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San Francisco Giants

Memorable Memorial Day for Fowler and the Rockies…


The Rockies played some of their best baseball offensively of the season yesterday sweeping a Memorial Day doubleheader against the Astros. I mean it’s only the Astros, but coming into this series they have a better record (3 games below .500) than the Rockies(12 games below .500). But as with any other sport, good teams beat the teams they’re supposed to beat. Fowler of course had a monstrous day going 7 for 9 in both games with 3 RBIs and the game winning hit in the second game. Pacheco, Tulowitzki, Gonzalez, Fowler and Rosario carried the team in the first game going 12 for 23 with 7 RBIs.

If the Rockies have any hope of making any type of run this season it’s obvious that the offense will have to carry load for this team like they did in the first game yesterday. It can’t just be one or two players to do it night in and night out. Starting pitching is and will continue to be suspect this season and for seasons to come until Alex White, Christian Friedrich and others mature and make progress.

Currently 13 games out in the NL West the Rockies should concentrate on what they are most able to control and that’s playing good baseball as they’ve shown over the last 5 games and keep pace with the D’backs who are only 2.5 games ahead of the Rockies in 3rd then worry about catching the second place Giants.

The Rockies have a well deserved day off today and will continue their series with the Astros on Wednesday with Christian Friedrich(2-1, 5.09) taking the mound against Lucas Harrell(4-3, 3.72) for the Astros.


Rockies vanity plates now a reality…


Despite the Rockies 7-0 shutout loss today in their home opener to Barry Zito and the Giants, their fans got a big win today thanks to Governor Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper this morning signed the bill making the Rockies vanity plates a reality, according to the Huffington Post. The plates wont come cheap at first.  A $50 one time fee, plus a $52.80 donation annually. Plates wont be available until January 1st 2013. Complete story from the Huffington Post here.


Giambi walk off HR leaves Marlins reeling…


In a season where Lodo Magic has been in short supply, Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez and Jason Giambi each gave the team a boost of it Monday night at Coors Field. Just when you figured the Rockies were abiding by the usual endlessly season script of “coming close but not close enough to win” or the other script of “not taking care of business at home”, the Rockies found away to finally come out on top in the end, for what has only been it seems a handful of times this season.

There was an emotional lift from this team that we usually dont see from the Rockies throughout a season. Honestly something I would like to see more of. EY Jr’s emotions after being called out on a close play at first base late in the game for example. I think if the fans saw more emotion like that from this team then they could more easily get behind them and not feel like the players are just up there going through the motions.

It was an exciting finish to a ballgame that got no love on Sports Center last night. Which all belonged to Jim Thome reaching career homerun #600. Congrats to Thome for reaching that milestone.

Now if only the Rockies can build off last night’s win and have a winning homestand, things possibly could begin to look more interesting in the NL West. The Giants as of late are struggling winning 4 of their last 10, while the D’backs have won 7 of their last 10, including 6 in a row. I’m not saying we can catch the D’backs, but a really good record at Coors Field over these next 8 games, can become a start. And with the Marlins, Dodgers and Astros in town this week, the underachieving Rockies can do it if they want to.

For the Miami Herald’s take on the Marlins loss last night from Herald writer Clark Spencer. Click here.


When it rains, it pours…


This isn’t just to reference the monsoon of rain (3 inches) we received here in the Denver metro area Thursday during the evening rush hour commute, but to also reference the current state of the Rockies in 2011. First it was the sprinkling of injuries within the last week. Carlos Gonzalez injures his wrist, then Troy Tulowitzki with the quad, neither of who has played in the series against the Braves. Then yesterday recent call-up and quick fan favorite outfielder Charlie Blackmon goes down with a broken left foot. Did I mention the injured pride of Aaron Cook, who can’t seem to find the strike zone or a win with a Garmin GPS device.

Then there is the downpour of recent losses, currently sitting at 5 straight losses and 7 of their last 9 games. Dont be surprised if the Nationals dont sweep the Rockies as well. The Rockies are currently 8.5 games behind the NL West division leading Giants and 6.5 back of the 2nd place D’backs.

