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Bats silent again as Rockies lose 2-1 in extras

Rockies

Antonio Senzatela pitched arguably the best game of his major league career, but Colorado’s bats were dormant once again as the Rockies lost to the Astros 2-1 in 11 innings Tuesday in Houston.

Senzatela went toe-to-toe with Zack Greinke as both pitchers threw eight shutout innings allowing three hits a piece, Greinke struck out seven, Senzatela six.

Colorado’s offense has became a major liability at this point and after losing seven of their past nine games the Rockies are now four games back of the Dodgers in the NL West. The Rockies pitching staff owns the second-best ERA in the National League, but as has been the case the past few years the offense continues to struggle.

For the most part the problem is pretty simple, if Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon and David Dahl aren’t hitting the rest of the team can’t pick up the slack. And this year with both Arenado and Dahl struggling for most of the season to date the offense can’t manage to get the job done.

There is a chance the Rockies could add top prospect Brendan Rodgers to the active roster soon.

My thoughts: At this point I would love to see Rodgers play second base and move Ryan McMahon to first and DH or sit Daniel Murphy. Either way the Rockies have to do something soon or else this season’s promising start will be a distant memory by the time September rolls around.

  • The Astros and Rockies square off again tonight (6:40 p.m., AT&T Sports Net, 850 AM) in Game 3 of the four-game series. Ryan Castellani (0-0, 1.04 ERA) takes the mound for Colorado against Houston’s Framber Valdez (1-2, 1.90 ERA).

Avalanche

Coming of a dominating 7-1 win on Monday the Avalanche will look to finish off the Coyotes in Game 5 today (3:30 p.m., NBCSN, Altitude, 92.5 FM) in Edmonton.

Nazem Kadri has been a key piece for the Avs since the NHL started back up. It’s hard to believe it’s only been a few weeks since his game-winning goal with 0.01 seconds remaining in the first game back against St. Louis.

Since then the Avs claimed the No. 2 seed in the West and have a 3-1 lead on Arizona, while St. Louis ended up the fourth seed and is currently tied 2-2 in its series with Vancouver. Oh what a difference a thousandth of a second can make.

  • Captain Gabriel Landeskog hasn’t scored a goal yet in Edmonton, but he’s confident he’ll get one soon. And in the meantime he’s creating plenty of scoring chances for the rest of his teammates.
  • Cale Makar said “it definitely means something to me” to see teammates like Nathan MacKinnon have his back after Makar was given a cheap shot near the end of Monday’s game.
  • Avalanche-Coyotes results and schedule
GameResult
Game 1Colorado 3, Arizona 0Box score
Game 2Colorado 3, Arizona 2Box score
Game 3Arizona 4, Colorado 2Box score
Game 4Colorado 7, Arizona 1Box score
Game 5Colorado 7, Arizona 1Box score
Colorado wins best-of-seven series 4-1

Nuggets

Denver once again will be without Gary Harris and Will Barton when the Nuggets take on the Jazz today in Game 2 of their first-round series. Barton continues to deal with a knee injury and is out indefinitely.

As for the players who will be on the court for the Nuggets, The Denver Post’s Mike Singer wrote about how rookie Michael Porter Jr. got a crash course in what NBA playoff basketball is like in Game 1.

“In the playoffs, it’s all about defense. The defensive intensity is way up. So being locked in every possession and really realizing every possession matters (is important).”

Porter said about the Nuggets’ 135-125 OT win.

Despite appearing to struggle at times on both ends of the court Porter still finished with 13 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes in his playoff debut. Not bad for someone playing it just the 56th NBA game of his career.

“Just being out there, learning, going through it, you can’t put a dollar sign on that. That’s the best teacher that Michael is going to have. We can tell him, we can prepare him, but he has to go out there and feel it for himself and learn from it, which I know he will.”

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said about Porter’s debut.
GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

Broncos

As the Broncos prepare for the season opener Monday Sept. 14 against Tennessee one of the biggest position battles is that for the starting center job.

Denver has three players vying for the job and combined they have started zero games in the NFL at center. The Post’s Ryan O’Halloran wrote how as of right now it appears Austin Schlottmann has the edge over Patrick Morris and rookie Lloyd Cushenberry.

