In bounce back game, Rockies double lead

With both the Cardinals and Brewers losing on Sunday and the Rockies winning, Colorado was able to add a game to their lead, doubling it from one to two. The win also broke them out of their slump as they got eight runs on twelve hits, doubling the Padres run output.

German Marquez got out of the first inning looking as though he was going to have another rough outing and while he did not earn a quality start, he did bounce back after his rough first. The Rockies got Marquez a first inning run, but he promptly gave up two on two solo home runs to Wil Myers and Yangervis Solarte. Marquez would go only five innings, but he didn’t allow any runs after the first. He finished with as many walks as strikeouts at three, but getting past a rough first was a good sign for the rookie.

The Rockies did a good job of supporting Marquez as well, despite their offensive struggles on the road trip and getting down early. Mark Reynolds drove in the first inning run to give the Rockies a much needed hit with RISP and they would get a lucky second inning run after a single, stolen base, and error that scored Ian Desmond to tie the game at two at the time.

The Rockies would drive in a couple more in the third with some more timely hits. It started with Charlie and DJ reaching base to start the inning, but neither Arenado or Reynolds could score them or have a productive out even. With two outs, Gerardo Parra lobbed a ball to right to score the third run for the Rockies. Ian Desmond then hit a dribbler up the third base line that Villanueva could not handle and that scored the fourth run for Colorado.

The Rockies held their lead and extended it in the sixth when Valaika scored a run on a bloop double, but the game would get a lot closer quickly. Scott Oberg came on in the bottom of the sixth and promptly allowed a two-run home run with no outs to bring the game to a score of 5-4. Fortunately for the Rockies, no runner would reach base after the home run as Oberg finished his inning and Neshek, McGee, and Holland closed out the final three.

The Rockies got insurance runs in the ninth with some home runs from Valaika, his 13th of the year, and Blackmon, his 36th of the year. Mark Reynolds also doubled in a run to cap his two hit, two RBI day.

The win gives the Rockies, hopefully, a better taste in their mouth after what was a disappointing road trip. They now head home for the final two series of the year, taking on Miami first and then finishing with a series against the Dodgers.

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Shutout again, Rockies hopes slipping

Alex Gallardo AP Photo

Colorado is the only team in baseball that has held a playoff spot since game 1 of the 2017 season. Unfortunately for them, it is not how you start, but how you finish and the Rockies hopes of making the playoffs get more slim with each passing day. On their current road trip against the divisions worst teams, they have won only one game and have been shutout three times. It looks as though this team does not want to win as the offense has just failed to show up and has been putting in a terrible effort.

Saturday’s game mimicked Friday’s game in that the Rockies were getting shutout and no hit for half of the game. It took until the sixth inning for the Rockies to get a single, but unlike Friday’s game, they never put any runs up on the board. They loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth but came up empty, a sentiment that would be repeated time after time in the game.

In the nine innings, the Rockies had only five hits as they went 0-6 with RISP. The team put up a bad approach and never stood a chance as they made the Padres look like a playoff team. While the starting pitching has been solid this year, the normally excellent offense has been the main culprit for when the Rockies lose games and if they do not get on track quickly, this will be a season to remember in that the Rockies blew an excellent chance at a playoff appearance.

Chad Bettis was alright on Saturday allowing only one run, but he also couldn’t get out of the fifth inning and gave up seven hits to the Padres while walking two. It was an improvement over Bettis’ last few starts as he didn’t allow a lot of runs, but going less than five innings is never something that is praiseworthy and Bettis needs to be better if he is to earn a rotation spot next year.

With only one win in five games on this road trip, the Rockies absolutely need to win on Sunday. They cannot keep counting on the Brewers and Cardinals to lose to keep their lead and eventually they will need to string together some wins to either clinch a spot or ride out their one game lead to end of the season so that they may earn that second wild card spot.

Rox right ship, for one game at least


Alex Gallardo AP Photo

With the help of three solo home runs and some really solid pitching, the Rockies were able to snap their four game losing streak and build their wild card lead to 1.5 over the now first in line Cardinals. The Brewers have already won on Saturday, giving them a tie with the Cardinals, but regardless, the Rockies need to keep winning.

Jordan Lyles was perfect for much too long as the Rockies were hitless until Nolan Arenado’s solo home run to right field. It was timely as it snapped the Rockies scoreless streak and disrupted Lyles just enough to get the Rockies going. Ian Desmond followed Arenado’s homer up with one of his own to give the Rockies a 2-0 lead.

The lead was cut in half during the next inning when Gray allowed a run on a single by Jordan Lyles. It was one of the worst ways to give up a run, but it was the only run Gray or the Rockies would allow in the game so they could hold their lead. Gray was great on Saturday going six innings while striking out eight. His efficiency could’ve been better, but getting through six is still strong and he gave the Rockies all they needed to win.

The Rockies got two more runs in the seventh with a solo bomb by Trevor Story and an RBI single from Lucroy. The single drove in Desmond who singled and stole a base to give Lucroy the RBI chance and it really helped Colorado.

The Padres threatened in the bottom of the inning by putting runners on second and third with one out. Pat Neshek came on in a rough situation and worked out of it by inducing a pop out and striking out Manuel Margot to end the inning. Jake McGee then worked a flawless eighth to pave the way for the Rockies win.

Greg Holland came on to close the ninth and worked one of his easiest ninth innings in quite some time. Holland got two outs on strikeouts to start the inning and finished the game with a ground out to give the Rockies the win. Chad Bettis will take the mound to hopefully continue the winning, but he has to face the Padres ace at home in Jhoulys Chacin.

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.

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.