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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.

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Avalanche Broncos Nuggets Rockies

Rockies, Nuggets and Avs all gearing up for seasons

Rockies

It’s hard to believe that Opening Day is this week … assuming all goes according to plan. The Rockies are scheduled to play two exhibition games Tuesday and Wednesday in Texas against the Rangers, with the opener set for Friday.

Colorado wrapped up it’s 15-day summer camp on Sunday and manager Bud Black was most excited about how good the offense has looked.

My thoughts: I’m definitely excited for the season to be here at last, but my expectations for the Rockies still haven’t changed that much from when Spring Training began months ago. I expect them to hover somewhere around .500, probably finishing a few games under.

In this shortened season though their playoff chances definitely have increased though. All it takes is a hot stretch for a couple of weeks and they’ll be right in it.

Nuggets

The start of the NBA restart is coming up fast as well. Denver has its first scrimmage this Wednesday against the Washington Wizards and while they likely won’t play Gary Harris and Torrey Craig were reportedly en route to Orlando as of Sunday afternoon.

Harris was the final member of the Nuggets regular starting rotation that had yet to enter the NBA bubble. No word yet on the whereabouts of rookie Michael Porter Jr. though.

Avalanche

As the Avs also near their return to action count Ian Cole among those players who believe Colorado has a legitimate shoot to lift the Stanley Cup in a couple months.

Cole, a 10-year veteran, begins growing his playoff beard at the start of the hockey season, in October, if he thinks he’s on a playoff team. And since the playoffs are usually over by now this is already the longest he’s ever had it.

Here’s hoping he still is growing it in late August.

Broncos

The Denver Post began its series previewing the Broncos position groups. First up, the quarterbacks.

My thoughts: I’m cautiously optimistic that Drew Lock will be the long-term answer at quarterback for Denver. I don’t think that means he’s going to be be like Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes and win the MVP award in his second year in the league however.

I do love the fact that John Elway and company have surrounded him with talent though. I also am hopeful that even if he struggles some this year, which is highly likely, that he still gets another year or two to learn and grow into the position.

Nationally

ESPN previews the upcoming MLB season with a look at the stars and storylines they’re most excited to see. Not surprisingly no Rockies players made the list.

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Thursday, July 16 roundup

Here’s a look at the latest with Colorado teams as well as few national stories.

Broncos

Justin Simmons became the first player since John Elway took over as general manager to be franchise tagged and then not reach a contract agreement with the team. As a result he’ll play under the franchise tag this season, meaning he’ll earn $11.441 million. Read more about the deal from The Denver Post and TheDNVR.

With the state of the world right now it makes sense that the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement. And even strictly football-only I think it makes sense for both sides to revisit contract negotiations after this season, assuming there is one.

There’s no question Simmons is a really good player, I’m just not sure he’s enough of a game changer to warrant being one of the highest paid players on the field. In order for that to be the case I need to see more plays that actually, change the outcome of a game. When Von Miller was in his prime you saw that, when former safety Ed Reed was at the top of his game you saw that. But as of yet I see a really good, but not necessarily great play out of Simmons.

Avalanche

The Avs are one of the favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup, assuming the playoffs manage to start and finish due to COVID-19. Free-agent signee Joonas Donskoi is one of the reasons. And it’s not just people outside the Avs locker room who believe they have a chance to win it all this year.

I honestly have no clue what to expect from the Avs when play resumes. They’ll likely be the healthiest they’ve been all season, so their offense should be fun to watch. But I just don’t know what to expect from their goalies. And a hockey series can be won or lost by a team’s net-minder.

It’s fun to imagine how exciting it could be watching the Nuggets, Avs and Rockies all in action in August though … assuming that is you have DirecTV and not Comcast or DISH.

Nuggets

Denver’s Jerami Grant used his press conference on Wednesday to shine as much light as possible on the death of Breonna Taylor and the fact that the police officers who shot and killed her are still free.

As the Denver Post story references, Grant is one of the few Nuggets players who will not be wearing a message on the back of his jersey because he believes those messages are largely symbolic.

Head coach Michael Malone thought it was great what Grant used his press conference for and I couldn’t agree more.

Rockies

The Denver Post story today was about the Rockies having a wealth of depth at catcher going into this season. I hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t buy it.

Tony Wolters is more than adequate, but I wouldn’t put him in the upper echelon of starting catchers in the game. Colorado’s pitchers trust him and his defense is good though, so I have no problem with him as the starter, but after that I have questions.

Between Drew Butera, Elias Diaz and Dom Nunez I’m not sure there’s a lot there. Over the course of a 162-game season maybe one of them emerges as a solid No. 2, maybe not. But this year especially there’s no time to try and figure out who the right guy is.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens at the catching position throughout baseball with so 60 games being played in the middle of summer in such a tight window. Even if Wolters can play 40 games, that still leave a third of the season with a subpar catcher for the Rockies and if they were to miss out on the playoffs by a few games that could end up being the difference.

Rapids

Don’t forget the Rapids next match in the MLS is Back Tournament is Friday night vs. Sporting Kansas City.

The match starts at 6 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes with radio coverage on Altitude 92.5 FM.

Colorado dropped its first match of the tournament 2-0 against Real Salt Lake.

National news