Ryan makes a great point that during a normal training camp and preseason teams like to ease rookies into starting roles and make them earn the job so to speak. But this year, with zero preseason games and a truncated camp it would make the most sense to have the guy you expect to start get as many reps with the first team as possible.

That’s why he believes Schlottmann has the inside track as he’s taken all the reps with the first team in three of the four workouts so far. Morris did so on Sunday and Cushenberry has not taken any so far.

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Rockies roll to 8-3 win

Rockies

Colorado ran its winning streak to three after its first comfortable win of the season by beating Oakland 8-3 on Tuesday night. Antonio Senzatela battled out of a jam in the first inning and picked up his first win of the season in the process. His final line: 5 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 3 strikeouts and 3 walks. Not incredible, but if the Rockies can get that on a consistent basis from their fourth starter it should be more than enough.

On the offensive side of things, Sam Hilliard went 2-for-5 with a double and two-run home run in the fourth inning off A’s starter Daniel Mengden. Every Colorado starter got at least one hit in the game, something that only happened twice last season, although in most of their games last year the Rockies didn’t have the benefit of the DH.

The Rockies and A’s finish off their short two-game series this afternoon (1:40 p.m., AT&T SportsNet, 850AM) with Germán Márquez taking on Oakland’s Frankie Montas.

Broncos

John Elway and Vic Fangio held their opening press conferences to begin Training Camp on Tuesday. Here is what we learned:

Defensive tackle Kyle Peko is the first Broncos player to opt out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. Players have until Saturday to opt and and when asked if other players will opt out Elway said “There have been some rumblings about a couple of guys but haven’t heard anything else yet.”

Denver made moves to get its roster down to 80 players. Left tackle Elijah Wilkinson was put on the physically unable to perform list. While they waived rookie wide receiver Zimari Manning and placed rookie guard Netane Muti on the non-football injury list. Muti and Wilkinson are eligible to return at any time, but once they are taken off the lists they can’t be put back on.

Elway said that the Broncos and safety Justin Simmons were never close to getting a long-term contract done this offseason.

Bradley Chubb is not 100% yet, but according to Fangio “he’s pretty damn close.” Chubb is expected to practice with the team at the beginning of camp.

Fangio also said he senses a new “hunger, attitude” with linebacker Von Miller.

And both Elway and Fangio talked about the challenges ahead for the 2020 season as a whole.

Avalanche

The Avs return to the ice today to a play a game for the first time since mid-March as they take on the Minnesota Wild in an exhibition game in Edmonton.

The puck drops at 12:30 p.m. and while be televised on Altitude.

The Avs and Wild likely will have a show of unity before the game similar to what Pittsburgh and Philadelphia did on Tuesday. The Penguins and Flyers stood together on the same blue line during the playing of the American and Canadian national anthems as a show of support for racial inequality and against police brutality.

  • TheAthletic.com anonymously surveyed 20 NHL head and assistant coaches ahead of the NHL restart and a couple of the answer should be encouraging to Avs fans.
    When asked “Which star player has the ability to carry his team to a Stanley Cup?” Nathan MacKinnon was the runaway winner with 45% of the vote. Sidney Crosby was next highest at 20%.
    When asked “Which player returning from injury will make the biggest impact?” Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen came in third behind Seth Jones and Jake Guentzel.
    And lastly, Denver received one vote when asked “If you could have picked your ideal hub city, where would it be?”

Nuggets

A day after an impressive debut in the Nuggets’ final scrimmage rookie Michael Porter Jr. brought controversy onto himself during a Q&A on Snapchat.

Porter was asked if the coronavirus was being used to scare people and this is how he responded.

“(It’s) being used for population control in just terms of being able to control the masses of people. Because of the virus, the whole world is being controlled. I mean, you’re required to wear masks, and who knows what will happen when this vaccine comes out? You might have to have the vaccine in order to travel.”

Michael Porter Jr.

He went on to say he’s never been vaccinated in his life and added that during the NBA shutdown he was playing 5-on-5 with his friends in Missouri because “guys down there really weren’t paying the virus too much attention early on.”

  • In on the court action, TheDNVR.com’s Harrison Wind wrote about how if the Jamal Murray and Porter we saw on Monday night, show up for the reason of the season and playoffs the Nuggets could make a deep run.

CU Buffs

Colorado landed its 10th commit for 2021 class with 3-star safety Trevor Woods.