Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Colorado Rockies starting to turn heads with April play

The Rockies continue to win baseball games.
Old habits die hard.

As bad as the Colorado Rockies have been in the last few years, it is easy to be skeptical.of this team. In each of the past three seasons, the Rockies have come out and played well in April only to fade into oblivion in August.

The scar tissue remains with many fans. They aren't going to buy in until this team proves that they can win in more than one month. The story line is all too familiar to those who have invested time and money into watching this Rockies club.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Could this be the Colorado Rockies team that wins on the road?

Nolan Arenado is becoming a star for the Colorado Rockies.
Most teams find the road a lonely place. The Colorado Rockies have traditionally taken that to a whole new level.

Perennially, the Rockies have been awful on the road. They have been so bad that people have actually done studies and formed theories on the effects of playing at high altitude, then returning to sea level on the body.

The calendar still says April, so there is plenty of reason to believe that it is a fluke, but after the Rockies impressive win on Monday night the team currently sits at 3-1 on their current six game road trip through Los Angeles and Arizona, two places that have given them so much trouble in the past that the goal is ultimately to avoid being swept in both places.

ScoreBig.com provides a great way for fans to find great seats

One of the most tedious thing a sports fan will do is comb through the pages of questionable websites, calling someone about tickets that they have that are either sold, or a different price then was originally posted online.

The fan is stuck. They want to go to that particular game, but they don't want to pay marked up prices that they are going to get on that questionable website, and they don't want to pay huge fees that don't make much sense with some of the ticketing websites that are out there.

However, there doesn't seem to be any options.

I was approached by ScoreBig.com and asked to use their service and if I liked it, write a review on it. They provided me with a voucher to purchase tickets and get the full experience for myself. Everything I am writing is my opinion of the site, there was no requirement to write something good about it. The benefit of using Score Big is that you don't have to pick your exact seats. Most of the time it doesn't matter where the seats are exactly, you just want to sit in a particular area. Without needing exact seats, you can tell Score Big just how good of seats you want. From there, the site doesn't give you a price, it gives you the option to bid on your tickets.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Jorge De La Rosa proves his critics wrong in dominant win at Dodger Stadium

Jorge De La Rosa was very good on Sunday.
Remember when everyone was down on Jorge De La Rosa? Remember when everyone suddenly forgot that he won 16 games just last year?

If people had forgotten just how good De La Rosa has been in his career with the Colorado Rockies, they were reminded on Sunday. The Dodgers simply couldn't figure De La Rosa out. In seven innings, De La Rosa gave up just four hits and two walks. He struck out three. He got 12 outs via the ground ball with only one out in the air.

The Rockies don't seem to be all that impressed with De La Rosa. Until this year, his jersey was never for sale in the dugout stores or in the stadium team store. Despite being fifth on the Rockies all-time wins leader, there was no discussion of an extension as the lefty headed into the final season of his contract.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday night shows where Colorado Rockies need to improve in order to contend

Juan Nicasio couldn't get it done on Saturday night.
They say that when things seem too good to be true, they usually are.

That seems to be the case with Juan Nicasio, who reverted back to being the pitcher that the Colorado Rockies have seen over the past two seasons. After several impressive outings, it seems that the scouting reports are back out on Nicasio.

Much like a year ago, Nicasio struggled to get through the 5th inning. On Saturday he couldn't get through the 5th, pitching just 4-1/3 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out four. In a very familiar scenario, Nicasio had an elevated pitch count early, being lifted after throwing 97 pitches.

Colorado Rockies build character with extra inning win over Dodgers

Jordan Lyles was phenomenal again for the Rockies.
The Chicago Cubs have their billy goat, the Boston Red Sox had their Curse of the Bambino, the Colorado Rockies have their West Coast Road Swing.

Most people don't understand baseball. They don't understand how an event can snowball and effect a team mentally.

The Colorado Rockies have been snake bit on road trips through the West Coast throughout their history. They struggle in general away from Coors Field, but their issues on the road against the division foes has been remarkable.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

GUEST POST: Reasons for optimism abound with Colorado Rockies

Can Weiss lead the Rockies to success?
BY: CAMERON PARSONS 

Rockies fans have every right to be skeptical of this hot April start. This is a year though where it won't just be a hot April start that falls off into underperforming the more the year goes on. The Rockies have the pieces to succeed and will continue to put together a successful 2014. 

