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Rockies

Giants wallop Rockies 23-5 at Coors Field

Alex Dickerson homered three times and drove in six runs as the Giants became the first team in MLB history to have three players with at least six RBIs in the same game as San Francisco routed the Rockies 23-5 on Tuesday night.

“That’s by far the best game I’ve ever had in my life.”

Dickerson said after the game.

Dickerson, who finished the game 5-for-6, nearly had a fourth home run when he drilled a ball off the wall in deep left-center field in the ninth inning. His 16 total bases (three homers, two doubles) tied the Giants franchise record set by Willie Mays back in 1961. And he also became the 15th player in MLB history with five extra-base hits in a game.

“It’s incredible company. The things (Mays) did in his career and everything he means to San Francisco, to even be mentioned in the same breath as him is an incredible honor.”

Dickerson said of his achievement.

Brandon Crawford and Donovan Solano joined Dickerson with six RBI games for San Francisco. When all was said and done the Giants finished with 27 hits on the night.

Highlights from the Giants 23-5 beatdown of the Rockies on Tuesday night.

Gray, relievers roughed up

Righty Jon Gray started for the Rockies and lasted just 2 2/3 innings giving up seven runs on nine hits. It didn’t get any better from there as the next four Colorado relievers all gave up at least two runs.

It got so bad that backup catcher Drew Butera came on to pitch in the eighth inning. He actually finished with the best line of anyone for Colorado as he threw 1 2/3 innings and gave up just one run on three hits while striking out one. His scoreless ninth inning was the only inning San Francisco didn’t score in on Tuesday night.

The 23 runs allowed marks the third most in franchise history. The Reds beat Colorado 24-12 in 1999 and the Cubs won 26-7 back in 1995.

As for the 27 hits allowed, that’s tied for the second most allowed by the Rockies. The Reds finished with 28 in their win back in 1999.

Colorado’s starting pitchers were a integral piece of the Rockies’ 11-3 start to the season, but in the past 12 games they have a 7.63 ERA.

“We talked just a few days ago about our starting pitchers leading the National League in quality starts, and you look at the innings pitched and it’s right there with any rotation in baseball. But those guys have to perform to get us into the ballgame. It’s awful hard to claw back like we’ve had to do the last number of games. Starting pitching is critical.”

Rockies manager Bud Black said after Tuesday night’s debacle.

Extra bases

Outfielder Kevin Pillar made his debut for Colorado in the game, he started in center field and went 0-for-3. The Rockies optioned left-handed pitcher Phillip Diehl to the team’s alternate training site to make room for Pillar.

  • The lone bright spot for Colorado in the loss was Garrett Hampson who started at shortstop in place of Trevor Story and went 2-for-4 with two home runs. It was Story’s first game off this season.
  • TheAthletic.com’s Nick Groke wrote about a weird decision by Giants manager Gabe Kapler. In the seventh inning with San Francisco leading 18-2 Kapler challenged a call at first base that Giants right fielder Seven Duggar was out. The call was upheld. But challenging a call with your team up 16 in the seventh inning feels a bit extreme. Also, the Rockies had just two hits to that point in the game.
  • The teams finish off their short two-game series this afternoon at 1:10 p.m. (AT&T SportsNet) with Kyle Freeland (2-1, 3.43 ERA) scheduled to start for Colorado against San Francisco’s Logan Webb (2-3, 4.35).

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Rockies

Rockies blanked 6-0, add OF Pillar via trade

On a day when the Rockies traded for Boston outfielder Kevin Pillar Colorado’s bats were silent as San Diego blanked the Rockies 6-0 at Coors Field to take the four-game series and drop Colorado a game below .5oo (17-18).

Rockies starter Germán Márquez wasn’t sharp, but with Colorado’s offense MIA it didn’t really matter. Márquez labored through six innings allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out seven.

“His stuff is fine, he’s just not hitting spots. I’m not worried about the arm. Right now it’s about location. He’s not making enough good pitches at the most critical times.”

Rockies manager Bud Black said of Márquez after the game.

Márquez has now lost a career-worst four decisions in a row and is 2-5 with a 4.88 ERA on the season. During his past five starts he’s 0-4 with a 6.83 ERA.

“My fastball location wasn’t good today,. I missed with a couple of pitches but I have to hang in there and keep working.”

Márquez said.

Offensive woes

On the offensive side of things third baseman Nolan Arenado went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to seven games, but that’s about the only good news for the Rockies. Colorado finished the game with seven hits, all singles, save for a double by Daniel Murphy.

When asked after the game if he thinks the offense can get things turned around Arenado had this to say:

“I believe so. We just haven’t been consistent at all. That’s kind of our thing this year. We just haven’t been consistent throughout the lineup, and you see the Padres over there and they’re on fire — all the hitters over there.”

