Tag: Tyler Matzek

Daniel Murphy

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Mets 3, Marlins 1: Amazin.’ Daniel Murphy hit a go-ahead/come-from-behind three run bomb and Mets improve to 15-5. Murphy also made a nifty play in the field the next half-inning. Adrenaline is a hell of a thing. The Mets have a 4.5 game lead in the East and are eight games up everyone’s favorites, the Nationals. Which, wow.

Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 5: MookieMania is running wild, brother. Betts with the walkoff RBI single through a drawn-in infield. Betts said he “got a decent pitch to hit.” He’s only 22 but his cliche game is that of a seasoned veteran.

Royals 6, Indians 2: Mike Moustakas got four hits and Alex Gordon drove in two, which ain’t too bad against the reigning Cy Young Award winner. Bonus from this game came from the Royals’ booth, where I am told Fox Sports Kansas City’s Rex Hudler was talking about my annual Baseball’s Most Handsome Managers rankings. Hudler was quoted by viewers as saying “Did you say it was a guy that made that list up?” Yes, Rex, it was. And have a nice, heteronormative day yourself.

Braves 8, Nationals 4: The Braves beat up the Nats in a game that featured some chippiness following a hard Andrelton Simmons’ slide into third base which led to a cut on Yunel Escobar’s hand. There were warnings and then Simmons was hit by a pitch. And even though he wasn’t in the game Jonny Gomes got ejected for running out of the dugout. Which, hey, he has a personal brand to maintain. The key thing here, though, is the Nats are now 7-13 and sit eight games back with only one team in all of baseball — the Brewers — featuring a worse record than them. Which is quite a thing.

Oh, and another broadcast datapoint: the Braves booth which has, in the past, engaged in all kinds of silly and unwarranted hatred and hostility with respect to Bryce Harper here said, at one point, “He’s a good player. Easy not to like him, but a good player.” I suppose that’s progress. Maybe in another year or two they’ll acknowledge that no one gives a crap if they like him.

Yankees 4, Rays 1: Brian McCann homered, Adam Warren pitched effectively and the Yankees’ winning combination so far — good defense, just enough hitting and a shutdown bullpen — kept things chugging along. A-Rod did not tie Willie Mays in this game as he went hitless. But someone asked Brian McCann about it afterward and McCann said A-Rod’s place on the all-time home run list is “an amazing accomplishment.” I presume the Yankees will fine him now given his failure to follow team policy which prohibits the stating of the bleedin’ obvious.

Reds 9, Brewers 6: Jay Bruce homered and drove in three. Jason Marquis allowed two runs and seven hits in eight innings. He also hit an RBI single, probably to spite me.

Mariners 3, Rangers 1: Taijuan Walker allowed one unearned run in seven innings in his second solid start following a couple of disasters to open up the season. Both of these teams had to be exhausted, as they didn’t get into Texas until the wee hours of the morning due to severe storms which diverted their flights. Then this one started an hour late due to a rain delay. Hope their cell phones are on Do Not Disturb this morning.

Cubs 4, Pirates 0: Kris Bryant was 2-for-4 and drove in two. Jason Hammel tossed eight shutout innings. The Cubs won their third straight and snapped the Pirates’ five-game winning streak. Bryant has driven in nine in ten games. Scary moment here, though, as a fan was taken away in an ambulance after being hit by a flying bat during an Addison Russell plate appearance.

Tigers 5, Twins 4: Yoenis Cespedes had a homer, a double and three RBI. Jose Iglesias hit a homer and a triple, notching three hits in all. He’s hitting .397. All of us wanted to talk about how the Tigers would do after losing Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello in the offseason, but between those two it’s as if the Tigers added two plus bats to an already potent lineup.

Phillies 4, Cardinals 1: Cole Hamels doesn’t need a ton of run support, so when he even gets a little bit here that’s enough. As it was he struck out nine in seven innings and allowed only one run. Don’t tell anyone, but the Phillies have won three of four and are ahead of the Nats in the standings.

Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 4: Justin Morneau hit a three-run homer in the first. Tyler Matzek limited the Diamondbacks to two runs on five hits in five innings. He had to leave early with a leg cramp, though, and the bullpen just barely held on. The Rockies have won five in a row against Arizona.

Dodgers 8, Giants 3: Joc Pederson and Justin Turner went yard. Pederson also doubled in a run and made a sweet play in the field, ranging back to the wall, catching it with his back to the field and then turned around and doubled off Nori Aoki, who had broke from first on the play. Pederson is hitting .296/.458/.556 on the year and doing that kind of crap in the field. Mercy.

Astros 9, Padres 4: Colby Rasmus homered and drove in three as the Astros won their fourth in a row. Jed Lowrie and Jason Castro also homered. The book on Astros hitters this year was that they’d lead the AL in strikeouts and be near the top of the league in homers. At the moment they lead the AL in strikeouts and are fourth in homers, two off the league lead. So, yep.