The least surprising part of the Rockies team is the potent lineup. From top to bottom this is a team with strong offensive weapons. Charlie Blackmon has become the lead off hitter and is taking full advantage of his at-bats by leading the league in hits, batting average, and slugging percentage. Troy Tulowitzki is on fire in the early going and fulfilling his role as cleanup hitter. Justin Morneau has returned to his MVP form, driving in runs and hitting for a high average. Nolan Arenado is proving his offensive prowess by hitting close to .300 and hitting for power. This offense has gotten the Rockies some blowout wins and also keeps them in the game when a Rockies pitcher is struggling.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Time for next step in Colorado Rockies improvement

The Rockies need a better plate approach from Rosario and others.
The Colorado Rockies went 4-2 on their six-game homestand. They had a chance to sweep both series. For this club, that is a huge success.

The problem is, the Rockies still gave away two games.

What if the Rockies went into their six-game road trip after going 5-1 on the homestand, or even 6-0? A team that perennially struggles on the road absolutely has to dominate at home. For most teams, 4-2 is good enough. For a team that is terrible on the road, they can't afford to give away games at home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Morales of the story is that Franklin wants to be in the Colorado Rockies rotation permanently

Franklin Morales has been better than anyone expected for the Rockies.
There is a reason why Franklin Morales was one of the first pitchers taken in your fantasy baseball draft during spring training.

Oh wait. He wasn't? No one took him at all? Oh yeah. Everyone expected him to be in the bullpen with an ERA hovering around 5.50 for the Colorado Rockies.

On Tuesday night, as the Rockies ensured a winning series against the Giants and a winning homestand, behind an unbelievable performance from Morales, who pitched seven innings giving up just five hits and one run. The lone mistake came when Hunter Pence laced a no-doubt home run in the 5th inning.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Offense shows firepower as Jorge De La Rosa shows he still has it for Colorado Rockies

Jorge De La Rosa returned to form on Friday night.
0-for-6 with two walks and three strikeouts.

When Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki combine for those numbers, it usually doesn't result in a win for the Colorado Rockies. On Monday night at Coors Field, not only did the Rockies win without the help of their two sluggers, they won in blowout fashion.

The Rockies took some revenge on the Giants, who broke their hearts twice less than 10 days ago in San Francisco. A four-run 1st inning, followed by another run in the 2nd and two more in the 3rd inning, the Rockies rode to victory at the expense of San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sloppy baseball preventing Colorado Rockies from being a very good team

Jordan Pacheco had a rough day.
It's the little things.

The Colorado Rockies are a talented group. They have a lineup that has somewhere in the neighborhood of 23 or 24 other teams in baseball jealous. Their pitching might not be deep, but they have guys who are proving they can win.

Despite being in the top three in the National League in nearly every offensive category, the Rockies still sit at just .500 after blowing a really good opportunity to sweep a Phillies team that generally has the Rockies number. Instead, the Rockies get ready for a series with the Giants after settling for a series victory.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jordan Lyles continues turning heads with another dominant outing for the Colorado Rockies

Jordan Lyles has been impressive for the Rockies so far.
When the Colorado Rockies dealt Dexter Fowler to the Houston Astros, the majority of Rockies fans scrambled to Baseball-Reference.com to find out who Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes were.

Nothing on that website could have introduced fans to Lyles the way that he has so far in the 2014 campaign. After three strong starts to begin the season, Lyles was impressive again in his second outing at Coors Field as a Rockie. In route to picking up his third win of the season, Lyles pitched seven innings of near shutout baseball. The only run that crossed the plate came on a Boone Logan throwing error after Lyles had departed. He surrendered just five hits and walked one.

Colorado Rockies show their potential in huge win against Phillies

Troy Tulowitzki took a 14-pitch at-bat in the 1st inning.
This is the Colorado Rockies team that gives every fan hope. This is the team that has fans wonder what could happen if they stay healthy.

On Friday night, the Rockies did everything right. They pitched well and they hit well. And saying well is a huge understatement for both of those aspects of the game.

The Rockies offense made Phillies starter Jonathan Pettibone wish the Phillies charter plane had never landed in Denver. Troy Tulowitzki worked his first plate appearance into 14-pitches before Pettibone finally walked the Rockies slugger. That loaded the bases for Justin Morneau, who drilled a ground rule double that scored two runs. That kicked off the scoring, which became contagious for the Rockies.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Franklin Morales states his case for staying in the rotation for Colorado Rockies

Franklin Morales was great on Thursday.
It wasn't the typical gem, but it still qualifies as one.

