17 run rout powers Rox to win

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If you take all of the runs the Rockies scored in the last five games, it would still not be more than the 17 runs they scored on Wednesday. The Rockies absolutely exploded for all of the runs on eighteen hits and powered Jon Gray to his fifth win of the year. Gray was not perfect, but he was solid and he got through six innings.

The scoring started early for the Rockies, but it did not stop until the very last inning. They scored in all but two innings and scored more than one run in five of those innings. Every starter except Gray scored a run and Cargo was the only Rockie to not earn a hit, though he did hit the ball hard.

What really pushed the Rockies offense ahead in his game was the fact they hit with RISP. They went 9-19 on the day and seemingly came through with the clutch hit every other time. The Rockies had five two-out hits on the game that scored runs, another sign that they were clutch in the game.

The big player in this one was Trevor Story who came through huge with all three of his hits. Story had two home runs, six RBIs, and gave the Rockies the anchor they needed at the bottom of the lineup. Some other key players were Lucroy and Arenado who both had two doubles, Reynolds who had a three-run homer, and Parra who had three hits and four RBIs.

There was really only positives in this game, but if there was one thing to improve upon it would be Gray’s struggles the third time through the lineup. He was really good the first two times through, as he has been in most starts, but ran into his trouble in the sixth inning. He walked two and allowed a single before allowing a two-run single to give the Braves their only runs of the game. Regardless of the bad inning, Gray still got through six innings and earned a quality start.

 

Rox lose on Arenado error

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What was a very rare occurrence in a Nolan Arenado error turned into the reason the Rockies lost. A throwing error with two outs in the eighth inning cost the Rockies what would be the game winning run, blowing a quality start by Kyle Freeland.

The Rockies scored only three runs in the game, all solo homers, and that was another contributing factor in the loss. The last game the Rockies scored more than three runs was August 5th, eleven days ago. The offense is slumping, but not in regards to getting on base. The main struggle right now is hitting with runners in scoring position. When men get on, the Rockies bats go cold, either striking out or popping out, but not getting a productive out or clutch hit.

Kyle Freeland did not put up quite the start that Bettis did on Monday, but he was solid in his return to the rotation. Freeland allowed only four hits, but did walk two, both of whom scored in the second inning. The other run Freeland allowed came on a Nick Markakis home run, but it was only a solo shot and had Freeland not walked two batters, the Rockies may have pulled this one out.

Regardless of what could have happened or what has happened in the past week, the Rockies need more offense. Jon Gray has been a friend to the offense in games he started, earning good run support, so hopefully that follows suit in Wednesday’s game. All it takes is a couple of clutch hits and the Rockies could explode for some runs, but they need the game plan going into it and need to execute as well.

Bettis stellar in his return

Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports

With an 0-2 count and Ender Inciarte at the plate, Bettis fired home for the pitch. Inciarte served the ball to left field and Parra came just short of diving and making a terrific play. The ball skidded to the wall and Inciarte turned it into full gear, motoring his way towards home. It would take a perfect relay from both Parra and Story to nail the runner at the plate, and that is exactly what the Rockies would get, nailing Inciarte for a complicated first out.

From that play forward, Bettis would be terrific, allowing six hits in the game, but no walks and no runs. He struck out two batters, but was inducing weak contact all game long and had the good defense behind him to keep the game tied at 0.

Unfortunately for Bettis, the Rockies offense was not doing anything against Teheran and even Bettis’ masterful performance did not earn him a decision. It took until the eighth inning for the Rockies to finally rally and it came at the perfect time to give them the win.

The first five batters of the eighth inning would reach, with Blackmon starting the inning off with a triple. Reliever Rex Brothers then intentionally walked LeMahieu to put two on for Parra. Parra singled in the first run of the game and Reynolds followed that with a walk to load the bases. Cargo then came up and lobbed a ball to center to score two more runs for the Rockies, giving them a 3-0 lead.

