Categories
Avalanche Broncos CSU Rams CU Buffs Nuggets Rockies

Rockies sweep A’s, home opener up next

Rockies

The Rockies improved to 4-1 on the season after beating the A’s 5-1 on Wednesday afternoon in Oakland to sweep the two-game series. No. 1 starter Germán Márquez gave up a home run in the first inning, but cruised the rest of the way. He finished with eight strikeouts, three hits and just one walk during six innings of work.

The offensive still wasn’t firing on all cylinders, but they got the job done for the Rockies when it mattered most. Including adding a run in the eighth and two more in the ninth to make it a much more comfortable win.

My thoughts: First off, I love this shortened MLB season. In a normal year Márquez wouldn’t have started yesterday because teams want to get their fifth starter work. How much better is it that teams are simply trying to win each game, instead of treating the whole season like a marathon.
As for the Rockies as a whole, it’s been a great start and we’re already through a 12th of the season and Colorado is alone in first place in the NL West. Really, what more could you ask for from them.

Avalanche

Colorado played its first game in more than four months, albeit of the exhibition variety, as the Avs beat Minnesota 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon in Edmonton.

Joonas Donskoi, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabe Landeskog all scored for the Avs in the win. Colorado managed to kill seven-of-eight penalties during the win.

Colorado has a bye in the best-of-five play-in round that starts Saturday. Instead, the Avs open play Sunday against the St. Louis Blues in what will determine the top four seeds in the Western Conference.

Nuggets

While the Nuggets don’t play until Saturday, the NBA season tips off tonight with Utah taking on New Orleans and the Lakers and Clippers squaring off with one another.

TheAthletic.com wrote about “Numbers to know about all 22 teams in the bubble.” The numbers to know about the Nuggets? 66.1% and 10.3%. Those were Bol Bol’s true shooting and block percentages during his eight games of G League action this year for the Windy City Bulls. It’s safe to say Bol’s play has been one of the biggest storylines of the NBA’s return so far.

My thoughts: Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll be talking about Bol much until at least next season at this point. Coach Michael Malone struggled to play Michael Porter Jr. during big chunks of the season and that was when the games were much less important and when he’d seen Porter play more in practice and training camp.

I just have a hard time believing Malone is going to give Bol many minutes, if any, unless the Nuggets suffer a few injuries or are really, really struggling.

Broncos

Yesterday I wrote about PFF.com’s quarterback rankings. Well, today they’ve got their team-by-team backfield rankings up. I assumed Denver would be near the middle of the pack, and PFF.com actually had them a little higher at No. 12.

Not surprisingly, they’re high on Phillip Lindsay’s play, but are more questioning about the addition of Melvin Gordon. As they point out, Gordon was great in 2018, but during the rest of his NFL career he’s simply been average.

My thoughts: I was never a fan of the offseason signing of Gordon. I think the Broncos overpaid for him and risk alienating Lindsay in the process.

I would have much rather seen them give Lindsay a raise and either sign a cheaper free-agent back or pick one high in the NFL Draft.

CSU Rams

Colorado State’s football team temporarily suspended activities after as many as 17 people within the CSU athletics department tested positive for COVID-19.

“We are taking this step to voluntarily pause football activities to minimize the opportunity for this virus to spread any further. We will always put the health and safety of our student-athletes and community first, and while we are disappointed to see this spread occur within our program, we remain encouraged for the continued collaboration we have experienced with our University’s Pandemic Preparedness Team, local, county, and state health officials.”

CSU athletic director Joe Parker via a news release.

CU Buffs

Buffzone.com’s Brian Howell wrote about how head coach Karl Dorrell is earning the respect of his team.

Categories
Avalanche Broncos CSU Rams Golf Nuggets Rapids Rockies

Rockies Opening Day arrives at long last

Rockies

It’s three-and-a-half months later than originally planned, but Opening Day for the Rockies has arrived at last.

In somewhat unexpected news rookie, former first-round pick Brendan Rodgers was left off Colorado’s 30-man roster to start the season. Instead, Rodgers will go to the Rockies alternate training site.

