Rox reach .500 for first time since May 21st

imageCredit: Jim McIsaac

With Jorge De La Rosa eyeing his 100th win and the Rockies trying to get to .500 for the first time in nearly two months, there were a couple story lines to follow. That’s not even mentioning the Mets side. New York was retiring Mike Piazza’s number and has been streaking the opposite way of the Rockies. Bartolo Colon was trying to end the slide on short rest for the first time in a long time.

The Mets started off the best that they have in any of the three games so far in this series. A first inning single and a second inning single allowed the Mets to score the first two runs of the game. But on a rainy night, the Rockies would not be far behind with the mistakes the Mets defense would make.

The fourth inning saw things starting to go the Rockies way. Nolan Arenado had his first hit in what seems like forever with one out and Cargo followed that up with a double. Trevor Story then hit an infield single that allowed a run to score when Asdrubal Cabrera fired low and the ball got away from the first baseman. Story tried to move up to second on the error but was thrown out at second when his angle to the bag extended the length of the run by quite a lot. David Dahl extended his hit streak to six with a two run homer to right center and the Rockies took the lead for the first and final time of the game.

De La settled in after his first two innings and finished going six strong, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out four. The bullpen kept De La in line for his win as three men combined for three perfect innings. Boone Logan, Jordan Lyles, and Gonzalez Germen were the ones to finish it out and it continued the stretch of solid bullpen pitchers.

The Rockies got insurance in the fifth and seventh from a DJ LeMahieu single and sac fly and a sac fly from Arenado. It allowed the Rockies lead to increase to 7-2 and that is the score the game would end with.

The ninth inning started with Wilmer Flores thinking he hit a home run, but it was overturned when the umpires ruled a fan reached over the fence and took the ball away from David Dahl. Both Flores and Collins were frustrated with the call, but it was quite apparent Dahl was there and that the ball was not going to be a home run.

The Rockies will go for there second sweep of the Mets this year, but they will be going against the Mets best starter, Noah Syndergaard. Chad Bettis takes the mound for the Rockies ad even if they can’t manage the sweep, this road trip has been very successful.

 

Rolling Rox ride to fourth straight win

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Don’t look now but the Rockies are quietly creeping into playoff contention while holding one of the better pitching staffs since the second half started. Some timely hits, along with a very solid performance by Tyler Chatwood sent the Rockies on their way to a series win as they toppled the Mets by a score of 6-1.

The Mets are struggling in the second half while the Rockies seem to be clicking in all facets of the game. They are now just a game under .500 and have won four straight on their difficult east coast road trip. The only loss they have came against the Orioles in the extra inning walk off as the result of an error. The Rockies may have lost that game, but they certainly didn’t let it get to them as they have won each game after that.

Friday night saw the Rockies taking a game from the Mets with some timely hits and quality pitching. The Rox jumped out to an early lead in the first when Cargo doubled in DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu reached when he beat out his ground ball that would’ve been a double play.

The lead didn’t last for long as Tyler Chatwood allowed a home run to James Loney in the bottom of the second. Following that, Neil Walker singled but the next two batters were retired. Then Chatwood ran into some major command issues and was nearly pulled. 8 of Chatwood’s next 10 pitches would go for balls and we walked two men to bring up Curtis Granderson with the bases loaded. Luckily for Chatwood and the Rockies, the Mets have been absolutely terrible in the clutch and Chatwood got Granderson to pop out to end the inning.

After that tough second inning, Chatwood started to groove. He allowed only one hit and one walk over the next five innings and finished strong. He ended up allowing only the home run to Loney and was never really threatened again after the second. He completed seven innings in the end and earned his tenth win of the season.

It took until the sixth for the Rockies to score again. Trevor Story led off with a single and Mark Reynolds followed that up with a double. David Dahl popped out and Nick Hundley then came up to try and drive someone in. He hit a hard ground ball to the left side of the infield that deflected off the glove of the third baseman to get into left field for a run scoring base hit. That broke the tie and the Rockies would need no more runs to win.