White Sox vs. Orioles: Postponed: Unrest in Baltimore continues, which may move this series out of the city and down to Washington or someplace else. Baseball, however, seems very, very unimportant compared to what’s happening there. But this is important. You should probably read this.

2015 Preview: Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies spring training in Scottsdale

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up. The Colorado Rockies.

The Big Question: Do the Rockies have a direction?

I have written the Rockies season preview pieces for the previous two seasons and it’s always the same thing. “If Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez can stay healthy, this team could be frisky.” Or something to that effect. It feels silly to say it again at this point, because we just can’t count on it. Tulowitzki was arguably the best player in the game prior to undergoing hip surgery last year, but he has averaged just 106 games over the past five seasons. Meanwhile, CarGo has averaged 110 games over the past four seasons and dealt with all sorts of physical issues last year before having knee surgery. Both players are healthy at the moment, but it’s worth asking at this point whether the Rockies will ever win with them on their roster. Or whether it was wise to even build around them. Coming off three straight seasons with at least 88 losses, it’s time to make some difficult decisions about where this franchise is headed.

Longtime general manager Dan O’Dowd and Bill Geivett both stepped down after last season, so the man tasked with making those decisions will be new general manager Jeff Bridich. While some clamored for an outside voice to take over, Bridich isn’t exactly that. He was previously the senior director of player development and has been with the organization since 2006. Still, the change doesn’t come without some hope. Geivett created an awkward atmosphere by having an office in the clubhouse and FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal recently wrote that he regularly “butted heads” with manager Walt Weiss and others in the organization. Less drama would be a nice start. The Harvard-educated Bridich is currently the youngest GM in the majors at age 37 and his front office includes three others who are 36 or younger. This is a results-based business, so they still have to prove their doubters wrong, but it should be an interesting situation to follow.

After finishing last in the majors with a 4.84 ERA last season, pitching coach Jim Wright and bullpen coach Bo McLaughlin were both let go. Steve Foster, a former special assistant and pitching coordinator for the Royals, is now in place as pitching coach. Meanwhile, Darren Holmes, who was a part of the Rockies’ inaugural roster in 1993, has replaced McLaughlin. There’s optimism with these new hires, but solving Coors Field is a tremendous challenge and this pitching staff doesn’t inspire much in the way of confidence.

Jorge De La Rosa is currently dealing with a groin injury, so offseason addition Kyle Kendrick will be the Opening Day starter. Get excited? There is some youth and upside in this rotation with names like Jordan Lyles, Tyler Matzek, Jon Gray, and Eddie Butler, but ups and downs are to be expected. Butler recently had a recurrence of a shoulder issue, which isn’t a good sign. The Rockies are going to score runs because that’s what they do, but it’s likely going to be another ugly year on the pitching side.

What else is going on?

  • One positive for the pitching staff is that Wilin Rosario’s days as a regular catcher are likely behind him. The decision is long overdue, as he has struggled with pretty much everything behind the plate and needs to find a new position. Bridich didn’t do much in his first winter as GM, but he brought in Nick Hundley on a two-year, $6.25 million contract. He figures to carry most of the load along with Michael McKenry. They might not post the flashy power numbers like Rosario, but this is a net positive for the Rockies.
  • Some scratched their heads when the Rockies made a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer to Michael Cuddyer last fall, but it worked out great for them, as he declined in favor of a two-year deal with the Mets. The Rockies will now get a compensatory draft pick in this June’s draft and they still have plenty of talent in their outfield. CarGo is a known quantity when healthy while Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson are coming off breakout seasons. Drew Stubbs had a nice year in 2014 (though he did most of his damage at Coors Field) and is a perfectly-respectable platoon option with his ability to play all three outfield positions.
  • The move to Coors Field was exactly what the doctor ordered for Justin Morneau. After struggling through concussion issues dating back to 2010, the 33-year-old won the National League batting crown last season by putting up a .319/.364/.496 batting line with 17 home runs and 82 RBI over 135 games. Who knows what he has in store for a follow-up, but it’s nice to see his career get back on track.
  • LaTroy Hawkins saved 23 games last season as a 41-year-old and is set to enter this season as the Rockies’ closer. His low strikeout rate (5.3 K/9) is dangerous for someone who calls Coors Field home, so he’s no sure thing to keep the job, but he could climb into the all-time top-10 list for games pitched this season if he can stay healthy.
  • I was saving the best for last here. While Tulowitzki and Gonzalez have long been the faces of this team, Nolan Arenado is fixing to change that. He has won Gold Glove Awards in each of his first two seasons in the majors and took a big step forward offensively last season by batting .287/.328/.500 with 18 home runs and 61 RBI across 111 games. He doesn’t turn 24 until later this month and is the biggest reason for long-term hope with this franchise.

Prediction: If things break right, this roster is more talented that the Diamondbacks, so I’ll give them Fourth Place, NL West for now. But they could fall to last behind the Diamondbacks if Tulo and CarGo each miss significant time again or one or both of them are traded.