As for the Rockies, they open play tonight at Globe Life Field in Texas against the Rangers at 6 p.m. (AT&T SportsNet, KOA 850 AM). German Marquez will square off against the Rangers’ Lance Lynn.

  • Righty Peter Lambert meanwhile saw his season end before it started as it was announced he’ll have Tommy John surgery on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Chances are likely his 2021 season is over as well.
  • It was announced on Thursday that baseball will have expanded playoffs this season, with eight teams from each league making the playoffs.
    The top two teams in each division will qualify and then the next two teams also will. The first round will be a best-of-three series with all three games hosted by the higher seed.
    My thoughts: I love this and which it would be the format going forward. How much fun is it when your team is out of the playoff race with two or three months to go in the season. The more teams with a chance to win it all the better.
    And while the one-game playoff was somewhat exciting, in baseball I just don’t think it works.

Nuggets

The Bol Bol hype machine was working overtime on Wednesday after the rookie’s impressive first NBA game, albeit in a scrimmage. But The Denver Post’s Sean Keller talked with former NBA All-Star Paul Pierce who quickly turned the hype machine off. Pierce said it was way too early to get too excited about Bol.

My thoughts: I couldn’t agree more. The final line of 16 points, 10 rebound and six blocks is exciting, some of the plays he made were thrilling, but it was literally an exhibition game coming off a four-month layoff for a pandemic.

Bol could go on to be Hall of Famer and we’ll look back on Wednesday as his coming out party. But he could also just as easily be the next Nikoloz Tskitishvili and leave us all wondering what could have been.

The other question is how much will we even get to see of Bol once the action starts up for real. Head coach Michael Malone was reticent to play Michael Porter Jr. big minutes earlier this season, what to say anything different will happen with Bol.

Broncos

Today Denver Post position-by-position preview focused on Denver’s outside linebackers.

My thoughts: When it comes to the Broncos outside linebackers everyone seems to focus on two players. Von Miller and whether he can return to the player he was before last season or if he’s now beginning a steady decline. And Bradley Chubb and how much he’s doing to help this defense as he returns from ACL surgery.

When it comes to Miller I think he still has a few very productive years left. Last year was simply a down year, they happen to everyone.

As for Chubb, there’s one important point that keeps getting ignored. This is Chubb’s second ACL surgery on the same knee, he previously tore the ACL back in high school. I really hope he never has anymore problems with injuries, but as we’ve seen with tight end Jake Butt once you start having reoccurring knee problems they can be come a never-ending cycle.

If, however, Chubb can stay healthy and Miller returns to form, this unit could be one of the Broncos’ best.

Avalanche

Before the NHL shutdown for four months due to COVID-19 the Avs seemed to be constantly battling injuries. As soon as one player returned it seemed someone else went down. Unfortunately things haven’t changed much for Colorado.

Cale Makar returned to the ice on Thursday, but Nathan MacKinnon was absent. Due to the NHL’s new policy regarding player’s health there’s no word on the exact situation with either player.

Rapids

The Denver Post wrote about when Jonathan Lewis is finally going to get more playing time. As of right now Lewis has been a regular sub and for the most part he’s been the best player when he’s been on the field.

As for the Rapids as a whole, the question now turns to what’s next. The MLS is Back Tournament is still going, without the eliminated Rapids of course, but afterward the league has yet to announce when the rest of the season is expected to start.

As it stands the Rapids head home and will continue training and simply waiting to hear what the plan will be.

CSU Rams

Colorado State wide receiver Warren Jackson was selected as the preseason offensive player of the year as voted on by the media.

Jackson, a senior, is coming off a season in which he caught 77 passes for 1,119 yards and eight touchdowns. It’s the second time a receiver has been selected as the preseason offensive player of the year. When was the first time you ask? That would be in 2015 when fellow Ram Rashard Wiggins was tabbed.

Golf

The CoBank Colorado Open got underway yesterday and as the only woman in the field Jennifer Kupcho got off to a solid start with a 1-under par 70.