With the eyes of the Denver sports world waiting for the Avalanche's incredible come from behind win, Franklin Morales was quietly stating his case for a permanent spot in the Colorado Rockies starting rotation.

For some reason, when Morales pitches, the sense of confidence and domination simply doesn't exist. Even when he has thrown six innings of four hit, one run baseball, Morales looks like he is one pitch away from throwing the game away.

Morales has great stuff, but is so erratic that it never seems like he is pounding the strike zone or throwing the ball right where he wants. However, on Thursday afternoon in San Diego, Morales was good enough to get the job done. His lone mistake came when he caught to much of the plate with Xavier Nady at bat. Nady drilled the ball to the facade of the second deck of the stands. However, that was all the Padres would get off of Morales.

Inability to hit in clutch situations leaves Colorado Rockies in a familiar situation on the road

Jordan Pacheco had a rough night on Wednesday.
The Colorado Rockies can't win on the road. Also, water is wet.

The Rockies lost a 4-2 decision in San Diego on Wednesday night, dropping their record on their current seven-game road trip to 2-4. They have to salvage an early evening game on Thursday in order to come home without a predictably bad West Coast road trip.

On Wednesday night, the goat was Jordan Pacheco. The Rockies backup catcher was in the spotlight twice for the wrong things. With the game tied at one, Pacheco simply whiffed on a ball in the dirt from starter Jorge De La Rosa. With runners at first and third, De La Rosa threw a ball in the dirt with Chris Denorfia at that plate. Pacheco missed it, allowing a run to score and another runner to move into scoring position. Denorfia then smashed a double down the right field line, scoring the Padres third run.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Juan Nicasio shows that he has taken huge steps forward for the Colorado Rockies

Juan Nicasio showed his huge steps on Tuesday night.
One pitch Juan.

That is what would have been an appropriate nickname for Colorado Rockies starter Juan Nicasio in 2013. The right-hander threw his four seemed fastball literally 95 percent of the time. After being rushed to the big leagues, it was the only pitch that was good enough to use at the big league level.

On Tuesday night, with the Rockies in need of a win with a road trip hanging in the balance, Nicasio made it look like it would be a rough night early on. He gave up two runs in the 1st inning. He had two on and a run in before he had recorded a single out.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Another heartbreaking loss for the Colorado Rockies in first game of set at Petco Park

Jordan Lyles struggled the second time through.
A fan of the Colorado Rockies without chunks of hair missing might not be a real fan.

Year-in and year-out, the Rockies head west on their charter plane only to watch their record and spot in the standings plummet. It is inexpiable. On Monday night in San Diego, one of the few visiting parks where the Rockies play well, Colorado blew a four run lead, losing 5-4.

The final dagger came on an embarrassing wild pitch from Rex Brothers, which scored a run, then allowed another run to come in Wilin Rosario threw the ball past him on the play at the plate. The circus music was faintly playing early in the inning, as Brothers continued missing the strike zone and walked the bases loaded. When the wild pitch came, the speakers went to full blast.

Monday, April 14, 2014

GUEST POST: Can the Colorado Rockies stay healthy enough to compete in the NL West?

Can Troy Tulowitzki stay healthy for the Rockies?
By: Cameron Parsons

With two straight last place finishes in the NL West, the Rockies are the team to be overlooked as many will do. An easy team to shrug off, the Colorado Rockies are going to surprise some people this year as well as make a push for a wild card spot. 

The potent Rockies lineup along with a rotation that can compete daily, will equal success. Keeping healthy will be a major key this year for the Rockies along with a bullpen that doesn't give up late leads. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Colorado Rockies lose series in San Francisco, but show improvement

Tyler Chatwood had impressive moments in his debut.
The beatings will continue until moral improves.

That has been the mantra for the San Francisco Giants delivering blows to the lowly Colorado Rockies when they come to visit AT&T Park in the city by the bay. The Rockies have been awful there over the years. The Giants have taken advantage of what seems to be free wins.

A three game series in San Francisco ended on Sunday. The Rockies lost two of the three, but there was a difference in this series. This Rockies team fought hard. They played well, for the most part, and actually had a chance.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Colorado Rockies bullpen shows it can do the job in 1-0 win in San Francisco

Tommy Kahnle worked out of a jam that helped the Rockies win.
The misery that accompanies the Colorado Rockies in San Francisco took a day off.

The Rockies are on a mission to prove that they are an improved team. They have filled many of the holes that caused them to finish dead last in the National League West over the past two seasons. However, one area that has been the biggest question mark is the bullpen.