The Rockies just had a brilliant idea

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It’s Day 5 for me here in Arizona and I’m about to take in Game 6. Not too shabby. Today’s matchup: the White Sox vs. the Rockies. It’s a battle of lefties: Jose Quintana vs. Tyler Matzek. Quintana has pitched well so far this spring, allowing one run on three hits in four spring innings. That creep can roll. I don’t have the White Sox’ lineup yet, but the Rockies are trotting out Tulowitzki, Morneau, Drew Stubbs and a generally major league sort of lineup. It’s a sleepy, normal day in spring training. A day after Ferrell-fest, that’s probably a good thing.

I’ve been walking around Salt River Fields here this morning and, as always, it’s fantastic. A great facility. Great view. Wide concourses. Nice people. And the home team’s social media folks are on point too. I happened upon this cool glove, and tweeted the photo out:

The Rockies in response:

That’s pretty brilliant, actually. Really, every day should be Prince Day.

Oh, and because I have been criminally negligent in posting equipment bag pics:


Let’s have a fun game and a day with no pitcher injuries, OK? I would love a day with no pitcher injuries.

Rockies interested in Kevin Correia, Aaron Harang, and Kyle Kendrick

rockies logo

Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that the Rockies are targeting free agent right-handers Kevin Correia, Aaron Harang, and Kyle Kendrick as they continue their search for veteran starting pitching. Harding also mentioned Josh Johnson as a possibility, though he’s reportedly on the verge of re-signing with the Padres.

Nothing is considered imminent with any of the pitchers listed above, as the Rockies are also considering trade options. It was reported last week that the club had talked to the Mets about a deal for right-hander Dillon Gee, but Harding writes that “thus far there have been more published reports than actual discussions.”

As of now, the Rockies have Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Tyler Matzek, and Jordan Lyles lined up for the first four spots in their starting rotation for 2015. That’s a shaky group. Adding Correia, Kendrick, or a fly ball pitcher like Harang wouldn’t inspire much more in the way of confidence.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 7, Angels 1: Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run homer, Jarred Cosart allowed one run on seven hits in seven and two-thirds and the Angels dropped back into a tie with the A’s for first place in the west. Wade LeBlanc — taking his first turn in rotation as Garret Richards’ replacement — gave up six runs on seven hits in three and a third. In other news, someone please needs to tell me why the Angels did not put a waiver claim on Bartolo Colon or Scott Feldman.

Athletics 8, Astros 2: The A’s gain ground behind Jeff Samardzija, who struck out ten in eight innings and Josh Donaldson, who was back in action, and drove in three on two doubles and a single. It was close until the top of the ninth, but the Astros bullpen decided not to show up.

Orioles 9, Rays 1: Five homers for the most homer-happy team in baseball. Delmon Young, J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis homered back-to-back-to-back in the fifth. Delmon Young’s post-game “everyone needs to stop panicking” quote was odd:

“It’s good because it seemed like y’all went in panic mode when we got swept in Chicago,” Young said. “We weren’t scoring many runs, but it happens and then we’re back in our division at home facing a guy we’ve seen before, a team we play, we know their tendencies and everything. And we’ve got better facilities here than Wrigley.”

Is he really saying a crappy locker room in Wrigley Field is part of why they got swept by the Cubs?

Rangers 2, Mariners 0Miles Mikolas tossed eight scoreless innings, allowing only three hits. After the game he gave credit to his catcher, Tom Telis. To which I say: “wait, who are these guys again?”

Rockies 3, Giants 2: Tyler Matzek struck out seven in seven innings and the Rockies took their third in a row. Fourth overall at AT&T Park. The Giants hit into four double plays. Or you can say the Rockies turned four if you don’t want to be all negative about it, man. The Rockies scored two in the fourth thanks to two throwing errors by Brandon Crawford and a balk by Jake Peavy. It’s hard not to spin that negatively.

Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: Yoenis Cespedes singled home the go-ahead run in the 10th to help end the Sox’ eight-game losing streak. They almost helped extend it by blowing a 3-0 lead in the ninth. That’s when Clay Buchholz — working on a shutout — put three runners on base with only one out before John Farrell went and got him. Koji Uehara allowed all three to score, however. It’s the sort of bad inning that kills a team, but when you’re playing a team that does a good job of killing itself like the Jays do, you can sometimes get away with it.

Brewers 10, Padres 1: Kyle Lohse allowed a run and four hits over six innings and Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez homered. Ramirez and Gerardo Parra had three RBI, while Braun, Ramirez and Carlos Gomez each had three hits.

Cardinals 3, Pirates 2: A three-run seventh inning sends the Pirates to their seventh loss in ten games. John Lackey allowed one run over seven.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2: A.J. Burnett allowed one run over seven innings and struck out 12, after which he walked back his “I’ll probably retire after this season” talk from his last start. The Phillies have won four of five.

Yankees 8, Royals 1: The fifth straight win for the Yankees, this one coming behind Michael Pineda who allowed only one run while pitching into the seventh. Jacoby Ellsbury was 3 for 5 with a two-run homer and three driven in. He also picked up his 1,000th career hit.