Let’s face it, though I hate to say it, the Rockies are done. Now that is the realist in me of course, but there is the hopelessly optimistic side of me, that thinks, believes and at times just knows in my gut that the Rockies can turn this thing around. But I am sick and tired of this team always wanting to be the miracle comeback team, like they were in 2007. You can’t always win games playing from behind, let alone win a divsion and that’s what I feel this team likes to maybe perceive itself as, the “eternal underdog”. “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!” Last I checked Underdog was a fictional cartoon but the Rockies are certainly playing that way as of late. As if because nobody in baseball is focusing on them in the media, that they can suddenly spring a surprise on teams and suddenly have teams take notice. Wanna make teams take notice, then start winning ballgames, start playing smart baseball, start with a “take no prisoners” attitude and beat the teams, you’re supposed to beat and better yet kick the ass of teams who are perceived to be the bigger badder teams of major league baseball. It begins with believing that you are and can be the team that you want to be and playing hard each and every game of a 162 game season. No more feeling sorry, or feeling like the underdogs. If you want to win the division, then dammit Rockies you have to go out and take it! No one is going to just give you the division, certainly not the Giants! Stop believing that the getting the NL Wildcard is “good enough”, because as a fan and someone who believes in the talent on this team, it’s not good enough. I’m stepping down off my pedestal now.

It’s all yours Rockies Nation, what’s your take?


Offensive Roxslide continues…


Remember back to last season when fans and the media alike thought the Rockies couldnt hit and many were calling for then hitting coach Don Baylor to be fired? Well I have to say that I am not hearing or reading the same sentiment this season towards Carney Lansford as the Rockies seem to be worse off so far this season offensively.

Todd Helton (.306)has been the only Rockie all season to remain consistent at the plate and one of two Rockies batting over .300. The other being Seth Smith is currently batting .312. The next player closest to .300 is Jonathan Herrera with a .279 average and only 2 more players with a .250 average or better in Amezaga (.250) and Gonzalez (.251).

Since the two game sweep of the Giants (May 16-17), the Rockies have lost 6 of their last 8 games, and 4 of those 6 losses were 1 run games. The Rockies are ranked 23rd out of 30 teams in batting average with a team average of .242. The Dodgers(17th), D’backs(20th), and Giants(21st) each rank higher. Putting that in greater perspective with the Rockies who are also ranked 9th in runs scored while the Dodgers(26th), Padres(28th), and Giants(29th) are each ranked in the bottom 5 of the same category.

The Rockies need to right the ship offensively, no doubt. We all know that. The players, coaching staff, fans, media, etc. We all know that. But here is the good thing. It’s still only May. Sure the Rockies are in third place today, but we are talking about only by a half a game and 3 games behind the Giants who are in first. So what I am saying is….There is no need to hit the panic button! Yes we’re frustrated at how the team has played this month, but every team each season goes through a slump of some kind. Ours just happens to be alot longer than it should be.

The Rockies get back at it tonight with Clayton Mortensen(1-1, 2.17) against Micah Owings(0-0, 5.06).


Cargo comes up big again, Rockies sweep Giants…


For the second game in a row, Carlos Gonzalez has come up huge against the defending champion San Francisco Giants. Cargo’s only hit of the game drove in a pair of runs to give the Rockies the lead and ultimately the win. This on the back of last night’s 3 run homer late in the game to boost the Rockies to victory. Ubaldo Jimenez still winless on the season, looked solid with a 7 strikeout, 1 walk performance through 7 innings on 116 pitches. So there is reason for greater optimism for his next start. Matt Belisle got his 4th win of the season at 4-2 and Huston Street got his 14th save on another superb outing to back up Monday night’s save opportunity.

Today’s win also give the Rockies back their hold on first place in the NL West and their first series win since April 25th and 26th against the Cubs at Wrigley and their first series sweep since April 11th-14th against the Mets at Citi Field. This gives the Rockies some momentum as they head out on the road for a 2 game series against the Phillies, then a 3 game series against the Brewers.


Dodgers(3-1) @ Rockies(1-1) Preview…


The Rockies have the day off today coming after yesterday’s postponement due to inclement weather against the D’backs. I’ve never really agreed with the idea of starting the season, playing a 3 game series then the team having a day off. Coming out of spring training teams should play at least a week before having a day off. Unfortunately for the Rockies the extra day off before the Dodgers series means the Rockies cant get into any sort of groove going into the series. While the Dodgers have 4 games under their belt already after a 7-5 victory over the Giants on Sunday night.

HOT and NOT’S – A brief look at who’s hot and who’s not coming into this series.

HOT LIST – DODGERS

Matt Kemp – 5 for 12 against the Giants, a .533 on base percentage, .417 batting average, 4 runs scored, and 3 RBIs.

