Recap: Rockies 5, Nationals 4

August 19, 2009 | 8:34 pm | 19  

Turning point: With two out and runners on first and third in the seventh, Franklin Morales threw a 3-2, 96 mph fastball on the outside corner past Adam Dunn for a called third strike, ending an eight-pitch at-bat and preserving the Rockies 4-3 lead. Morales entered the game after Jason Marquis gave up an infield single to start the inning and right-handed hitting Ryan Zimmerman was intentionally walked so Morales could pitch to the left-handed hitting Dunn, the Nationals cleanup hitter.

At the plate: Troy Tulowitzki doubled home two runs in the first, but after a walk to Brad Hawpe, the Rockies had the bases loaded with no out and couldn’t score another run in the inning. They scored a run in the second on Dexter Fowler‘s one-out triple and had the bases with two out before Ian Stewart grounded out. …Clint Barmes went 2-for-4 and hit his 20th homer in the fifth to give the Rockies a 4-1 lead. …The Rockies, who stranded 12 runners, loaded the bases with two out in the sixth, but Hawpe struck out. …Carlos Gonzalez led off the eighth with a homer, his fourth in four games, to give the Rockies a 5-3 lead. …Zimmerman went 2-for-3 with a triple and a double, both of which drove in runs. …Nyjer Morgan went 2-for-4 and scored twice. …Cherry Creek High grad Josh Bard homered on Huston Street‘s first pitch of the ninth.

On the mound: Marquis won his 14th game, tying Adam Wainwright for the NL lead and leaving him one win shy of his career high 15 wins in 2004. Marquis gave up nine hits and three runs in six innings. …Morales and Rafael Betancourt each worked one scoreless inning. ….Street picked up his league-leading 31st save and converted his 23rd straight save opportunity. …Nationals starter Colin Balester allowed three hits, five walks and three runs in 1 1/3 innings and left after throwing 51 pitches, just 24 for strikes. …Saul Rivera restored order for the Nationals, working 3 2/3 innings and giving up one run on Barmes’ homer.

Numbers game: 14 groundball outs for Marquis, who is 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA in six starts in the second half and 14-8 with a 3.58 ERA overall this season.

19 Comments »

  • Karl | August 19, 2009 | 8:41 pm

    One of those wins that comes back to really help the team in the end of the season I think.

    Is Cargo locked in or what? Nice to see two thirds of the Holliday trade being big contributors right now.

    Not sure what is going on with the night’s lack of clutch hits, but this was a team win and was made up of ‘enough’ hits to win. Really thought Iannetta was going to be better this season and have the offense turned around by now. Not sure why he, Atkins and Stewart are having so much inconsistency at the plate this year, but that’s baseball.

  • Townie | August 19, 2009 | 9:19 pm

    If last night wasn’t pretty, this was even less pretty. Still a nice one to have.

    That 21st out once again was the turning point. That was a huge pitch by Morales and again CarGo leads off the 8th inning with a HR, instantly changing the complexion of the game.

    Of course the Rockies should have had 10-12 runs tonight, but eh, as long they’re saving the BIG hits for the next 6 weeks it’s OK. Chris Iannetta, however, had 5 really terrible ABs tonight. I mean terrible. But his defense made up for it. Still, he might need one of those mental breaks again soon.

  • Matthew | August 19, 2009 | 10:28 pm

    The Rockies won, and a win is a win. Everything that happened tonight is in the past, time to move forward.

  • reader f/k/a Mike | August 19, 2009 | 10:40 pm

    Iannetta’s really had a tough season. He looked like he was getting going again after returning in June from his hamstring injury, but he couldn’t keep it going. He’s had some really tough stretches where even the walks dropped.

    His minor league numbers suggest he’s a much better hitter than this (not quite 2008, but not this, or 2007). But who knows when he’ll get it going again. Feels like we’ve been waiting a while (and I don’t tend to worry much about slumps, figuring they happen).

  • JT | August 19, 2009 | 11:47 pm

    3.5 back of Dodgers.

  • Dustin | August 20, 2009 | 12:11 am

    Huston finally showing that he is human. I’m not too concerned about him though, he’s electric when he needs to be.

    And how about Betancourt? They guy has been a HUGE pickup and is impacting this team big time.

    CarGo is just unbelievable right now.

  • Karl | August 20, 2009 | 6:30 am

    Good point about Betancourt, he has been very key to the bullpen closing the door. I wonder if its going to be more of a patch work committee to get through today? I think Tracy is going to (if he isn’t already) going to have a short leash on starters that struggle and hand over to the bullpen. Similar to Cook’s struggles the other night when Fogg came in. Nice to know that he has a bullpen he can rely on, for many years that hasn’t been the case all the time like this team’s.

