With some certainty Astros fans have little to look forward to this season, except the end of the season. 2013 the Astros move to the American League which gives them a new, fresher start, if you will. There’s little talent on the Astros roster, so Astros fans shouldnt expect them to surprise anyone in the division, let alone the National League. This years Astros are not last seasons D’backs, and if you followed this blog for any length of time you know I despise the D’backs(as well as almost everything Arizona), so for me to get them the slightest bit of credit, means I must not be feeling well.
With the same amount if not greater certainty Rockies fans arent sure what to expect from this team for the 2012 season. Part of that is that the NL West is still anybody’s game, despite the Giants and D’backs seemingly to be the favorites by the media. Sure, there were moves were made this offseason. Gone are Iannetta(thank God!), Cook, Street, Smith, Stewart, Hammel, Spilborghs and others. In are Cuddyer, Scutaro, Hernandez, Moyer, Guthrie, etc. Is this team on paper better than last season’s team? I believe they are, but not that much better to win the NL West. Pitching of course being the unknown factor.
The Rockies should take 2 out of 3 in the series as I’m giving the Astros game 1 since it is their home opener. God I hope I’m wrong and the Rox sweep! It would be a great way to come into the home opener at Coors Field on April 9th.
Well on paper, it doesnt look good for the Rockies going into this series. The Rockies are 23-49 on the road against the Braves, 18-31 at Turner Field. The Rockies last had a winning record against the Braves at Turner Field in 2005 with a 2-1 record. The one win last season was Ubaldo Jimenez’ no hitter, the first in Rockies history.
The Braves come into this series winning 7 of their last 10 games, 4 games back of division leading Phillies. While the Rockies went 4-6 in their last 10 games, 6.5 games back of the Giants and 3 back of the D’backs and also sporting a 19-21 road record.
THE HOT LIST – Mark Ellis(2B/Rockies) – 8 for 15 with 2 homeruns and 7 RBIs in his first 3 games with the Rockies since the trade from Oakland. Todd Helton(1B/Rockies) – 10 for 20 in last 5 games with 4 walks and 4 RBIs. Carlos Gonzalez(OF/Rockies) – 11 for 24 in his last 6 games. 6 RBIs in yesterday’s game against the Royals. Brian McCann(C/Braves) – team leading .314 batting average and 10 for 21 in last 5 games.
THE NOT LIST – Charlie Blackmon(OF/Rockies) – 6 for 34(.176) in his last 10 games. Could be the player to watch in the series as he returns home to Georgia, if he doesnt press. Blackmon’s hometown is Suwanee, Ga and he played college ball at Georgia Tech. Chris Iannetta(C/Rockies) – Remains on our NOT list with a .227 average. 6 for 30 in last 10 games, but did go 3 for 3 against the Royals on 7/2. Jason Heyward(OF/Braves) – 6 for 25 last 6 games, with 1 homerun and 2 RBIs. Dan Uggla(2B/Braves) – .175 battting average through 85 games.
Tonight’s probables are Ubaldo Jimenez(3-7, 4.35) against Tommy Hanson(9-4, 2.62).
After losing the last two series, against the Yankees on the road and the White Sox at Coors Field, the Rockies with last night’s 9-6 win over the Royals assured themselves of winning the 3 game series. The Rockies jumped out to a huge 7-0 lead after just two innings. The top of the lineup, Gonzalez, Ellis, Helton, Tulowitzki, and Smith went 11 for 21 with 7 RBIs. Newest Rockies Mark Ellis continues his hot hitting with a 3 for 5 night. Chris Iannetta himself had a perfect night going 3 for 3 with an RBI. The only position player starting the game for the Rockies without a hit was outfielder Charlie Blackmon(0 for 3). Ryan Spilborghs went 0 for 1 in a pinch hitting role.
Huston Street recorded his 24th save of the season, tying him for first in the league with 4 others.
Rockies starter Greg Reynolds got his 3rd win of the season(3-0) with a 5 inning effort giving up 8 hits and 5 RBIs. The Rox will (dare I say it) go for the sweep this afternoon with Jason Hammel(4-7, 4.02) against Colorado native Luke Hochevar(5-8, 4.96) for the Royals. Not exactly a dream matchup on the mound, but with the records of both starting pitchers, this could be an interesting game. Can the Rockies offensive onslaught continue? The Rockies have scored 18 runs in the first 2 games of the series.