The game on Saturday set up with the same script that usually comes along with the Rockies when they play by the bay. The scenario was a familiar one, but the usual result didn't happen. The Rockies held on to a 1-0 lead in which the bullpen was forced to pitch six innings after starter Brett Anderson left the game with a finger injury caused in his ground out the previous inning.

Bad fundamental baseball, Tulowitzki nagging injuries continue plaguing Colorado Rockies

Winning in San Francisco has been a difficult task for the Rockies.
Some may leave their hearts in San Francisco. The Colorado Rockies seem to have their hearts ripped out there.

Year-in and year-out, the Rockies follow the same script at AT&T Park. Sure, the scenarios don't line up exactly, and the players aren't always the same, but the games are so predictable it is uncanny.

It usually goes like this: Rockies take a small early lead. The Giants then crawl back into the game and either tie it up or come within a run. They then add a huge inning that has some sort of oddity, with the hero being an unlikely source. The Rockies may make another run, but they fall short when they run themselves out of the inning.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What we know about the 2014 Colorado Rockies through 10 games

Can Troy Tulowitzki stay healthy for the Rockies?
There is a phrase that baseball fans hear over and over in April. Small Sample Size.

The idea is that fans shouldn't overreact to good or bad statistics from a player or a team because a six month season has a way of evening things out. Often times, the sports radio host who only talks about the Broncos will bust out the stat about someone hitting .450, or about a former player who is tearing it up somewhere else and use it to credit their points. Rarely do they come back to it down the road when things have balanced themselves.

Ten games into the 2014 season, there are plenty of stats that can be chalked up, both good and bad, to small sample sizes for the Rockies. For instance, Charlie Blackmon is currently hitting .471 with an OPS of 1.178. Blackmon has shown promise that he can be an everyday outfielder. However, no one should expect numbers anywhere near the output through the first 10 games.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Colorado Rockies role players will determine overall team success

Much of the Rockies success will depend on the contributions of role players.
There is no way around it. As Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez go, so go the Colorado Rockies.

Rockies fans know that this is the case. Unfortunately for them, they have had to experience what happens when one or both of those two guys are injured. It has been a common theme for the two Rockies studs in the past few seasons.

The perennial All-Stars are the fuel that drives the Rockies. They have the ability to change a game with one swing of the bat. They impact the entire lineup because an opposing pitcher must think about them regardless of where they are in the game.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tale of the Colorado Rockies season might be already told through nine games

Wilton Lopez was brutal on Tuesday.
The question has already been asked, who are the 2014 Colorado Rockies?

Is this team the one that showed up on Friday for the home opener and played a complete, fundamental game, which included good starting pitching and great hitting? On the other side, is this team the one the looked terrible on Opening Day in Miami last Monday or like they did on Tuesday night at Coors Field?

The answer is simple. The 2014 Colorado Rockies are both of those teams.

The reality is, when the Rockies face a sub-par pitcher at home, they are likely to crush the ball and score runs in multiple innings. When their starting pitcher can get into the 7th inning and give up three or less runs, the Rockies offense should be able to get the job done.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Jordan Lyles states his case for the Colorado Rockies

Jordan Lyles is setting the Rockies up for some difficult decisions.
Jordan Lyles was slated for Colorado Springs on the final day of spring training. He had a good spring training, but couldn't crack the Colorado Rockies roster.

Everything changed when Tyler Chatwood's competitive flare got the best of him.

Chatwood hit a double in the gap in his final spring training start. With the ball still in the outfield, Chatwood decided to push himself and push for a triple. The result was a strained hamstring that landed him on the disabled list and gave Lyles a shot in purple.

After his first two starts, the right-hander is setting up a very difficult decision for the Rockies when Chatwood returns to health. On Monday night Lyles went 6-2/3 innings, giving up just one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out four. Most important at Coors Field, he recorded 10 outs via the ground ball.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Colorado Rockies can't finish off sweep, but still have some positives from first home series

Brett Anderson was done in by a 3rd inning error.
A sweep would have been nice.

However, the Colorado Rockies head into a three game set with the Chicago White Sox with their pride intact. The Rockies lost to the Diamondbacks on Sunday 5-3 at Coors Field. Despite the loss, the Rockies kicked off the start of baseball at Coors Field with a bang.

Newly acquired Brett Anderson pitched decently for the second straight time. There was nothing that awed anyone, but also nothing that showed his ability to be a top of the rotation starter. He gave up three earned runs over six innings for the second time in as many starts.

