed to overthink his moves. Pat Neshek came on and got two outs before allowing a single. Black then went to McGee which may have been a good move except for the fact that he allowed a double to Solarte. Black made yet another move and brought on Oberg, who before this game had been really good recently. Oberg walked Wil Myers before allowing the game tying hit Hector Sanchez, a two-run single.

Greg Holland came on for the ninth inning, as is expected when the game is tied in the ninth. Holland ran into troubles though and ended up allowing the game winning run on a squeeze bunt. He came close to fielding the ball and tagging out the runner, however the ball came out of his glove and the Rockies were down 4-3.

The best bullpen arm for the Padres came on in the ninth in Brad Hand and he quickly ended the game. The series, while not the best possible outcome, was not terrible and the Rockies now have an off day before heading out to San Francisco for a series against the division worst Giants.

Rockies clobber Padres to secure winning season

David Zalubowski, AP

In what was the biggest shutout win for the Rockies at Coors field, they also secured an above .500 season for the first time since 2010. The 16-0 victory came easily for the Rockies as they beat up ex-Rockie Jordan Lyles and got a terrific outing from Tyler Anderson.

The start by Anderson came just as easily as the win, as he faced the worst offense in the league that also happens to be the worst offense against lefties. Even at Coors Field, the Padres did nothing against Anderson and only recorded their first hit in the sixth inning, and it came on a squibber up the third base line. Anderson did allow another hit to the next batter, but nothing came of it as he got out of the inning without allowing any Padres to score.

The Rockies got seventeen hits in the game against the Padres while scoring their sixteen runs across only four innings. They had two innings where they scored at least five runs and over the course of the 5th, 6th, and 7th they scored eleven runs. There were three big home runs in the game and they fell a solo shot short of the home run cycle.

There was also some drama in this game, albeit slight, when Miguel Diaz hit DJ LeMahieu following Charlie Blackmon’s massive three-run homer. It could’ve been unintentional as Diaz is a young pitcher who could struggle with control, but it was awfully suspect and DJ was right to be angry. Being down by as many runs as the Padres were, they should’ve just been trying to get outs, so whatever was going through Diaz’s head is questionable.

It did not matter however as the Rockies cruised to the victory and they did so cleanly, allowing only three total hits to the Padres and playing a clean defensive game. They can go for the sweep on Sunday with Jon Gray on the mound and with the offense hot, it is totally something that could, and should, happen.