  • Robb | August 20, 2009 | 8:33 am

    I would echo the concerns about Ianetta. I really thought he would be an All-Star this year. It’s not just his low average that is a concern, but his lack of situational hitting that is a problem. Adam Dunn has a low BA, but he still is a scary hitter. Street worries me despite 23 in a row. I know that doesn’t make sense, but if the Rockies didn’t have a two-run lead the past two nights it would have been blown saves in both cases. Things happen though and he’ll be okay. I think we see Atkins play more in the games against the Giants & Dodgers due to his experience. We drew a break by not having to face Cain and Lincecum is matched up against Jiminez, which should be a very low scoring game.

  • TJ in Phoenix | August 20, 2009 | 10:00 am

    Lots of different feelings on this game.
    1) A win’s a win, right?
    2) If we get 11 walks and don’t capitalize more than we did against other teams chasing the pennant, we’d lose that game.

    Oh well, I’m going with “a win’s a win.”

    Go Rockies….3.5 back. wow. Go get ‘em boys!

  • ian olson | August 20, 2009 | 10:14 am

    Is Ianetta hitting .221 going to keep the Rockies out of the playoffs? Is he a good receiver and game caller?

    I think most people would say No and Yes.

    What is the most important part of a catchers game? Defense. He is more than adquate in that dept.

    Why does every player have to hit .300 with 30 homers and 100 rbis?

    The Rockies aren’t an all star team.

    Ianetta is just fine. He’s going to come close or beat his run, hr and rbi total from last year. I guess you guys are worried that he won’t hit 3 triples or have 6 extra hits at the end of the season to raise his average 5 points.

  • Elliotlc | August 20, 2009 | 11:06 am

    John kruk last night on baseball tonight said that his team for the wild card has to be the braves because of their pitching. But if you look at the standings the Rockies, giants, and marlins can out pitch the braves and they are all ahead of the braves. But I don’t mind he didn’t mention the Rockies because they will win the division for the first time and the dodgers won’t even make the playoffs. Hopefully

  • John Kruk | August 20, 2009 | 11:40 am

    Don’t listen to me. I’m an idiot.

  • Robb | August 20, 2009 | 11:56 am

    Ian,

    I don’t know that people are worried about Ianetta as you wrote, but more just surprised. Like I said, I really thought he would be an All-Star this year and think he is good enough to do that. He is still a #1 catcher and would rather see him than Yorvit on a regular basis, but the fact is he is not hitting that well and hasn’t for most of the year. He certainly has monster power, but just doesn’t seem to be coming up with big hits at the right time. Those things happen, so hopefully he will run into a streak of good luck the last few weeks of the season.

  • Derrek | August 20, 2009 | 12:36 pm

    My ideal scenario would be the Rox win the division and the Braves win the wild card. I don’t like the Rox rivals(LA and SF) and can’t stand to see 24 people in the stands at FLA on a nightly basis. Rox need to finish off the sweep and get home. I will be at Saturday’s game, so I want a victory!!!

  • William | August 20, 2009 | 1:49 pm

    What is it that Adam Dunn said to Franklin Morales after Morales struck him out on that wicked fastball? I think it was bad and with a lot of hard consonants.

    I agree with the above regarding Ianetta. Not only is he not hitting for average and in situations but you can tell that he has lost his confidence at the plate based on his posture and expression. I think Tracey has to consider bringing in Yorvit for more games and giving Chris a rest.

  • Townie | August 20, 2009 | 1:50 pm

    I don’t need every player to hit 30 HRs and drive in 100 runs. But when there’s a runner on second, no outs, and you swing at the first pitch grounding out to third, it limits your scoring opportunities.

    And that’s two nights in a row where Chris lost the grip of his bat on an awkward looking swing. He’s just not comfortable hitting right now. If it were a 2-4 week issue, I wouldn’t be as worried. But he hasn’t been comfortable all season for more than a series. I know the team is winning, but I don’t think it’s ridiculous to point things like that out.

    The big plus is he’s not taking the frustration into the field with him and his catching has been top notch. If he were Henry Blanco, I’d be ecstatic with his play, but Iannetta has all-star potential.

  • Marc | August 20, 2009 | 1:56 pm

    Tracy has dealt with struggling players very well this season (i.e very recently giving Barmes a day or two off to sit and work in the cages).
    I’m pretty sure he (and DB)have a good feel for what to do with Chris.
    We have a real luxury with having both he and Yorvi to help out in exactly these type of situations.

    Completely unrelated …how great has the season turned out to be. Kudos to all involved.

  • Townie | August 20, 2009 | 2:04 pm

    Marc, you’re right.

    That we’re even this concerned about slumps and day-to-day decisions in late August is a testament to the club. I echo your kudos to all involved.

  • Karl | August 20, 2009 | 3:01 pm

    Well put, it is nice to be ‘complaining’ about a couple of slumps and not the team as a whole. This is quality team baseball and as said earlier, not a collection of all stars perhaps but a good major league team that represents the community well, e.g. they stay out of trouble.

    I wonder when Tracy will be locked up and named the official manager for the next couple years, perhaps not until O’Dowd locks himself up for a couple of years? I was and still am a Hurdle fan, but this move was well done and both should be in line for their respective awards this year.