The Rockies would run into some brief trouble in the eighth inning. After loading the bases with no outs and giving way to Scott Oberg on Thursday, Jake McGee came on and got into more trouble on Friday. Two straight singles got McGee pulled and Oberg had to come on for damage control again. It took only three pitches and Oberg got the three outs he needed on two ground outs and a pop out. Oberg has proved himself valuable, especially when it comes to limiting the trouble McGee gets in to.

They did get some insurance however in the eighth when Reynolds hit a solo home run, his 11th of the year, to give the Rockies a 3-1 lead. They wouldn’t be done and in the ninth they got some more insurance. Charlie Blackmon doubled with one out, his fourth hit of the game, and a batter later Terry Collins elected to walk Nolan Arenado. Arenado has been struggling mightily this series popping up what seems like every time he’s at the plate, but the Rockies were certainly not complaining as Cargo made the Mets pay. On a full count, Cargo got ahold of one and launched it to right center field for a three run home run.

The Rockies can reach .500 on Saturday with a win as two veterans go at it. Bartolo Colon faces Jorge De La Rosa in a battle between two older pitchers. This game could go any way, but with the Mets struggling and the Rockies clicking, this game could very well end up bad for the Mets.

Ninth inning error brings Rockies the win

It took until the ninth inning for the Rockies to get a run and even then it took a little bit of luck, but sometimes that’s all you need to win the game. The win ended the Rockies streak of losing after trailing in the eighth inning (0-41) and it gave the Rockies a third win of their road trip.

Tyler Anderson and Jaco deGrom had a good pitchers duel, but deGrom was just a little bit better and edged out Anderson with his seven shut out innings. Anderson himself went six strong inning, but allowed one run in the second inning with a run scoring double. Other than that, Anderson was really good and now holds the lowest ERA for a Rockies rookie through nine career starts.

There was never much of a threat against deGrom and that meant that much more when Terry Collins pulled him for a pinch hitter with runners on second and third. Yoenis Cespedes pinch hit and was intentionally walked to load the bases with nobody out. Scott Oberg then came on to see if he could keep the Mets from scoring. A ground out to Story earned the first out as he came home with the ball. Oberg then struck the next batter out and the Rockies went from being in deep trouble to escaping the jam. Oberg induced a pop out from the final batter and the Rockies got out of it without allowing a run.

The ninth inning then came and Jeurys Familia was gonna try his hand at closing the game. He has been one of the best closers this year, but has been struggling with his confidence so far. A base hit and walk by Story and David Dahl put two on for Descalso. The job was to get the bunt down, but Daniel failed on the first two pitches. Then with two strikes, Descalso got the bunt down and on a ball that hugged the line, it stayed fair and the Mets catcher decided to not get the sure out. The play proved costly as it loaded the bases with no outs. The next batter would get out, but Cristhian Adames came up and put the ball in play. James Loney, a normally sure handed first basemen, mishandled the ball and a run scored. A wild pitch allowed another run to score and the Rockies went from being down 1-0 to up by a score of 2-1.

Carlos Esteves came on for the ninth and worked a clean inning. Esteves has really embraced his role as closer and has done much better recently with reducing his wildness.

The Rockies will try and win another game on Friday and look to keep their hot streak going. The Mets are reeling a little bit and the Rockies need to take advantage of that.

Series Preview: Rockies vs. Mets

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Thursday, July 28th 11:15am: Tyler Anderson vs. Jacob deGrom, Rockies win 2-1

This game was an early turnaround for the Rockies and it took them until the ninth inning against one of the games best closers to get on the board. It took an error and a wild pitch but the Rockies got two runs to cross and won the game. The pitchers for the Rockies pitched terrific (excluding Jake McGee who loaded the bases) but everyone else did really well. Tyler Anderson continued his stellar 2016 stint and now holds the record for lowest ERA for a Rockies rookie starter through nine games. This game set the Rockies up for a potential great road trip.

Friday, July 29th 5:10pm: Tyler Chatwood (9-6 3.65 ERA) vs. Steven Matz (8-6 3.36 ERA)

The second game of this four game set pits two young pitcher who are both having great years. Matz will make his first career start against the Rockies while Chatwood will make his second start this year against the Mets. Chatwood managed seven innings while allowing three runs at home against the Mets, but keep in mind Chatwood has struggled at home this year so that good start means that much more. This away start for Chatwood could mean him doing even better as he has pitched really well on the road. This game could very well end up like the first game of the series and will come down to which team plays defense and comes up with the clutch hit.

