A two-out grand slam gave the Dodgers a 9-8 victory in last night's game. I was convinced that Charlie Blackmon caught that for a moment or two and it was absolute daggers when the look on his face told me he hadn't. He must've missed it by an inch. If you want to read Saunders' take on the game, here's a link to the Post's recap.
Despite all the difficulties he has been dealing with regarding the ongoing healing process of his son Jameson, John Axford has become the rock of the Colorado Rockies' bullpen. After being bitten by a rattlesnake twice in the foot, his son still can't walk and the healing process is taking longer than expected, which has got to be tough for a father to see. The fact that John Axford plays for a major league baseball team and is constantly on the road doesn't help either; "The road trips, a week, 10 days at a time, and even then being home, and having to leave in the afternoon to go to the ballpark can be tough, but in the end is about dealing with adversity and accomplishing the goal of securing things for the family."
Axford has pitched 15 innings in 16 appearances thus far and is a perfect 10/10 in save opportunities. He's stranding runners at a career-high rate and has a career-best GB% of 54.5%. He's allowed just 10 hits from the 61 batters he has faced, walked six while striking out 11, and has allowed just a single earned run. With an ERA of 0.60, ERA- of 13, FIP- of 70, and a WAR value of 0.3, Axford has been one of the best on the team all year. He's been consistent, confident in his pitching, and looks every bit like the guy you want closing games.
An article from Greg Moore over at Rox Pile in which he talks about Morneau's trade value, which at this point is very little. Over the offseason, there was word that the Rockies and Marlins were in talks about the possibility of a trade centering around Justin Morneau, which obviously fell through. Currently on the DL, Morneau was hitting .290/.317/.450 in 100 ABs with nine RBIs and three home runs. His absence has opened the door for Ben Paulsen, who's been on fire since being recalled from Triple-A, hitting .354/.415/.688 in 48 ABs. Hindsight is 20/20 and there's no way of knowing if Paulsen will continue to hit anything like he has been, but did the Rockies miss an opportunity to get some decent prospects in return for Morneau over the offseason? Greg Moore thinks so.
Another one from Greg Moore, who seems pretty fed up with Kyle Kendrick and wants Jon Gray to take his spot in the rotation. While Kendrick's 6.55 ERA is pretty unsightly and he hasn't shown the consistent ability we're hoping for to go deeper into games, I personally disagree with Moore. There's no reason to rush Gray, who's not been exactly lights out in the minors so far with an ERA of 5.40. Furthermore, being realistic the Rockies aren't going to compete this year and even a string of solid performances from Gray would be unlikely to turn things around for the team. Let's let him develop a bit more in Albuquerque and possibly bring him up for a few starts at the end of the year, but in my opinion there's no reason to rush him into the majors now.
Click the link to vote. Here's an updated list of how the voting is going for the NL.