Categories
Avalanche Broncos CSU Rams Nuggets Rapids

Bol steals the show in Nuggets’ scrimmage

Nuggets

The Bol Bol show is officially the summer blockbuster we’ve all been waiting for. The 7-foot-2 rookie made his NBA debut on Wednesday as the Nuggets beat the Washington Wizards 89-82 in the teams’ first scrimmage of the NBA restart.

Bol finished the game with 16 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots. But that only tells part of the story. The opening act was Denver’s crazy tall lineup (PG – Nikola Jokic, SG – Jerami Grant, SF – Bol, PF – Paul Millsap, C – Mason Plumlee), with no player shorter than 6-8. Next came Bol blocking shots and running the length of the court and knocking down threes.

Bol was one of the top high school recruits and likely would have been one of the top picks in the NBA Draft last year if not for injuries that saw him drop all the way to the Nuggets in the second round.

It’s obviously way too early to get too excited, but especially considering it had been 133 days since the Nuggets last played a game Bol definitely gave Denver fans something to cheer about.

  • The Denver Post is reporting that rookie Michael Porter Jr. is en route to the NBA bubble in Orlando. With the Nuggets being shorthanded this obviously is great news for the team. Now the question is “How will Porter handle no longer being the most hyped rookie on the team?”
  • TheDNVR.com’s Adam Mares broke down various plays of Bol’s and it’s clear, Bol is overflowing with talent.

Avalanche

The NHL always has been more secretive than most leagues when it comes to injuries. In the past players were simply described as having upper or lower body injuries, the league’s new policy to help protect player’s medical privacy during the coronavirus pandemic is even more vague unfortunately.

Colorado Cale Makar missed his third day of practice, as he’s deemed “unfit” to play. Head coach Jared Bednar did not elaborate on when he would be available.

Although, Nathan MacKinnon did tell The Denver Post “I think Cale will be healthy soon, he should be ready to go.”

Here’s hoping MacKinnon’s right, because Makar was a big reason for the Avs’ success in the playoffs last season.

Rockies

In the Rockies’ second and last exhibition game Antonio Senzatela pitched well and Colorado beat Texas 7-3 on Wednesday night. Next up the two teams play for real on Friday night.

Senzatela worked five innings and allowed three runs and picked up the win. On the offensive side Ryan McMahon and Drew Butera homered for the Rockies.

Broncos

The Denver Post continues its look at the Broncos roster, going position-by-position, today focusing on the tight ends.

My thoughts: The TEs could be the difference in this team going 8-8 or stepping up and making the playoffs. There’s so much potential, starting with Noah Fant in particular.

As a rookie Fant had moments where he looked like a future Pro Bowler and potential All-NFL teamer. Unfortunately there were quite a few drops and missed blocks sprinkled in there. The blocks might have been more the coaching staff’s fault for putting the then rookie in bad situations. The drops on the other hand simply need to be corrected.

But if Fant continues to grow and they just get one or two other guys to raise their game a little the tight end position could be a major strength for the 2020 Denver Broncos.

Rapids

Colorado departed the MLS is Back Tournament with a 2-2 draw against Minnesota United on Wednesday night.

Colorado’s Kei Kamara got things started with a goal at the 19-minute mark, it was the 1,000th regular-season goal in Rapids’ history. However, Minnesota took a 2-1 lead into the break.

Rapids sub Jonathan Lewis scored the equalizer for Colorado at the 59-minute mark and that’s how things ended.

The Rapids were officially eliminated earlier in the day when Sporting Kansas City beat Real Salt Lake 2-0. Colorado is now 2-2-1 on the season.

CSU Rams

Colorado State landed four players on the preseason All-MWC team, the most for the team since 2012.

Categories
Avalanche Broncos CU Buffs Nuggets Rapids Rockies

Friday, July 17 roundup

News on the Broncos, Rockies, Avs, Nuggets, Rapids and a few national stories as well.