Clayton Kershaw – 1-0, 0.00 ERA through 7 innings.

Jonathan Broxton – 3 saves in as many appearances.

NOT LIST – DODGERS

James Loney – 2 for 15 against the Giants with a .133 batting average

HOT LIST – ROCKIES

Chris Iannetta – 3 for 6 against the D’backs, 3 runs scored, .625 on base percentage, .833 slugging percentage

Carlos Gonzalez – 4 for 9 against D’backs, 5 total bases, .556 slugging percentage.

NOT LIST – ROCKIES

Troy Tulowitzki – 0 for 8 through first two games.

Jhoulys Chacin (0-0) will go up against Clayton Kershaw (1-0) Tuesday evening at Coors Field, game time 6:10pm

 

EXTRA BASES – The Denver Post this morning reports that a Major League Baseball “Authenticator” will be on hand at each Rockies home game to monitor baseballs from the humidor to the game. Story here. I guess the crying sessions the Giants put up last season got them the result they somewhat desired.

Also Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes about catcher Chris Iannetta taking ownership of the catcher’s position. Honestly Iannetta had no other choice. Time will tell as the season moves along. Iannetta who batted .197 last season is currently batting .500, going 3 for 6 in the teams first two games of 2011. Last season after the first two games of the season Iannetta went 0 for 6.

Maybe it’s time to give credit to the Rox new hitting coach Carney Lansford or maybe, just maybe Iannetta is channeling Yankees catcher Thurman Munson with his new mustache and hair growth. Tell me I’m not the only person who thought upon seeing Iannetta’s new look this season that he didnt remind you right away of Thurman Munson. If channeling Munson improves Iannetta’s batting average this season, I’m all for it! Munson who also played catcher was a lifetime .292 hitter over 11 seasons with the Yankees before a tragic plane accident took his life in 1979.


Tulo crushes Padres, avoids the sweep…


The Rockies were able to keep the Padres from sweeping the 3 game series this afternoon with a 9-6 victory. Jorge De La Rosa recorded his 8th win of the season. And what has seemed to be the norm the last week or two, Troy Tulowitzki was again the hero and the leader, putting the team on his back with a 3 for 5 day at the plate with 2 homeruns and 7 RBIs. There are those who will say that Tulo might be a bit overrated, but time and time again, especially as of late he continues to show why he is the most important player on this Rockies team.

The Rockies as a team recorded 16 hits on the day, Young, Herrera, Gonzalez, Tulowitzki, Spilborghs and recent callup Jay Payton each had multiple hits on the day, accounting for 15 of the teams 16 hits on the day. De La Rosa got the only other hit of the day for the Rockies, going 1 for 4. De La Rosa also struck out 7 over 7 1/3 innings.

Today’s win now pulls the Rox back to 2.5 games back of the Padres, and 1.5 of the Giants who are right now scoreless in the 6th against the Dodgers. The Rockies have the day off on Thursday and resume play on Friday against the Dodgers in L.A.

EXTRA BASES – The Rockies have announced that Jeff Francis will make his next start on September 23rd. I don’t like the idea and the Rockies in my opinion are looking for something that is no longer there with Francis. Esmil Rogers has been superb coming out of the bullen in medium relief for when pithcers like Francis get into reouble early in a game. It’s completely understandable why Tracy wants to keep him in that position, but I would like to see Rogers move back into the rotation. I would look at any remaining starts this season for Francis as possible auditions for the 2011 season. If he remains in a Rockies uniform next season I’ll be surprised.

While speaking about the 2011 season, the Rockies schedule is now available with the Rox opening the season at home against the D’backs on April 1st. The opening homestand is 5 games, 3 with Arizona and 2 with the Dodgers. The first roadtrip will be an 8 game East Coast roadtrip against the Pirates and Mets. Interleague finds the Rockies taking on the Tigers and White Sox at home in June at Coors Field and on the road to Cleveland and New York for their first visit to the new Yankee Stadium. The Rox finish their interleague schedule with the Royals visiting Coors Field the first week in July. Complete 2011 schedule here.


Rockies look to sweep Reds…


Sorry I’ve been away for awhile, part of it was a mini vacation and the other has been alot of work and focus being paid towards other things. Some things I hope to implement here at some point in the future.

