The Colorado Rockies took down the San Francisco Giants 4-1 yesterday at AT&T Park, giving them the series win regardless of what happens in tonight's game. In what parallel universe are we in which the Rockies take both away series, including one in San Francisco, but lose their home series?
"Hello, My Name Is Nolan Arenado, Baseball's Best Defender." At every party and event from now on, that's what he should write on those little stickers you put on your shirt. If you missed this catch, then you must've not been on the internet in a while, because it is absolutely buzzing with hype. Gregor Blanco popped up a Rafael Betancourt 0-1 pitch into foul territory. Arenado made a crazy catch, bouncing off the tarp and partway into the stands before turning on his knees and nearly doubling up Angel Pagan, who had tagged on the play to take third. It was mind-boggling really.
I don't know if I've ever seen a better play than that. — Walt Weiss
That's was the greatest play I'd ever seen from a teammate — Rafael Betancourt
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>In other news not needing any more confirmation Nolan Arenado is ridiculous at 3rd base.</p>— Brett Anderson (@BrettAnderson35) <a href="https://twitter.com/BrettAnderson35/status/588228958279356416">April 15, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The dude is a defensive stalwart. If you hit a ball within the general region of third, you're out, apparently. What a catch by an unbelievable player. Is it too early to give him his third Gold Glove?
The Rockies take on the Giants tonight for the final game of the series. Tyler Matzek vs. Tim Lincecum in what'll be an exciting matchup. Lincecum's first start was a good one, blanking the San Diego Padres in seven innings, giving up just four hits while whiffing five. Matzek will be looking for a longer outing, after tossing just four innings in a gusty performance against the Cubs. He gave up just a run and struck out four, but three walks, four hits, and 84 pitches made for a quick day.
Filling in for LaTroy Hawkins on a temporary/permanent? basis, Ottavino picked up the save on the back of a beautiful ninth inning performance in which he struck out the side. In just 5.1 innings pitched this year, he's whiffed ten while walking just one batter and allowing a single hit. Last year, he was an absolute nightmare for righties, who hit just .218 against him. Lefties, however, hit to the tune of .333. That's a massive swing, but Ottavino says that he's worked all spring to bring back his cutter, allowing him to be more effective against lefties.
Recap of the game from our friends at Rox Pile. Christian Bergman got the start last night, filling in while Jorge De La Rosa gets back up to speed. He pitched four innings, allowing zero runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out four. Moving forward, Bergman should be a solid long relief option. Filling in for John Axford who is spending some much-needed time with his family, Scott Oberg picked up the win in his MLB debut. After allowing an infield single, Oberg whiffed Panik and got Pagan and Belt to ground out. Lot to be excited about regarding the 25-year old's future. Finally, after being removed from the closer role LaTroy Hawkins demonstrated why he is such a professional, tossing a scoreless six-pitch inning. He's a guy who'll say all the right stuff, keep his head down, and get to work. That's why you gotta love the guy.
68 years ago today, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers. We may dislike the Dodgers today for a number of reasons, but one thing is undeniable — they helped a courageous Jackie Robinson make it to the big leagues in the face of racism and controversy. Then manager Leo Durocher told the divided clubhouse, "I do not care if the guys is yellow or black, or if he has strikes like a [fun]ing zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays." Teammate and all-time great Pee Wee Reese was also a famous supporter and friend of Jackie's, once saying "You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one of them."
Today, the annual Civil Rights game coincides with Jackie Robinson Day, celebrating the bravery of a man who wouldn't let hatred and bigotry get in the way of his love for the game. Sports are a beautiful thing, in that way. The love of the game, the pure emotional thrill of seeing a player hit a ball deep, burst through the line for a 20-yard gain, or nail a game-winning three are universal. It doesn't matter what your ethnicity or religion is, what your socioeconomic background may be, or what language you speak. As sports fans, we're bound by our love for the game. This article is your must-read of the day.
Cleveland Indians' pitcher Carlos Carrasco took a line drive to the face last night, laying motionless on the ground in a very scary incident. Thankfully, he was able to return to the ballpark after a visit to the hospital and looks like he got relatively lucky. Let's hope we don't see this any more this season. Injuries suck, no matter who gets them or for what team they play for.
In further injury-related news, David Wright injured his right hamstring when stealing second in eighth inning last night. Tough luck for a guy looking to bounce back from a down year and for a young team hoping to make a run. Tough luck too for the Wacha Flocka Flames, my fantasy team.