Holland would come on for the ninth inning, and despite allowing a single and walk, earned a scoreless inning and the save for the Rockies, sealing the win for them and snapping a three game slide. It was a win for the team, but more importantly, a win for Bettis who created a feel good story for all of Colorado with his terrific outing.

The Rockies will try and build on that momentum in Tuesday’s game as they send Kyle Freeland to the mound for his first start since returning from the DL. The DL stint for Freeland actually probably saved his arm a bit come the end of the season, so this is a perfect time for him to come back and show why he has been so good all year long.

Series Preview: Braves (52-63) vs. Rockies (65-52)

Monday, August 14th 6:40pm: Julio Teheran (7-10 5.25) vs. Chad Bettis (0-0 -.–)

Chad Bettis makes a remarkable return to the Rockies acting as the boost they hopefully can take and use in this series against the Braves. Bettis and his return, and the fact that he has beaten cancer, are clearly the stories surrounding this first game, but on a playoff level, the Rockies will be trying to snap a three game skid that came after a sweep by the Marlins. For the Braves, they send their supposed ace to the mound, though he has pitched far from an ace this year with his high ERA and negative bWAR. The Rockies can hopefully show off their offense in this opener to take a win and give Bettis a strong backup in his first start back.

Tuesday, August 15th 6:40pm: Sean Newcomb (1-7 4.45) vs. Kyle Freeland (11-7 3.70)

Newcomb and Freeland face off in a battle of rookie lefties. Newcomb has not pitched bad in his starts, but is taking losses due to a lack of run support, averaging only 2.79 runs in each start so far. Freeland has been great for the Rockies, earning wins left and right and getting through games efficiently. He is not the strikeout guy that a lot of the other Rockies starters are, but he has been great at commanding the zone and inducing weak contact. This is only the second game in a four game set, but the Rockies have a good chance of taking both of these first two games.

Wednesday, August 16th 6:40pm: Mike Foltynewicz (10-7 4.29) vs. Jon gray (4-2 4.92)

At home, Jon Gray pitches very well. Although he didn’t get a quality start his last time out, he was only a batter away from earning one and still pitched solid. He faces Foltynewicz, a guy who has had mixed results so far this year. He has been very good, but he has also been absolutely crushed by opposing teams, something the Rockies will hope to do. Though the Marlins series was demoralizing and it saw them losing Nolan Arenado for at least the opener, this is a series the Rockies should be able to handle.

Thursday, August 17th 1:10pm: Lucas Sims (0-3 5.71) Jeff Hoffman (6-4 5.15)

The Rockies face another underachieving pitcher for the finale of this series and send their own underachiever to the mound. Hoffman was great early in the season, but has struggled in many starts more recently. He has struggled with command and has not been able to cause the swing and miss that he needs to rely on. He has the stuff, but now the task is putting it all together to become the Rockies believe he can be. Hoffman is the remaining piece of the Tulo trade and is the one player that could define this trade as a win for the Rockies.

Swept by the Marlins, Rockies look to rebound at home

These were three very, very forgettable games for the Rockies. Stanton homered in each on, driving his total up to 42. The Rockies struggled with RISP in each game, failing to find a clutch hit in any of them. Nolan Arenado had a bad series, finishing it with a HBP in the hand that had him leaving early for the second straight game. And the starters struggled in each start, with none of them being able to get through six innings.

A sweep is a sweep and no team wants to take in the middle of a playoff race, but the Rockies can now head home and get an immediate morale booster with the return of Chad Bettis. It is hard to say exactly what kind of boost Betts can give this team, but even with a rough outing, his return will make many, both fans and players, happy and hopefully give the team a shot of life.

The fact that Bettis gets to make his return after a sweep and at home, both lend to what should be a game that is dominated by the Rockies. This is clearly one the Rockies need to win, for themselves and for Bettis, as there won’t be many stories in baseball this year, stories that are bigger than the game itself. Bettis is no Cy Young, but he is a leader on the team and give a needed shot in the arm.