Anderson wasn't great, but what did show was his ability to limit damage. He seems to have an idea of what opposing batters are looking for at the plate and can limit the damage in innings. At Coors Field, three runs in six innings should be enough to give the offense a chance to win.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Colorado Rockies win in impressive comeback fashion behind Arenado's two homers

Nolan Arenado crushed two home runs on Saturday.
Winning is fun, isn't it?

The Colorado Rockies won a game that would have shown up in the loss column in 2013. With their ace, Jorge De La Rosa on the mound, the Rockies struggled to a 4-0 deficit in the early going. De La Rosa had really good stuff, even hitting 96 MPH on his fastball, however, the Diamondbacks had found a way to foul off the good stuff and wait for the stuff they could drive.

The Rockies didn't quit when they got down. The scoring started for the Rockies when reigning National League batting champion Michael Cuddyer drove a first-pitch sinker into the Rockies bullpen to cut the lead in half.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Colorado Rockies paint the town Black(mon) in home opener

Charlie Blackmon had a career day on Friday in the Rockies home opener.
Apparently there was a battle for the center field position for the Colorado Rockies in spring training. Charlie Blackmon made that notion sound like a joke on Monday in front of a packed house at Coors Field.

The 27-year-old produced an Opening Day performance for the ages. On Friday he went 6-for-6 with a home run and three doubles. He was sitting a triple shy of the cycle by his 6th inning at-bat, when Mark Trumbo misplayed a ball in left field and nearly allowed him to complete the feat.

The Rockies cruised to a 12-2 win, a great showing after a miserable first series of the season in Miami. Everything that went wrong against the Marlins seemed to go right on Friday. Timely, fundamental hitting, on top of the ability to deliver the right pitch in the right spot when it mattered.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Colorado Rockies limp home for opener at Coors Field

The Rockies come home to a skeptical fan base.
This isn't how the Colorado Rockies wanted to start the season.

On Thursday afternoon in Miami, the Rockies blew a three-run lead and lost to the hometown Marlins in front of about 35 screaming fans.

The Rockies bullpen--specifically Matt Belisle--the Rockies righty faced eight batters in the 8th inning, allowing four singles and a walk. That damage resulted in three Marlins runs being scored, which secured the series victory for the hometown team and put the Rockies in an awkward spot as they come home to nearly 50,000 fans who will pack out Coors Field with skepticism on their minds.

The Rockies owners, Dick and Charlie Monfort, have long been criticized for caring less about wins and losses and more about the revenue that comes from fans packing the seats at 20th & Blake. This is an easy conclusion to arrive at, however it isn't accurate. The reality is, the Monforts want to win, they simply have no idea how to do that. Listen to Dick Monfort address the media. His lack of baseball knowledge is so pronounced that even the common baseball fan outpaces his knowledge.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

First win of the season is a nail biter for the Colorado Rockies

Jordan Lyles had a pretty good start in his Rockies debut.
When the Colorado Rockies signed LaTroy Hawkins and immediately dubbed him as the closer, many fans were scratching their heads.

Rex Brothers was coming off of a near-All-Star appearance and performed very well in the closer's role for the final six weeks of the season. He seemed to be the closer-in-waiting anyway when Rafael Betancourt was closing out games for the Rox. Instead, Hawkins was given the job.

On Wednesday night, Hawkins nearly let the first W of the season slip through his fingers. With the game-winning run at the plate in the form of slugger Giancarlo Stanton, Hawkins was in trouble. He missed with the first three pitches and Rockies fans were squirming. After a long foul ball, Stanton hit a single, which prolonged the suffering.

Garrett Jones popped up to third base to end the threat and the Rockies had their first win of the season.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Colorado Rockies continue the theme of 2013 in second loss of 2014 campaign

It's only the second game of the season.

It is really easy to draw swift conclusions from the first two games of the 2014 season for the Colorado Rockies. April is the time of year when baseball fans tend to hand out MVP's, Cy Young's and Rookie of the Year trophies to guys who may spend more time in the minor leagues than the big leagues. That's the nature of baseball.

On Tuesday, however, the Rockies offense continued a trend that was commonplace in 2013. Their offense is as potent as it gets. On paper, the Rockies offense looks to be one of the best in all of baseball.

However, talent requires the right timing. In the 8th inning, with the Rockies down two runs, Michael Cuddyer and Carlos Gonzalez started the inning with back-to-back doubles. With one run in, the tying run at second base, no one out and Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Morneau coming to the plate, the Rockies were in business.