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Colorado Rockies are Winning the Giants Way

April 13th, 2015 at 10:06 PM
By Joe Lemere

After leaving Denver with a sour taste in their mouths after Sunday's heart-breaking loss to the Cubs, the Colorado Rockies arrived in San Francisco for an afternoon affair with the Giants. Winning an ugly game to move to 4-0 away from Coors, the Rockies are road warriors early this season. The odds say that won't last, but how the Rox are winning games could. They're winning games the way the San Francisco Giants have won three of the last five World Series titles.

Eddie Butler was effectively wild against los gigantes — walking six, hitting a batter and allowing five hits, but giving up no runs.Then the bullpen came in and shut the game down, allowing not a single baserunner in their 3.2 innings of relief. Then-and-once-again closer Rafael Betancourt picked up the save as LaTroy Hawkins has been removed from that position.

The starting pitching has been good but not great to start the season, having just enough to get by. The bullpen, on the other hand, has been spectacular except for the afore mentioned Hawkins. Point is, the Rockies are winning games with their pitching and their defense. They're winning the Giants way.

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Can LaTroy Hawkins Still Close Out Games?

April 12th, 2015 at 10:34 PM
By Joe Lemere

Getaway day at Coors was going swell for the Colorado Rockies. Starting pitcher Jordan Lyles gave up just three runs — only one earned — and the offense had given the boys in purple and black a two-run lead heading into the ninth inning. Swell indeed. Then LaTroy Hawkins came out of the bullpen looking to lock down the game for his second save of the season. That's when things went not so swell for the Rockies.

After already blowing one save up in Milwaukee, Hawk repeated that feat against the Windy City visitors. An RBI single allowed to Wellington Castillo was followed up by a two-run shot to former Rockie Dexter Fowler. All of a sudden, the Rockies went from being ahead 5-3 to trailing 5-6, all thanks to the venerable LaTroy Hawkins.

He's only appeared in three games this season, but his numbers are poor. Hawk has a WHIP of 3.00, a batting average against of .467 and an ERA of 16.87.

Obviously three games is a small sample size, especially when compared to LaTroy's exemplary career, but the time has already come for the Rockies to start trying different guys out in the closer role.

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Colorado Rockies Lose Their First Game of the Year

April 11th, 2015 at 10:17 PM
By Joe Lemere

Well, the ride couldn't last forever. After getting out to a team-best tying 4-0 record, the Colorado Rockies finally lost their first game of the season 9-5 to the Chicago Cubs. It looked like a game straight out of last season as the starting pitcher gave up way too many runs and the offense couldn't muster up some huge number to overcome.

For the first time this season, the Rockies had a plain bad pitching performance. Starter Kyle Kendrick managed to go five innings, but gave up a total of eight earned runs on eight hits and three walks. Three of those hits were home runs. Kendrick got his first taste of pitching his home games at Coors Field and it's safe to say he didn't like it much.

The offense did their part, scoring five runs. Nolan Arenado hit a two-run big fly and Corey Dickerson added two more RBI to his season's total. The four-, five- and six-hole hitters went a combined 6-13 with all five runs batted in for the team.

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Colorado Rockies Bullpen Stars Early This Season

April 10th, 2015 at 10:03 PM
By Joe Lemere

The Colorado Rockies are now 4-0 for only the second time in their team history. Home opener 2015 didn't start off too pretty as starting pitcher Tyler Matzek struggled to find the strike zone. He gave up only one run, but was forced out of the game after only 4+ innings. It was no problem as it turned it, though, as it gave the bullpen another chance to shine. And shine they did.

In five innings pitched, the 'pen didn't allow a run, and more than that, they gave up only one hit and one walk. For a group that was overworked and plain dreadful last season, they've been dominant stay for one bad outing from LaTroy Hawkins.

Besides that poor performance in Milwaukee, however, the group of Hawk, Adam Ottavino, Christian Friedrich, John Axford, Boone Logan, Brooks Brown, Rafael Betancourt and Christian Bergman has been outstanding. They have a collective ERA of 1.26 with 14 strikeouts to only two walks.

The bullpen is clearly the are of the team that has shown the most improvement early on this season. They capped off fine starts the first two games in Milwaukee, then managed to get Eddie Butler out of a spot of trouble in game number three.

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What the Colorado Rockies Home Opener Can Tell Us

April 9th, 2015 at 4:39 PM
By Joe Lemere

After dispatching the Brewers in Milwaukee to start the season off on the good foot, the Colorado Rockies will come back to Coors Field to take on the Chicago Cubs. In order to compete the way they want to this season, the Rockies will have to be absolutely dominant at home. With a young guy taking the mound and an offense that is humming, it will be an interesting test for the Rox.

The key to the home opener will be the pitching of Tyler Matzek. Much of the Rockies success this season hinges upon the arm of Matzek, and the first impression is huge. If he can turn in performances like his last six or so starts last season, things will be looking pretty bright for the team. But if he regresses to the stage he was at when he first came to the big leagues, the starting rotation will be in immediate need of help.

Offensively, the team should have no problems continuing their performance from Miller Park. The Rox hit plenty of doubles and plenty of home runs, and the thin air of Colorado and the huge expanse that is the outfield of Coors. Every single season, the Rockies' position players' splits are extremely home heavy.

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