Arenado might miss time because of his HBP, but there are other players on this team that can step up and give the offense the boost it needs. Charlie and DJ at the top of the lineup can set the table and guys like Parra, Cargo, and Reynolds need to do their best to play as they can and give the Rockies the RBIs that have escaped them this last road series. Jonathan Lucroy is another guy to watch as he has been good with the Rockies since being traded.

 

Stanton bombs sinks Rox again

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When someone like Giancarlo Stanton gets hot, it is almost best to just walk him every time. On Saturday, the Rockies learned again just how far he can hit baseballs. In the fourth inning, with two men on, Stanton absolutely obliterated a ball to left field, a 463′ shot, to give the Marlins a 4-1 lead. The Rockies offense has been pretty bad on this road trip, and they didn’t do much to fight their way back into it.

If you take away the home run that Jeff Hoffman gave up to Stanton, this is a pretty good start, despite the lack of control Hoff had. There were a lot of three ball counts early and Hoffman struggled to finish batters off, earning himself only one strikeout in the game, but he did still manage five innings.

Hoffman allowed a base runner in each of his five innings, allowing two or more in three of those innings, but he did a decent job of pitching around traffic. It was certainly not the type of game you want to see from a young guy, but it is nice to see nonetheless that he kept cool for most of it.

Where the Rockies failed, again, it came from RISP. They went 2-11 in the game and they had lots of chances. The Rockies had nine hits and earned seven free passes via six walks and a HBP, but failed in almost every opportunity. Gerardo Parra struggled in this one, as did Trevor Story. The opportunities were there, the Rockies even threatened in the ninth, but the clutch hit just never came.

In the seventh inning, Nolan Arenado got ejected after being called out on a check swing. While we can’t say his ejection was the reason the Rockies lost, losing one of your best players on a quick ejection hurts and is never something you want. The Rockies failed to start an rally around that and finished this one with a losing score of 4-3.

German Marquez will act as the stopper during Sunday’s game as he tries to keep the Rockies from getting swept. His game plan to Stanton will be a key and how the Rockies offense performs will also be something to keep an eye on. Look for Ryan McMahon to make his first career start and hopefully give the Rockies a boost.

Rox blow tie game late

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Jake McGee faltered late against the Marlins turning a tied game into a three run deficit in the course of an inning. While he could have been better, the Rockies offense was also very bad on Friday, scoring all three runs on homer and going 1-8 with RISP. Granted, three of those at-bats came down to Jon Gray, but the guys in front of him just couldn’t put the ball in play when it mattered.

Gray was solid, but not great, throughout Friday’s game. As he has been often this year, Gray was really good the first two times through the lineup, but then ran into trouble as the Marlins saw him for a third time in the game. This came in the sixth inning where Gray got a quick first out, but then struggled with command. Stanton would hit his 40th home run of the year to bring the Marlins within a run. Gray would then allow a double, walk, sac fly, and walk before being removed.

Giving up three runs is not horrible, but not being able to finish the sixth sucks for Gray as it takes away the quality start. The bullpen then also had to eat up some more innings, though, for the most part, they did a good job of that.

Jake McGee was the main culprit in blowing the tie game late as he allowed a walk and a single to start the eighth inning. A single by Dietrich then gave the Marlins a lead before they blew the game open with a two-run triple to take a 6-3 lead going into the ninth. The Rockies didn’t do anything in the ninth to take a loss.

The only runs scored came on a Nolan Arenado two-run homer and a solo shot by Parra, but the rest of the hits were scattered and nobody came up clutch. Trevor Story twice struck out with two men on, and one time there was a runner on third with less that two outs, one of the worst times to strikeout. Batting eighth, there was not really anyone to back him up, but just putting the ball in play can be a valuable thing.

While the Rockies have struggled in Miami, they can still rebound with a win on Saturday and Jeff Hoffman on the mound. Hoffman will need to navigate the very dangerous top of the lineup to win this one, and hopefully snap Stanton’s home run streak.