Saturday, July 30th 5:10pm: Jorge De La Rosa (6-7 5.70 ERA) vs. Bartolo Colon (9-5 3.35 ERA)

Colon is as veteran as a veteran gets in the game today and he is having another very solid year. His month of July has been perhaps his worst month of the year and the Rockies will hopefully keep that going. Colon has not yet faced the Rockies this year just as De La Rosa has not faced the Mets. This game could go either way, but the Rockies are streaking upward while the Mets offense has been struggling and Yoenis Cespedes is encountering some injury trouble. The Rockies could finish this game at .500 if they win Friday and Saturday and that could be a very unforeseen possibility for the Rockies as many people had them struggling through the whole year.

Sunday, July 31st 11:10am: Chad Bettis (9-6 5.19 ERA) vs. Noah Syndergaard (9-5 2.45 ERA)

Facing off against Thor is no easy task so it means that much more should the Rockies win the first three games of the series. This matchup will be the most difficult, but Chad Bettis has been very solid lately and this whole series could end with four pitchers match ups. Syndergaard has electric stuff and it will most likely come down to the Rockies elevating his pitch count and getting to the bullpen as quickly as they can. If the Rockies can sweep this series, it will put them above .500, but just winning two of the game would be a big deal and would mean the Rockies would finish the road trip at 4-3. This was an extremely difficult trip and the Rockies have proven to be a team worthy of competing so far.

Rockies finish series strong

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The Rockies played perhaps their best series of the year against the Orioles and while it didn’t result in a sweep, it did result in two strong wins and a third loss that very well could have been a win. Jon Gray did his thing on Wednesday and even though Dylan Bundy was perfect entering the sixth inning, the Rockies finally broke through and gave Gray some support. The Rockies finished the game with a win by a score of 3-1 and will now head to New York for a season defining four game series.

Jon Gray has been dominant this year and ever since his first two rough starts, he has settled in to the ace status that the Rockies thought they were getting when they drafted him as a first rounder. With the seven one run innings he posted on Wednesday night, Gray now has an ERA at 3.94. It was yet another game of Gray taking a hitters park and turning it into his park.

The Rockies were facing someone who was making only his third career start, but Dylan Bundy looked like a veteran on the mound through five innings. Bundy took a perfect game into the sixth and got the first out of the inning before walking Descalso to ruin that.

Nick Hundley would then ruin the no-hitter and shut out with his most clutch hit of the season. Bundy was missing bats all night long as he finished with eight strikeouts and when he got to a 1-2 count on Hundley, it looked like the Rockies would waste their first base runners. Hundley had some different in mind and he belted a ball to left field for the eventual game winnings runs. It was only Hundley’s fifth homer of the year, but it gave the Rockies the lead and the runs Jon Gray needed.

David Dahl would get a little more insurance and would add a run in the inning with his first career home run. It was a blast to center field and it was his third hit in the series, one coming in each game.

Jon Gray would finish the game going seven innings, allowing only a run on a Manny Machado home run in the sixth. He did not have the strikeouts going, but he got the outs nonetheless and gave the Rockies the chance to win.

Adam Ottavino and Boone Logan worked the eighth inning and despite a walk, they finished without any trouble. Carlos Estevez then came on for the ninth and worked a quick and easy inning for his tenth save. The series put the Rockies at 3 games under .500 and six games back in the wild card.

The series means the Rockies will not be sellers at the deadline, but they should not be buyers either. They have a really good team right now and with more reinforcements in the minors at some various positions, the Rockies will be competing next year. They will compete this year as well, but they are not a world series team yet. Any experience  they get will be beneficial for the future.

Well rounded game brings Rockies to win

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After a tough loss on Monday night, the Rockies rallied and got a great team win on Tuesday. Between the offense doing their job with two outs and runners in scoring position and the pitchers limiting damage, the Rockies earned a well deserved 6-3 win against the Orioles.

With Chris Tillman on the mound and the Orioles in the middle of a winning streak, this game looked like it would be a tough win. Tillman had been limiting teams to one run in each of his last four starts, but that streak would come to an end Tuesday.