The Rox are now on a 6 game winning streak thanks to Troy Tulowitzki last night who hit two homers and finished the game with 4 RBIs on the night. The Rox win coupled with the Giants 3-1 loss to the D’backs, are now only 2.5 games back of 2nd place San Francisco and just 4.5 back of division leading San Diego.

The Rockies Jason Hammel (10-7, 4.25) will face Travis Wood (5-2, 3.19) this afternoon at Coors Field. As the Padres and Giants will meet beginning tonight in a 4 game series at Petco Park.


Did Barmes cost Ubaldo the Cy Young?..


Though nothing is written in stone as far as the Cy Young award is concerned, but the answer to that question right now would be a resounding YES! How could one think or believe otherwise? I understand that the Cy Young is mostly up to Ubaldo himself and I also understand that with still 6 weeks or regular season baseball that Ubaldo has as just a good a chance as Adam Wainwright or barring a late and certainly possible surge by Roy Halladay to win it. Yea the Rox won, and we’re all happy they did, but come on! Wind or no wind given, it was still a routine pop up and the catch should have been made. What made the catch “not so routine” was that Barmes dropped it, not because of the wind. That’s not to say that Jonathan Herrera or Eric Young Jr would have made the catch, but the fact that the ball was not caught cost Ubaldo the win and almost cost the Rockies the game. I cant say that I was sorry to see Barmes pulled after the failed catch, but I was surprised that Tracy made the move. Kudos to Tracy for doing it.

I’m sure no one feels as bad as Barmes for not making the catch and sealing the win for Ubaldo but there are no excuses for not catching that ball. The Rockies should take a long hard look at second base in the off season and hope that Herrera or Young are ready to take over there.

The Rockies have the day off today as they will take on the Dodgers for a 3 game series at Dodger Stadium before heading to Arizona for 3 more. The Rockies picked up a game on the Giants yesterday and should remain focused on the Giants before worrying about the Padres. Giants are off today and in Philly for 3 games before heading to St Louis later in the week. The Padres go up against the Cubs beginning tonight at Wrigley, then head to Milwaukee to face the Brewers. If there ever was a road series the Rockies need to take control of and come out on top, it’s this one.


Ubaldo does his part, but Rockies fall 1-0 to Mets…


I did mention that the Rockies needed to get Ubaldo run support early and unfortunately that didnt happen at all against the Mets tonight. The only good thing that came out of tonight’s game is that as I type this the Giants are losing at home to the Cubs 8-4 in the 9th. So the Giants dont gain any ground on the Padres and at the same time the Rockies wont lose any ground to San Francisco.

Offensively the Rockies were not at their best, to say the least, going 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position. Both teams amassed only 4 hits each. Helton, Hawpe, Tulo, and Barmes all went 0 for 14.

This just in, the Cubs prevail 8-6 over the Giants!

It’s my opinion that the Rockies Jonathan Herrera should be the starting second baseman. Nothing against Barmes, but something just bothers me whenever I see Barmes at the plate, maybe it’s the .250 average. Let’s face it Herrera is a better contact hitter and just as solid a second baseman. While we’re at it, just sit Helton down for the rest of the season. The team actually played better while he was on the DL. I’m not giving up on the season, but if we’re going to make a playoff appearance this season of any kind, then the best and most productive players have to be on the field.


Rockies drop series to Padres….


The Rockies are doing their best to imitate the New York Mets from two seasons ago. Losing last night 5-4 to the Padres, the Rox are on a 2 game losing streak and are only 3.5 games now in front of the Braves and 4 ahead of the Giants and Marlins for the NL Wildcard. Jason Hammel had a decent outing with 6 strikeouts through 6 1/3 innings only giving up 2 runs. But after that the wheels came off for the Rockies. Remember that nuclear meltdown I mentioned the Rockies didnt have that they should go into the playoffs as the wildcard? It’s quite possible that the meltdown may have begun with these last 2 games. I say that because the Rox now have to face the Cards in a 3 game series and though historically the Rockies are 38-35 against St. Louis at Coors Field, this series unlike others in the past have playoff implications. But the meltdown for the Rockies doesn’t all take place with what happens on the field at 20th & Blake, because the Braves go into a weekend series against the Nationals in Atlanta and are playing very good baseball winning 8 of their last 10. The Marlins having won 6 of their last 10, face the Mets this weekend. Both the Marlins and Braves are playing better baseball than the Rockies are at this point.

