The Rockies are going to be without Troy Tulowitzki for 4-6 weeks and that figures to significantly decrease their odds of staying relevant in the National League West. However, their cupboard isn’t exactly bare as they still feature perhaps the most underrated superstar in the game in Carlos Gonzalez, and one of the fastest rising stars at the hot corner in Nolan Arenado.
One is an already established game changing talent with the bat. The other stands a very good chance to be once he masters the game of constant adjustments. But perhaps the most exciting part for Rockies fans is that both are at or near the top of their position defensively. Especially Arenado, who is already pushing for consideration as a Gold Glove candidate just a little over a month into his career.
On Saturday, both men flashed those all around talents in Colorado's 10-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
As you see at the top, it was Carlos Gonzalez who set the tone in the top half of the first by cutting down Michael Young at the plate on about a 345 foot throw from the left field corner.
Two hops? Sure. A really athletic tag by catcher Wilin Rosario? Without question. But there's no way that's even a play without CarGo's cannon (and maybe Michael Young's lack of quickness). It was also an important play in the grand scheme of the game as Philadelphia was putting some good swings on Tyler Chatwood early. It finally allowed the Rockies young starter to catch his breath. He ended up rebounding for five pretty innings.
After Colorado erupted for six runs in their half of the first to take control of the game, Chatwood again relied on his defense. This time, it happened as opposing pitcher Jonathan Pettibone attempted to catch the Rockies off guard by swinging away in a bunting situation. It nearly worked, too, as the ball was on its way past Arenado and down the left field line. However, the Rockies rookie was able to snatch it at the last moment.
He then rolled over and did this...
Just to be sure, maybe we should asked Mr. Chatwood if that was any good.
''That was pretty special,'' Chatwood said of Arenado's defensive gem. ''That might have saved a run, and CarGo definitely saved a run, throwing out a guy from the wall. Our defense has been good all year and it definitely helped me out of some jams.''
Yeah, it sure did. And the dynamic duo also helped at the plate by going 5 for 9 with two doubles and three RBIs.
It was an all around baseball clinic and it was a ton of fun to watch for one day. The Rockies will now hope for several repeats as life in the National League West is sure to get more difficult without a healthy anchor at short.
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San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo was a little off on Saturday afternoon, and the Atlanta Braves took full advantage. For the first time in 176 appearances — the longest such streak in baseball dating back to Aug. 28, 2010 — Romo issued multiple walks. That helped turn a precarious 5-4 ninth inning lead for the Giants into a dramatic 6-5 walk-off win for the Braves.
After striking out Ramiro Pena to start the inning, Romo walked Atlanta's pinch-hitting ace-in-the-hole, Evan Gattis. An error by on third baseman Joaquin Arias would set the Braves up with two baserunners, and then Jason Heyward singled to load them up. That set up a confrontation with Justin Upton that Romo ended up losing after a borderline 3-2 slider was ruled ball four. From the outside looking in, it was a tough pitch to take and even gutsier pitch to throw, but Upton got the call.
After pinch-runner Reed Johnson trotted home with the tying run, Freddie Freeman would step in and deliver the winner when he pulled a 1-1 fastball into right for a clean single. It was a terrific piece of hitting, but the talk after the game went back to the 3-2 pitch against Upton. Here's more from Charles Odum of the Associated Press.
''It was a close pitch but I obviously think it's a ball,'' Upton said. ''Pitchers want that pitch. It went my way.''
Asked about the 3-2 pitch, Romo said ''It really doesn't matter what I think. The outcome of the game is already settled.''
Romo said he didn't let the walk affect his concentration against Freeman.
''I was fine,'' he said. ''I had to focus. We were still in the game. Although they tied the game we still had an opportunity to keep playing. You got to dig down deep right there and stay focused.''
When people say it's a game of inches, they aren't lying. Tomorrow that same pitch could go the other way.