Rockies

  • The Athletic has a story about what might have with relievers Brian Shaw and Jake McGee this season. Both pitchers have contract options built into their contracts that would activate if they pitch a certain number of games this season.
    If Shaw pitches in 15 games this season his contract for next year will become a player option at $9 million. McGee needs to pitch in 24 games this season for the same thing to happen.
    If neither pitcher reaches their respective number the Rockies could buy them out for $2 million each.
    My thoughts: Here’s hoping the Rockies don’t compound previous mistakes by allowing either pitcher to reach those marks this season.
  • Meanwhile The Denver Post wrote about left-hander Ryan Rolison and the fact that he’s had an impressive summer camp so far.
    Rolison was Colorado’s first-round pick back in 2018 and is now 23-years-old. Despite how he’s looked so far it’s not expected that he’ll be with the Rockies this year, partly due to the fact that he hasn’t pitched above Class-A. Manager Bud Black did leave the door open though that you never know what might happen, especially in such an unusual season as this one likely will be.
    My thoughts: I think this might be the perfect season to give a younger guy a shot. With expanded rosters and so many games in such a small window see what Rolison can do.
    I’ve never been a believer in going super slow with players. If they struggle then by all means send them down and allow them to work on what the need to. But a lot of the time I think allowing them to see what it’s like at the highest level gives them that experience and knowledge that they can’t get any other way.

Broncos

  • TheDNVR.com wrote about initial expectations for first-round pick Jerry Jeudy.
    My thoughts: As I was reading the article I came to the part where they gave a prediction for his stat line for a full 16-game season. They predicted 63 catches, 950 yards and 8 touchdowns.
    My initial reaction was, that would be great and I really like Jeudy, but that might be asking for a lot from him as a rookie. Then it was pointed out that those are the numbers that Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley — all first-round picks out of Alabama under Nick Saban have averaged as rookies.
    So, suddenly that feels much more doable. Personally, my biggest question has more to do with quarterback Drew Lock this season than it does Jeudy. Receivers oftentimes have a tough time their first year or two in the league, but that’s been going away more and more as the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league. Combine that with Jeudy’s superior route-running ability and really, the only issue is how good is Lock going to be this season.
  • The Denver Post had a fun story that if kicker Brandon McManus breaks the record for the longest field goal in NFL history this season the city of Denver gets a free beer.
    The deal is part of a partnership with Bud Light.
  • The Athletic also had an in-depth breakdown of the Broncos as a whole heading into the 2020 season.

Avalanche

  • Colorado got a taste of what it’s going to be like playing in an empty arena as they scrimmaged at the Pepsi Center.
    My thoughts: Obviously all sports at the professional level are going to be different without fans, but I think it’s being overblown how big of an impact it will have, at least when it comes to the NHL and NBA.
    The main reason is because those sports are entering the postseason. There’s no doubt that playing without fans during the doldrums of a season could be problematic, and we’ll probably see some of that late in the MLB season when you have two teams out of the playoff chase in September. But when it comes to team battling for a title I simply don’t believe a lack of fans will be that big of a deal.
    Having said that it will definitely negate whatever advantage the team with home ice, or court, would have had. But look no further than the Avs and Nuggets records last year at home and on the road in the playoffs. The Nuggets lost three home playoff games, including a Game 7, last year. While the Avs lost just one, but won on the road three times.
  • The Athletic broke down who has the inside track of being the Avs 12th forward, Tyson Jost or Matt Nieto.

Nuggets

  • TheDNVR.com wrote about how Denver is dealing with the strange conditions inside the NBA bubble.
  • The Denver Post focused on what rookie Bol Bol could bring to the table if he’s forced into action.
    My thoughts: Bol is super exciting because he’s 7-foot-2 and has such a unique skillset. Having said that it’s just tough thinking he can come in and contribute anything meaningful with so little experience.
    There’s no question though it’s hard to not get excited about the prospect of what the Nuggets could do over the course of the next few seasons if they were able to add Bol and Michael Porter, Jr. into the mix.
  • The Post also wrote about what Altitude’s TV coverage will look like.

Rapids

The Rapids take on Sporting Kansas City tonight coming off a 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake in the opening game of the MLS is Back Tournament. Colorado is looking to get three points against one of the better teams year-in, year-out in the MLS.

The game starts at 6 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.

Buffaloes

Despite what can only be described as a tumultuous offseason, the Buffs are doing their best to stay focused and get ready for the 2020 football season.

Nationally