Aaron Cook (10-6, 4.47) returns from injury tonight to face the Cardinals Chris Carpenter (16-4, 2.34) in what should be an interesting and fun series at Coors Field.


Rockies still in freefall, lead 2 1/2…


There’s an old John Cougar Mellencamp song titled “Crumblin’ Down” that pefectly describes the Rockies right now in every aspect of the game these last 4 games. The pitching has crumbled, defense has crumbled, but no aspect has crumbled more than the offense. When the pitching had been not so up to par, the offense usually came through and provided a spark to win a game. Right now the Rockies simply cannot hit the ball or score runs. Having struck out 45 times and scoring just 8 runs over the last 4 games, while pitching and defense have given up 29 runs.

Ubaldo Jimenez lasted only 2 and 2/3 innings giving up 7 runs on 6 hits in last night’s game, despite striking out 6. Josh Fogg was well, his usual self last night, giving up 3 runs on 2 hits in 2 innings.

Hopefully the Rox can leave a little more than their hearts in San Francisco, like maybe a win.


Rockies 2010 schedule released…


Major League Baseball today has released all team schedules for the 2010 season. The Rockies will again open the season on the road, this time in Milwaukee against Prince Fielder and the Brewers, beginning on April 5th. The Rockies open up at Coors Field on April 9th with a 3 game series against the Padres. Then take a day off before another 3 game series at home against the Mets. I applaud the fact that the Rockies aren’t having to play the D’backs as their first series of the season at home. In fact they don;t meet the D’backs until April 26th at home. If you have followed this blog for any length of time, then you know of my hatred for most things Arizona.

Other highlights of the 2010 season include interleague play begins in Kansas City against the Royals the weekend of May 21st-23rd.  June 11th-13th interleague against the Blue Jays at Coors Field. Then on the road to Minneapolis to faceoff against the Twins in their new ballpark, Target Field, June 15th-17th.

The Red Sox visit Coors Field for a 3 game series June 22nd-24th. The Cubs visit Coors Field July 30th- Aug 1st. The Rockies close out their home schedule with 6 games against division rivals, the Giants and Dodgers at the end of September. Then finish the regular season on the road against the Cardinals in St. Louis Sept 30th-Oct 3rd.

Full schedule here.


Rockslide continues at 3…


This is not meant to slight Jason Hammel, but when I first looked at the matchup of Hammel versus Lincecum, I already knew this was not going to be a Rockies win. I think we all knew on the inside before the game began that this matchup would result in a loss, but we all had a small part of us on the inside that hoped the Rockies would’ve found a way to beat Lincecum. Alas they didnt beat Lincecum or the Giants and are now riding a 3 game losing streak. Hammel doesn’t give the Rockies the best chance from the pitching aspect to slow down the Giants offense. The end result was the Giants scoring 9 runs on 10 hits. Seven of those hits came off of Hammel to go with the 4 runs he gave up. But to not put it all on Hammel, the offense really didnt do it’s part either. The Rockies went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base, while the Giants were 5 for 9, leaving 5 on base. The Rockies have been outscored 19-6 during their current 3 game slide. And in last night’s game alone the Rockies offense struck out 15 times.

The Rockies have a chance to rebound tonight with Ubaldo Jimenez returning to the hill after pushing back his last start. Jimenez (13-10) will face Barry Zito (9-12). The Rockies still maintain a 3 1/2 lead in the NL Wildcard.


Rockies beat the Reds, still up 2 games.


An Ian Stewart solo shot in the 8th inning and some crafty pitching by Franklin Morales and sure-handed defense in the 9th carried the Rockies to their 4th straight win, beating the Reds 4-3 eysterday at Coors Field. Ubaldo Jimenez struck out 5 batters in his 6 innings of work. Matt Daley replaced Jimenez in the 7th with the Rockies down 3-1. Daley was perfect in the 7th with a strikeout and Betancourt was also in the 8th striking out 2. Morales who has done nothing but excel in the position as closer since Huston Street has been out with a biceps injury, was in a little trouble early in the 9th, but fought back masterfully and with help from Chris Iannetta and Clint Barmes on a throw to second base throwing out Scott Rolen on a double steal. Morales then finished off the game striking out Darnell McDonald. The Rockies maintained their 2 game lead in the NL Wildcard race with the Giants winning yesterday also 9-4 over the Padres. The Rockies win ended a 7 game winning streak by the Reds.