Rockies offense stays hot despite Tulo's absence: Though Josh Rutledge — Troy Tulowitzki's replacement — finished 0 for 6, the Colorado Rockies received multi-hit games from seven different players — including starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood — as they snapped a six-game losing streak against the Philadelphia Phillies with a commanding 10-5 victory. The Rockies did the majority of their damage in the first inning, scoring six times on seven hits, and were finished scoring by the fourth. Catcher Wilin Rosario and rookie third basemen Nolan Arenado led the way with three hits and two RBIs each.
Dodgers blow another lead, win anyway in Pittsburgh: I think most of us are catching on to the belief that pitcher wins isn't nearly as important a stat as we've treated it, but that doesn't mean Clayton Kershaw wouldn't buy one if they were for sale. The Los Angeles Dodgers ace remained stuck on five on Saturday despite holding the Pittsburgh Pirates to one run over seven innings. The reason? The Dodgers bullpen — in this case new closer Kenley Jansen — blew its league worst 15th save.
That's not a good number at all, but there was some salvation this time around. After the Dodgers plated two runs in the 11th to take a 5-3 lead, recently replaced closer Brandon League nailed down his 14th save in the bottom half. That made a win of Peter Moylan, who now has 21 over his eight year career.
Cubs 5, Mets 2: Scott Feldman held New York to two hits over seven innings and contributed an RBI single in the win. Starlin Castro’s two-run double in the eighth locked it down.
Red Sox 5, Orioles 4: Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp each homered as Boston bounced back nicely after being shutout on Friday.
Blue Jays 6, Rangers 1: Toronto extends their winning streak to four while Texas drops its season worst fifth in a row.
Brewers 6, Reds 0: Yovani Gallardo (six shutout innings) and Juan Francisco (three RBIs) spoiled Dusty Baker's 64th birthday.
Cardinals 13, Marlins 7: Carlos Beltran homered twice as St. Louis overcame a career worst seven runs allowed by Lance Lynn in five innings. Lynn still won — his ninth — while Clayton Kershaw quietly weeps in Pittsburgh.
Nationals 7, Indians 6: Washington hits five home runs, including Anthony Rendon's go-ahead blast in the ninth inning.
Twins 6, Tigers 3: After missing three weeks with a left calf strain, Trevor Plouffe returned with three hits and three RBIs to pace Minnesota's offensive attack.
Angels 6, Yankees 2: It's the fifth straight loss for the Yankees, but the bigger story is that Mark Teixeira aggravated his wrist injury and is headed back to New York for an examination.
Mariners 4, A's 0: Henry Blanco's first grand slam since 2000 provided all of the offense.
Padres 6, Diamondbacks 4: Yasmani Grandal capped a five-run fourth inning with a three-run homer to help San Diego improve to 33-34. They're only four games back in a packed NL West.
''It's always nice to beat them. When someone tells you that you can't play for them and they don't think you're good enough there's a little chip on your shoulder when you play them.''
— Lucas Harrell after he led the Astros to a 4-3 victory over his former team, the Chicago White Sox. He's now 2-0 in two career starts against them.
Umpire Paul Schrieber and Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole are coming for YOU.
• David Ortiz has multiple triples this season for the first time since 2006.
• With their three consecutive wins over Texas this weekend, Toronto has evened the all-time series at 195-195.
• The Yankees are the first team to lose four straight games scoring exactly two runs in each game since the 2007 Mets.
Roy Oswalt's going to be the starting pitcher in Thursday's game against the Nationals - how should Colorado manage their roster space?
Jeff Francis struggled both out of the gate and late as former Rockie Esmil Rogers stifled Colorado's bats in an 8-3 loss to the Blue Jays.
Rockies look to even series in Toronto as Jeff Francis pitches in his home and native land for just the second time in his career and Esmil Rogers faces the Rockies for the first time in his career.
Troy Tulowitzki is everything the Rockies could ever want in a player, everything expect durable. If you take a look at his career though, there's good reason not to count him out yet.
Tulsa didn't even have to play to celebrate on Monday. A few of the other affiliates did play, but none were able to come out victorious.
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