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.
The Rockies held on last night to win 5-4 over the Tigers and give Ubaldo Jimenez his 2nd win of the season. JImenez left the game in the 6th with a leg cramp and a 4-1 lead. The bullpen combination of Lindstrom, Reynolds, Belisle, Betancourt and Street preserved the win for Jimenez and the Rockies moving themselves back to .500 and currently 3.5 games back of the Giants, who again lost to the Athletics for the second straight night.
The Rox were outhit by the Tigers 12 to 6, but the Tigers pitching allowed 9 walks during the game, 7 of them by Tigers starter Phil Coke in 5 innings. The Rockies Chris Nelson hit his second homerun in as many games with a solo shot in the 6th. It would be his only hit of the night going 1 for 5 and dropping his average below .300 to .296. Ubaldo Jimenez helped his own cause early in the game, driving in 2 runs in the 2nd inning with bases loaded single to center field. Huston Street who seemed to be trying his best Brian Fuentes imitation almost gave the game away in the 9th, but instead came away with his league leading 20th save. Tying him with the Giants headcase Brian Wilson, and Seattle’s Brandon League.
The Rockies have won their second straight series and with a win today can take their first 3 game series sweep since sweeping the Mets back in April(11th-14th) at Citi Field.
This afternoon’s probables are Aaron Cook(0-1, 3.97) for the Rockies against Justin Verlander(8-3, 2.66) for the Tigers.
Ty Wigginton went 1 for 4 on the night, but that one hit was the one that broke open a 3-3 tie in the 8th inning. A bases clearing double, gave the Rox a 6-3 lead. Rafael Betancourt came in the 8th and gave up a single run, then Matt Lindstrom finished it up in the 9th for his first save of the season in relief for Huston Street who was not available for tonight’s game due to his 3 innings of work last night.
Seth Smith and Carlos Gonzalez were the only two Rockies to have multiple hits in the game, but you have to like it when you #1 and #2 hitters in the lineup are getting on base as much as Fowler and Herrera are doing. Fowler and Herrera together drew 5 walks in the game, scoring 3 runs.
Greg Reynolds only gave up 3 hits over 6 innings and despite giving up 2 runs in the 2nd, Reynolds went on to shutout the Pirates for the next 4 innings into the 6th.
The Rockies are now 5-2 with a 1 game lead over the Padres in the division as the Padres are currently facing the Dodgers at Petco Field, losing 4-0 in the 9th.
Sunday’s pitching matchup for the 4th and final game of the series with the Pirates is Jhoulys Chacin (1-0, 0.00) facing James McDonald (0-0,3.86).
This just in. The Denver Post is reporting the Ubaldo Jimenez will be placed on the disabled list retroactive to April 2nd. Greg Reynolds will get the call up to start in Jimenez’ place.
The Rockies beat the Brewers 7-1 this afternoon at Hi Corbett Field. Helton hits another homer his 4th of the spring. We can attribute Helton’s sudden power surge to Rockies hitting instructor Don Baylor. Helton’s display is further proof to his teammates and fans that this years team should have a better year at the plate statistically with Baylor’s help than they had last season without him.
Greg Reynolds, Joe Koshansky and Jhoulys Chacin were optioned to the minor league camp today. Reynolds and Koshansky are scheduled to begin the season in triple A Colorado Springs. Dont be surprised to see either of these guys in Denver at some point during the season.
Is Baker being shopped? It looks like the rumor of Jeff Baker possibly being traded has some legs to it. Renck according to his sources says Jeff Baker is being mentioned in connection with the Astros, Yankees, and Braves as possible suitors. I’d like to see maybe a trade of some sort to Atlanta for some pitching, which the Braves have more than enough of at the moment. Let’s keep an eye on this and see what develops.
For a lot of people, baseball fans included, today’s start of the NCAA basketball tournament pushes spring training to the back seat temporarily as final scores begin rolling in.
I am taking a little different approach to the tournament this year and by that I mean I am using the currently listed active and 40 man rosters, not including the non-roster invitees from coloradorockies.com to give my thoughts on whose college will end up where in the tourney. First off, these players will find thmeselves cheering for schools other than their own in the “big dance” as their alma-maters are not in the tournament.
Stephen Register- Auburn, Jason Hirsh- Cal Lutheran, Ryan Spilborghs- Cal Santa Barbara, Seth Smith- Mississippi, Matt Murton- Georgia Tech, Jason Grilli- Seton Hall, Greg Reynolds- Stanford, Clint Barmes- Indiana State, Joe Koshansky- Virginia, and Troy Tulowitzki- Long Beach State.
Now to those whose schools are in the tournament. Brad Hawpe and Greg Smith’s alma mater, LSU Tigers take on Butler in an 8 versus 9 matchup. Omar Quintanilla and Huston Street’s alma mater, the Texas Longhorns face Minnesota in a 7 versus 10. Garrett Atkins’ UCLA Bruins will face a feisty Virginia Commonwealth University in the first round, in which an upset is very possible, think VCU and Duke 2 years ago. Jeff Baker’s Clemson Tigers go against Michigan in another 7 versus 10 matchup. Todd Helton’s Tennessee Volunteers take on the Oklahoma St. Sooners (#8 vs #9).
Who has the best chance of winning the tourney you ask? That would be Chris Iannetta who went to North Carolina. His Tarheels will not have to worry about Ryan Speier’s Radford University Highlanders this afternoon in the first round, even with Ty Lawson not playing.
So as much as I hate to even think it being I’m a Duke fan, Chris Iannetta’s North Carolina Tarheels look to have the best shot of winning the NCAA’s at least within the Rockies roster of players and their respective schools.
The Rockies beat the Padres for the second time in three days to win their 3rd straight to go 3-7 this spring training. Helton debuts this spring training with a homerun in the 1st inning off Padres pitcher Chris Young. Greg Reynolds gets the win and Matt Belisle, the save. Attendance was just under 5000 with a lot of people I’m sure there to watch Helton’s spring training debut.
Team USA takes on Venezuela in a few minutes of the World Baseball Classic second round.
Athlon Sports has a surprisingly positive article on their season preview of the Rockies on foxsports.com. Article here. I say surprisingly because eveything I’ve read as far as previews in the print media has the Rox finishing 4th in the NL West. Though Athlon doesn’t mention in the article where they think the Rockies will finish, they do like their chances in a dismal NL West. It all boils down to pitching and the teams ability to remain healthy. But I will add they will need to have major contributions from more than just 2 or 3 players and they cant be in a 7-9 game deficit at the end of April. They will need to find ways to manufacture runs, but to do that you have to be able to get people on base first.