Tonight the Rockies Jason Marquis (14-10) will go for his second chance at winning his 15th game on the season by facing Matt Maloney (0-3) for the Reds.


Rockies tread on D’backs, sweep series…


The Rockies complete what they couldn’t against the Mets last week by sweeping the D’backs at home with a 13-5 win. Four Rockies had mutiple RBIs yesterday, Stewart (2), Barmes (2), Torrealba (3), and Seth Smith who led with 5 of his own with 2 homeruns. Torrealba continues his hitting streak, now up to 15 games. Jason Giambi made his first start yesterday at first base since becoming a Rockie, going 0 for 3 with 2 walks.

The Rockies outscored the D’backs 22-10 in the series. Yesterday’s 13 runs was the Rockies highest run output since the August 22nd game against the Giants where they scored 14 in the win. The 3 game sweep of the D’backs was also the first series sweep at home since the series against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field, July 6th-8th.

Now with a 2 game lead in the NL Wildcard, the Rockies face the Cincinnati Reds and their old friend and former Rockies centerfielder, Willy Taveras. Don’t be fooled by the Reds 63-73 record, who are currently 17 games back in the NL Central. The Reds are on a 7 game winning streak, having just swept the Pirates at home and more impressively, sweeping the Braves on the road. Ubaldo Jimenez (13-10) takes the hill this afternoon.


Rockies fail to sweep Mets…


The Rockies somehow cant seem to get more than a game ahead of the Giants in the NL Wildcard race. We win, they win, we lose, they lose. I dont have a problem with the Rockies losing if the Giants lose, but come on! There’s no way the Rockies shouldn’t have swept the Mets in this series. But of course it didn’t happen. Jason Marquis had a bad 4 run inning in the 5th and no offense to back him up through the first 6 innings. The bats didn’t awaken until the 7th when the Rockies scored 2 runs when Chris Iannetta and Ian Stewart both hit solo homeruns. Then in the 8th Barmes replicated with a solo shot of his own. The Rockies went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.

The Phillies did the Rockies a favor by beating the Giants 2-1 to maintain their 1 game lead in the NL Wildcard race. The Giants are in Milwaukee for the next 3 games before returning to AT&T Park to face the Padres. While the Rockies begin tonight a 3 game series against the D’backs, followed by 4 against the Reds. This schedule clearly favors the Rockies and they need to do all they can to take both series.

Jason Hammel (8-7, 4.40) faces Dan Haren (13-8, 2.78) tonight.


Rockies win 2 in a row, still lead by 1 game…


Ubaldo Jimenez strikes out 4 through 8 innings for his 13th win of the season. Seth Smith homers. Recent acquisition, Jason Giambi singles in 2 runs to break the tie. Yorvit Torrealba steals a base and has a 12 game hitting streak going while Franklin Morales gets the save. If I left out anything, I apologize, but last night game against the Mets was further proof that the Rockies have gotten some of their mojo back in their quest to make the playoffs.

The Rockies still maintain a one game lead over the Giants in the NL Wildcard race. The Giants shutout the Phillies 4-0  last night and will finish up that series before heading to Milwaukee for 3 games. 

The Rockies go for the sweep today of the Mets with Jason Marquis (14-9, 3.60) on the hill facing Pat Misch (0-1, 3.41)


Rockies beat Mets, retake wildcard lead….


If the last two weeks weren’t enough of a roller coaster ride, then you’d be well advised to get ready for the next 4 weeks, because no amusement park in the country will have the ups and downs that this playoff race the Rockies are a part of will have.

The Rockies got back on track last night with an 8-3 win over the Mets. While the Giants lost last night in Philadelphia 1-0, giving the Rockies a 1 game lead again in the NL Wildcard race. The offense seems to be back on track, for a game at least. Gonzalez and Helton both homered, accouting for 5 of the team’s 8 runs. Seth Smith went 3 for 4, scoring 3 runs.

Jorge De La Rosa struck out 6 through six innings of work for his 13th win on the season. The bullpen only gave up a single run by Matt Daley in the 7th, while Betancourt and Street were flawless in the 8th and 9th innings.

