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Bard goes from taped-on number to MLB closer

Colorado Rockies news and links for Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Rockies’ closer Daniel Bard is 6-for-6 in save opportunities and Bud Black is not surprised | The Denver Post ($)

After taping on his jersey number in Summer Camp, Daniel Bard is perfect in save opportunities and is anchoring the Rockies bullpen.

It’s hardly a mention compared to the six-year big league absence on his Baseball Reference page. When Bard comes in to pitch at Coors Field, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam sings out “I’m still alive” over the stadium speakers.

“Since allowing a walk-off homer in a 4-3 loss on Aug. 22 at Dodger Stadium, Bard has five saves while allowing three hits and one run with four walks and nine strikeouts in six games. Opponents have hit just .150 over that span.”

Bard currently sits alongside Yency Almonte for the best ERA among Rockies qualifying relievers. Six relievers have recorded at least 10 innings with the Rockies this year, and Almonte and Bard are the only two with an ERA below six.

(Mychal Givens has a 6.75 with the Rockies, but had a 1.38 in 13 innings with Baltimore this year.)

Patrick Saunders addresses how going into 2020, Wade Davis was the “penciled” closer while Scott Oberg loomed as “closer 1A.” Colorado has instead seen both of them sidelined, and the bullpen has recorded the second-worst ERA in baseball.

Saunders closes this piece with an uplifting quote from Bud Black after Bard’s Rockies debut: “I went to the end of the dugout where [Bard] was sitting and the only thing he said was, ‘Buddy, that was so fun.’ It was like a weight had been lifted off him that had been on him for seven years. He got back to being joyful.”

Just over a week ago, James Pazos and Phillip Diehl were optioned to the alternate training site. Colorado thereby has no left-handed relievers on the active roster; Kyle Freeland is the only active left-handed pitcher.

As Mike Clevinger leaves Cleveland, remember him as a long shot who made it |

Trade deadline acquisition Mike Clevinger will make the second start of his Padres career tonight, coming off a debut outing where he allowed two earned runs in six innings. After spending five seasons in the American League, tonight will be Clevinger’s first career start in San Diego.

Clevinger works with a mid-90’s fastball and a slider with plenty of downward bite. He’ll mix in the occasional curveball and changeup, and FanGraphs reveals the addition of a cutter to his repertoire in 2020. This year is the first in Clevinger’s career in which he has thrown under 50 percent fastballs.

Monday’s game was the first at Petco Park in 11 days. It was the first time that San Diego’s trade deadline acquisitions could suit up in a Padres home uniform.

Column: Padres are better than Rockies — but still must prove it | The San Diego Union Tribune

Tom Krasovic of The San Diego Union Tribune shows a lot of love to the 2007 Rockies in this writeup. He mentions how a similar tale could potentially happen in 2020.

“Did I eat a bad mushroom? It felt like it, while I recalled the bizarre batch of events that unfolded for the 2007 Padres, who saw the Rockies overtake them while defying odds that would short out a NASA computer.”

Bud Black was the manager for that 2007 Padres squad. “[They] led the Rockies by six games with 25 games to go and by 4.5 games with 15 games remaining, only for the Rockies to shatter their baseball globe.” Colorado currently trails San Diego by five games with 19 to play.

San Diego’s trade deadline moves were intended to help them surge in the standings, and it would take an “outlier event” for such an overtaking. Krasovic points out how the Padres’ run differential figures over the Rockies going into Monday were “more than twice that of L.A’s over the Padres,” despite trailing the first-place Dodgers by five games.

Power Rankings: New team in the Top 5 |

After handing the Dodgers their first series loss in 2020, the Rockies fell from 14th to 18th in the weekly power rankings. The Dodgers rank number one.

San Diego ranks fourth. Aside from the Padres and Dodgers, there isn’t much love for the NL West in this rendition. Going into Monday action, the Rockies and Giants were the lowest ranked teams with 20 wins.

Since the last rankings, Colorado went 3-3. In the weekly ESPN rankings, Colorado fell from 15th to 17th. ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez says the Mychal Givens addition should help, but “the Rockies need more than him to fend off the Reds, Giants, Brewers and others for the eighth seed in the NL.”

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