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Wild 09/16/2009

Posted by sportretort in mlb, Sports.
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It’s not time to panic…. yet!

The Colorado Rockies entered their final 3 game series in San Francisco  4 1/2 games ahead of the Giants in the NL Wild Card race with 18 games

Rockies Troy tulowitzki flips his bat away in frustration after a strike out, reflecting the Rockies recent offensive woes

Rockies Troy tulowitzki flips his bat away in frustration after a strike out, reflecting the Rockies recent offensive woes

 left to play.  In their last trip to San Fran two weeks ago, the Giants swept the 3 game series.  It would be to Colorado’s benefit to avoid that same fate this time.  So here we are heading into the third and final game of the series with the Rockies trying to avoid the sweep.  Their lead is down to 2 1/2 games.  The 2 game swing in tonights game could make a world of difference.  Obviously, the Rockies will leave the City by the Bay in the lead regardless of the outcome of the game this evening.  Last time, San Fran sent the Rockies packing tied in the Wild Card.  But the Rockies, primarily due to a 9-1 home stand, opened up a good sized lead during the intervening 2 weeks.  But a 3 1/2 game lead, which the Rockies would have with a win tonight , would feel much better than a 1 1/2 game lead. 

The Rockies road trip continues with a 3 game set at Arizona after tonight.  The Giants head up

The Rockies normaly solid defense has been a step slow in this series, demonstrated in Bengie Molina's slide into the plate beating the tag to score another Giants run

The Rockies normaly solid defense has been a step slow in this series, demonstrated in Bengie Molina's slide into the plate beating the tag to score another Giants run

the coast to Division leading LA for a 3 game set after the game.  The Rockies then head back to Coors Field in Denver for their final 9 home games of the season.  It would be helpful if the Rockies take care of business over the next 13 games, because they close the season with 3 games at LA.  Including tonights game, the Giants have 9 of their final 17 games on the road.  They also close the season with their final 3 games away from home, visiting San Diego.  This is significant because the Giants have the best home record in the NL with a 48-25 mark.  They are 10 games below .500 on the road.  That is why tonights game is so important.  With a win, the Rockies will give themselves some breathing room.  Win tonight, and then go 8-7 for the remainder of the season, and the Rockies will force the Giants into needing to finish 12- 4 to end the season.  Not much margin for error there.  Drop tonights game, and finish 8-7, then San Fran needs just a 10-6 mark to force game 163.  A game that would be played by the Bay.

The good news is that Colorado entered the series needing 1 win to put the pressure squarely on the Giants.  They still have a chance to make that happen.  If they don’t, they will still be in the drivers seat, but the margin for error will be razor thin.  Tonights starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa must shut down the Giants who suddenly are feasting on Rockies pitching.  And the bats must come alive against Matt Cain, who is 2-1 in 4 starts against the Rockies this season, allowing 10 earned runs in 25 innings pitched. Colorado has amassed 19 hits (including 5 home runs) and 15 walks against 23 strike outs against Cain this season. For his part, De La Rosa is 2-0, allowing 8 earned runs on 15 hits (2 HR) in 13 1/3 innings.  He has 12 strike outs and issued just 1 walk in his 2 starts against SF.

The Rockies have answered the bell all season long.  In the last 2 games, they have been sluggish in the field, anemic at the plate and allowed the Giants to score at will.  When the bell sounds tonight, look for the return of the Rockies of the last 3 months.  The Wild Card race ends tonight.

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TU-LO! 08/11/2009

Posted by sportretort in mlb, Sports, Uncategorized.
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Colorado Rockies short stop Troy Tulowitzki hit for the cycle against the Chicago Cubs Monday night.  He became the fifth Rockie to

Troy Tulowitzki connects for his 21st home run during the first inning

Troy Tulowitzki connects for his 21st home run during the first inning

 accomplish the feat for the franchise since its inception in 1993.  Tulo went 5-5 for the game and collected a career high 7 rbi.  The 11-5 victory for the Rockies was their third win in the 4 game series.  The victory moved the Rockies 1 game ahead of the San Francisco Giants and into sole possession of first place in the National League Wild Card race.  They remain in 2nd place in the NL West, 5 1/2 games behind the LA Dodgers.  The loss drops the Cubs to 3 games behind the St Louis Cardinals, winners over Cincinnati 4-1, In the NL Central.  The Cubs also trail the Rockies by 3 games in the Wild Card race. 

Tulo’s  night began with a 2 run home run in the bottom of the

Tulo's 7th inning triple completes the cycle

Tulo's 7th inning triple completes the cycle

first to give the Rockies a 2-0 lead.  Tulo’s bid for the cycle almost ended in the second inning.  Coming to bat with the bases loaded, he took a big swing at the first pitch and drove it deep into the Colorado twilight.  The drive landed on the left field concourse after flying high above the left field foul pole.  Tulo and the Rockies thought he had just hit a grand slam, but the drive was ruled to be foul.  Rockies manager Jim Tracy came out of the dug out to argue, and called for the first replay in Coors Field history.  The call was upheld, and Tulo lost his slam, but promptly singled to left , driving in 2 runs.  In the forth, Tulo doubled to center, driving in Todd Helton for his fifth rbi of the game.  He came to bat in the seventh only a triple short of the cycle.  He stroked a 3-2 pitch down the left field line.  On most nights that hit would have been a double, but Tulo pressed on and dove head first into third base before Cub 3rd baseman Jake Fox could catch a poor throw and apply the tag.  The cycle was his.  Tulo added a 2 rbi single to center in the eighth inning.  Tulowitzki became only the second player ever in the modern era (post 1903) to hit for a cycle and perform an unassisted triple play, two rare baseball events.  John Valentin got the triple play on 7/8/1994 and the cycle on 6/6/1996, both while with the Red Sox.  Tulo got his triple play on 4/29/2007.

Rockies notes:  Tulo’s home run was his 21st of the season while Clint Barmes hit his 16th in the second inning.  Todd Helton singled twice during the game to extend his hitting streak to 15 games.  Pitcher Jorge De La Rosa improved his record to 10-8.