The Rockies Ubaldo Jimenez (12-10, 3.33), like De La Rosa last night will go for his 13th win tonight. Jimenez will face Tim Redding (2-4, 5.94)


Rockies swept by the bay, tied for wildcard lead…


The Rockies slump has now hit 4 games and the once 4 game lead in the NL Wildcard race has now been erased for a tie with the Giants. The Rockies played their best game of the series and again as of late the pitching did them in in the 7th inning with a go ahead grand slam by Edgar Renteria. It seems the offense and the pitching are slumping at the same time and now is not the time for that to happen. Morales had his worst outing as a reliever in this game. Betancourt did him one worse, giving up the grand slam to Renteria. The Rockies offense showed signs of erasing their current slump with back to back homeruns by Tulowitzki and Helton. The Rockies are coming close towards their best impersonation of the 2007 New York Mets.

The good news is that there’s a month left and they can bounce back with the day off today before facing the Mets in a 3 game series beginning Tuesday. The Rockies on paper should win 2 of 3 from the Mets. I want to say they should sweep, but I’m a little cautious. The Rockies will face Mike Pelfrey (9-9, 4.80), Tim Redding (2-4, 5.94) and Pat Misch (0-1, 3.41). While the Giants travel to the East Coast to face the Phillies.

Both the Rox and Giants have 3 teams (Braves, Marlins and Cubs) only 3 and a half games behind them in the NL Wildcard chase, so anything that can happen probably will.


Rockies shut out and losing ground…


There was another outstanding pitching duel by Ubaldo Jimenez and Tim Lincecum last night at AT&T Park, certainly two of the majors brightest young pitchers. It can be said that the Rockies lost this game due to Lincecum’s pitching performance or because the Rockies offense is in a holding pattern. As far as last night’s game it was definitely a little bit of both. In the Rockies current three game losing streak they’ve only scored 3 runs (an average of 1 per game). In the three games prior to the losing streak they scored a total of 15 runs an average of 5 per game. And it’s not an issue of playing lesser teams during that time, because those last six games were against the Giants and the Dodgers. Let’s face it Chris Iannetta (.219) isn’t coming out of his season long slump anytime soon. We’ve waited for it to happen and it’s just not going to. He’s had a spark of offense now and again, but consistent productiviy at the plate is his biggest issue. The situation at third base with Stewart (.223) and Atkins (.225) could break open at any point, but the question then will be how long can either of them make it last or how soon will one or both of them go back into a slump? I’m so used to seeing Brad Hawpe’s average being over .300 as it has been all season that looking at his current average of .299 seems a little disappointing as well, though it shouldn’t be.

The Rockies NL Wildcard lead is now down to 2 games and they need to grab at least one win out of this series against the Giants to maintain face. Jason Marquis gives the Rockies as good of a chance as any of their prevous starters (minus Josh Fogg) but the problem will be can the offense back him up. Marquis (14-8, 3.47) will face Barry Zito (8-11, 4.09).


Rockies lose series, off to face the Giants…


The Rockies banged out 11 hits, but committed 2 errors and were only able to score 2 runs in the 3rd inning to go on and lose the series against the Dodgers, giving them a 4 game lead in the division. Jorge De La Rosa did his part in striking out 7 batters through 7 innings of work. The problem was that the Rockies were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. Tulowitzki had asolid day going 3 for 4 as well as Torrealba going 3 for 4. They were the only hitters to manage mutiple hits in the game for the Rockies. Both third basemen, Stewart and Atkins went 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts. They cannot continue to bat in the low .200s if this team is going to increase their chances of making it into the postseason. The Rox have now lost their second in a row and have to again go into another must win series against the Giants at AT&T Park. Ubaldo Jimenez (12-9, 3.36) and Tim Lincecum (12-4, 2.43) go at it again at 8:15 MT. The Rockies are also likely to face Barry Zito and Matt Cain in this 3 game series.


Rockies increase lead over Giants…


The Rockies on Sunday afternoon were in a heavyweight championship-like fight that they were determined not to lose. Down 2-0 early on a Edgar Renteria homerun, the Rockies punched and counterpunched until the Giants had begun to wear down in the 6th. Jimenez threw a hook, striking out 9 and Lincecum jabbed back with 7 of his own. The Rockies with a 1-2-1 combination in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings, opened up the Giants and had them on the ropes. At the end of the fight, the Rockies were cheered in their unanimous decision. Both opponents would live to fight another day. Rematch scheduled for Monday night 6:40 pm.

With the Rockies win they have increased their lead to 3 games over the Giants and at the same time with the Dodgers losing to the Cubs 3-1 last night, the Rockies now sit 3.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.


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