Former Rockies manager Jim Leyland and the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers invade Coors Field this weekend for a 3 game interleague series. The Rockies have a bit of momentum on a 2 game win streak and a 2 games to 1 series win over the San Diego Padres. On the other side, the Tigers are a game ahead of the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central, thanks to the Indians recent 3-7 slide in their last 10 games, while the Tigers went 6-4.
The Rockies come into this series with an 11-7 record against the Tigers overall, 7-2 at Coors Field. The Tigers last appearance in Denver was in 2005.
HOT LIST – Miguel Cabrera(1B/Tigers) 4 for 9 with 2 RBIs and 2 walks in his last 3 games. Brennan Boesch(LF/Tigers) 5 for 11 in last 3 games, with a home run and 2 RBIs. Charlie Blackmon(OF/Rockies) 7 for 12 in his last 3 games, including 3 RBIs and 3 stolen bases.
NOT LIST – Austin Jackson(CF/Tigers) 2 for 12 in last 3 games. Magglio Ordonez(RF/Tigers) 1 for 8 in June, though he’s only played in 3 games this month. Jhonny Peralta(SS/Tigers) 8 for 40 in his last 10 games, including 12 strikeouts. Chris Iannetta(C/Rockies) 5 for 28 in his last 10 games, with 10 strikeouts.
The Rockies after a 3 game skid, finally got back in the win column Tuesday night with a 6-3 victory over the Padres. Juan Nicasio moved to 2-1 on the season with a 6 inning, 9 strikeout performance on 108 pitches. Chris Iannetta provided the team with a huge lift in the 6th inning with a 3 run homer to give the Rox a 4 run lead. The homer was Iannetta’s 9th on the year. Four Rockies recorded multiple hits on the evening.
The Rockies need to win again this afternoon, to have some sort of momentum before Detroit comes into town this weekend for interleague play. This afternoon’s probables are Jhoulys Chacin (7-4, 2.90) vs Mat Latos (4-7, 3.86)
The Rockies have now won 3 straight and are a single game below getting back to .500. Holding a 6-0 lead going into the 9th inning, the Rockies almost gave the game away as the Dodgers scored 5 runs on 5 hits in the final inning. Jhoulys Chacin was dominant over 8 innings only allowing 3 hits, striking out 9 and improving his record to 7-4 with a 2.90 ERA.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Rockies banged out 17 hits, with Carlos Gonzalez leading the way going 4 for 5. Chris Nelson had a 3 for 5 night, but it was the “Toddfather” Todd Helton who with his current .322 average who got the Rockies offense started. Helton went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs and a run scored. Seth Smith also had a 2 RBI night while Tulo, Wiggy, and Iannetta each recorded multiple hits on the night.
The 6 run lead in the 9th inning seemed safe as Matt Belisle took to the hill in relief for Chacin. But 29 pitches later the Dodgers had rattled Belisle for 4 runs(1 earned), before Huston Street came along to finish out the inning, also giving up a run in the process. Rockies fans were more than on edge to say the least in the 9th inning.
The Rockies sit in the 3rd place in the NL West 4.5 games out of first place behind the Giants and 2.5 games back of the second place D’backs.
Rookie Juan Nicasio making his major league debut tonight, came away with his first win after an impressive pitching performance. Nicasio went 7 innings allowing 1 run, 6 hits, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts on 88 pitches.
The offense woke up tonight with 15 runs on 18 hits. Six Rockies had multiple hits, led by Chris Iannetta’s 4 for 5 night with 2 homeruns and 6 RBIs. Ryan Spilborghs had a 4 RBI night going 3 for 4 at the plate. Now if you’ve been following this team at all this season,you would get too excited about this offensive explosion. At least not yet. It in now ways means that the team has found it’s offensive groove. We wont know that for a few more games, once and if they are able to be more consistent on the offensive side and string together a few wins. Dont get me wrong, the offense tonight was outstanding and a treat to see, especially for players who so far this season have underachieved at the plate, like Iannetta, Tulo and Spilly to name a few. The Rockies can begin to change their misfortunes at the plate starting with tomorrow’s rubber match which features Jhoulys Chacin(5-3, 3.09) going against Kyle Lohse(6-2, 2.06)