In the first two innings no harm would come to Tillman, but that would change in the third. Three of the first four batters to come to the plate would single and the heart of the Rockies order was coming up with the bases loaded with only one out. Nolan Arenado took the first hacks at trying to drive in a run but was unsuccessful with a pop out. It would then come down to Cargo to have the clutch two out hit. That is exactly what would happen as Cargo doubled down the left field line. The ball hopped in to the stands and the Rockies would be limited to two runs on the hit, but they would score two more with the next batter. Trevor Story singled to left to drive in two more runs. The Rockies would finish the inning with four runs crossing the plate.

The Rockies managed to score two more runs in the fifth inning Nolan Arenado double in a run and would later score on a passed ball. The Rockies would finish with those six runs, but it turned out to be plenty for Chad Bettis.

Chad was terrific on Tuesday and while he did run into trouble late, it was not nearly enough to diminish his quality outing. Bettis finished the night with six solid innings while allowing only two runs. The runs came in the fifth after a two run home run from Adam Jones, but it was an otherwise terrific performance by Bettis.

The bullpen came on after Bettis left and aside from a run scoring on a wild pitch, it was a good outing by the four relief pitchers. Jake McGee came on first to work a perfect seventh inning before giving way to Scott Oberg. Oberg and Boone Logan worked the eighth and while it wasn’t a perfect inning, the only run that crossed was not enough to matter.

Carlos Estevez came on to close the ninth with a three run lead and he worked a clean and quick ninth. Facing the sixth, seventh, and eighth batters caused no trouble for Estevez and he finished the game to earn the Rockies the win.

The win set the Rockies up for a series win on Wednesday and with Jon Gray on the mound it bodes well. Gray has been terrific and he faces rookie Dylan Bundy. These are both young pitchers, but Gray has cemented himself as a top starter for the Rockies while Bundy is still finding his place with the Orioles.

Late mistake cost Rockies the game

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This was a game that at the very least should have gone another batter. Instead, the Rockies lost the game on error that turned into a walk off loss in the opener of the series against the Orioles. In what was an expected hitters matchup, the game turned to a well pitched game by both starters and ended with a low final score of 3-2.

This game started ugly for the Rockies. The first inning saw Jorge De La Rosa facing a difficult situation with the bases loaded after an uncharacteristic error by Nolan Arenado and a walk. De La did escape the jam for that inning, but would run into trouble again in the next inning.

Another walk and another error by Arenado gave the O’s the chance they needed to score the first run. A single by Adam Jones broke the scoring, but the main cause of the run was the throwing error by Nolan. It was only his third error of the season, but it would foreshadow the eventual loss for the Rockies.

Arenado did make up for his error in the fourth inning. With nobody on and no outs, Arenado hit a ball to left center that got out for his 26th home run of the year. It tied the game up and was a little retribution for Nolan.

The only other offense the Rockies could muster came in the seventh inning. With two outs, David Dahl earned his first career hit on single up the middle. It kept the inning going after a walk by Cargo who later got picked off. Dahl would advance on a wild pitch and score when Mark Reynolds singled up the middle. It gave the Rockies the lead, but it was very brief.

After a hit by pitch and double, Jorge would exit the game for Adam Ottavino. The next batter, Adam Jones, would ground out but the tying run would score. Overall it was a good game for De La who went 6.1 innings while giving up two runs on only four hits.

The scoring would cease until the bottom of the tenth when the Rockies would run into more trouble. Two singles with one out put runners on the corners for the Orioles. With Manny Machado at the plate, it was not looking good, but Jordan Lyles was able to induce a come backer that should have been at least an out and erased Adam Jones at third. Lyles had troubled handling the ball however and when he fired home to Hundley, he couldn’t handle the ball either. It resulted in a walk off error and was definitely not a play that should have lost the game. If either Lyles or Hundley do a better job of fielding it, the game goes another batter but instead they both mishandled the ball and the loss can be attributed to both of them.

Chad Bettis faces Chris Tillman in the second game of the series and the Rockies will look to even the series up at a game apiece. The offense will have to get some things going early because Tillman has been great this year. Bettis has been so-so and depending on which Bettis the Rockies get this game could go any number of ways.