Rockies Magic Number

Thursday, July 06, 2006

5 series in a row!

Date: 7/6/2006
Position: T-1st NL West
Games Back: -
Magic Number: 77

Apologies for the lack of updates, a trip to Houston combined with shipping my computer in for warranty work resulted in not being able to write about our team.

To start, Seattle.

The Rockies came into Seattle after 3 series wins against the A's, Rangers, and Angels. Looking to finish off Interleague play in good form, Josh Fogg led off the series with a 1 hour, 52 minute complete game shutout, the shortest in Rockies' history. The Mariners struck back, rallying from a 7-2 deficit to take game 2 8-7. Late-inning bats arrived in game 3 to steal the 3rd game, and the series, from the Mariners.

After coming back off of their AL West road trip, the Rockies stayed in good form, taking the first series of the 6-game homestand from the San Francisco Giants.

Game 1, Aaron Cook allowed 4 runs in 6.1 innings, and the Rockies carried a 5-4 lead into the 8th, where Ramon Ramirez and Ray King gave up the lead and allowed a total of 3 runs. David Cortes then topped it off by giving up a 2-run homer to complete the 6-9 loss.

Game 2, the Rockies rebounded, and despite a 2-hour rain delay, pitched 8 innings of shutout ball before a solo shot from Lance Niekro in the 9th to finish the game 6-1. Francis allowed 1 hit over 5 innings, Tom Martin 1 hit over 2, Mesa 1 hit in the 8th (along with 2 walks), and Ramirez 1 hit...a home run over the left field wall. Ramirez has allowed 8 ER in his last 9IP, raising his season ERA to 2.75, and proving that the Rookie is, in fact, mortal.

Game 3, Josh Fogg came back out in excellent form, allowing 2 runs and 7 hits over 7 innings pitched. The Rockies had a 4-run 2nd inning, and Josh Fogg had his first hit of the year in the bottom of the 6th to add another run. King pitched a scoreless, hitless 8th (I'm as surprised as you!) and Fuentes gave up a solo home run to catcher Eliezer Alfonzo (his second of the game) on route to his 16th save of the year.

In other news, Luis González has been recalled and Ryan Spillborghs send down. Why? My only guess is to keep Spillborghs playing. Spillborghs has the potential of starting in CF or RF, whereas González has more the look of a Utility infielder.

The entire pitching staff has been commendable, if not very good these past 2 series. The starters have, for the most part, given the bats enough breathing room to take games away, and the bullpen, while not as lights-out as they were earlier in the season, is staying solid: where one pitcher falters, another steps up to pick up the slack. Example, Ray King, beside being a constant reason to criticize the bullpen, has struggled as of late, what with his inability to strand inherited baserunners and all, whereas Tom Martin has stepped up his performance and become a solid reliever once again.

Taking another series at home is good for the momentum, as the Arizona Diamondbacks are coming in hopes to reclaim their 1st place spot in the division. Friday evening, Byung-Hyun Kim (5-4, 4.83) will lead off the series against Miguel Batista (8-5, 4.94). Kim has a career ERA of 7.88 against the Diamondbacks, but is posting a 3.26 ERA at home over 6 starts. Batista is posing a career ERA of 5.56 against the Rox, with a 3.99 ERA on the road this year; however, he has also allowed 6 or more runs in 3 of his last 5 starts. If the Rockies can take advantage of Batista's recent struggles, they have a good chance of starting this series off well.

So until then, Rockies fans, enjoy the game, Good Luck, and GO ROCKIES!!!


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