Rockies add OF Pillar

Before the game the Rockies traded for Pillar from the Red Sox in hopes that he can help offensively as well as defensively. But the fact is Pillar likely will help more patrolling the outfield, than he will at the plate.

Black said he expects Pillar to play center field for the Rockies and bat in the lower half of the lineup, which has been another sore spot for the Rockies.

Another reason Colorado acquire Pillar is due to the fact David Dahl remains on the IL and it’s not clear when he will return. The Rockies will trade either a player to be named or cash considerations, as well as international amateur signing bonus pool space for Pillar.

Rodgers goes back on injured list

On Monday the Rockies also placed infielder Brendan Rodgers on the 10-day IL with a right shoulder strain. Colorado is hopeful the injury is minor.

Since being recalled from alternative camp on Aug. 19 Rodgers has played in seven games hitting 0.95 (2-for-21) with a double and two RBI.

Extra bases

The Rockies welcome in the Giants for a quick two-game series starting tonight (6:40 p.m., AT&T SportsNet). Colorado righty Jon Gray (2-3, 5.45 ERA) will take the mound for the Rockies, while the Giants have yet to name a starter for the game.

  • MLB.com ranked all the trades made on Monday. The Rockies acquisition of Pillar ranked seventh overall. Unfortunately for Rockies fans, the Padres trade for Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger ranked No. 1.

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Rockies

Rockies hold on for 8-7 win over D-backs

Jon Gray pitched six innings and allowed just one run, Charlie Blackmon hammered a grand slam to put Colorado ahead 8-1 in the eighth inning and then the Rockies held on for dear life as Arizona’s rally fell just short as Colorado prevailed 8-7 on Wednesday night.

Gray looked the best he has all season as his fastball velocity was more than a mile an hour above his season average.

“To me, that’s the best stuff that Jon has had all year. I saw the velocity tick up. I saw some 95s, a bunch of 96s, I think I might have seen 97, which we haven’t seen this year. So that’s a good sign for Jon.”

Rockies manager Bud Black said of Gray’s performance after the game.

With the win, the third straight one-run victory over Arizona, Colorado (16-15) moves back over .500 on the season.

Harrowing ninth inning

After Sam Hilliard homered and Blackmon added his grand slam later in the eighth inning it appeared the Rockies would cruise to the win. Going to the bottom of the eighth the Diamondbacks trailed 8-1. And after scoring just two runs in the eighth the victory still seemed well in hand.

Tyler Kinley started the ninth for Colorado and allowed a hit and walk before being replaced. Jairo Díaz came in next and did record two outs, but also allowed two hits and a walk. The most dangerous of which was a two-run single by Christian Walker that hit the left-field wall, just a foot or two shy of being a walk-off grand slam for Arizona.

At last Jeff Hoffman came on for the Rockies and struck out Nick Ahmed to end it and pick up his first major league save.

Kemp sits out in protest of racial injustice

Colorado outfielder Matt Kemp joined a number of teams and players who choose not to play on Wednesday night in protest of police shootings of Black people in America and racial injustice as a whole in our country.

Kemp announced his decision via Instagram:

All three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday were postponed, as were five MLS games, three MLB games and all three WNBA games.

According to The Denver Post Rockies players had conversations in the clubhouse about postponing Wednesday’s game, but never had a formal meeting on the matter.

Extra bases

  • Colorado and Arizona finish off their four-game series this afternoon at 4:10 p.m. (AT&T SportsNet) with lefty Kyle Freeland (2-1, 2.87 ERA) starting for the Rockies against Diamondbacks righty Zac Gallen (0-0, 2.25 ERA).
  • Colorado outfielder David Dahl is “getting really close” to returning from the injured list according to Black. Dahl was an All-Star last year, but was in an 0-for-17 slump before going on the IL earlier this month.

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Nuggets-Jazz open NBA playoffs today at 11:30 a.m.

Nuggets

Nearly 10 months after Denver’s regular season began the playoffs have finally arrived as the Nuggets take on the Jazz in Game 1 of the teams’ first-round series today (11:30 a.m., ESPN, Altitude, 92.5 FM) in Orlando.

The Nuggets swept the season series (3-0) with Utah, but the three games were decided by a total of 11 points, so don’t expect a cakewalk for Nikola Jokić and company.

Denver did receive good news of sorts over the weekend though as Utah starting point guard Mike Conley left the NBA bubble in Orlando for the birth of his son. Due to the NBA’s quarantine protocols Conley is expected to miss at least Games 1 and 2 of the series.

To get your covered on everything Nuggets-Jazz, here’s a roundup of everything being written about the series.

  • TheDNVR.com’s Adam Mares has a great, in-depth breakdown, with plenty of game video, looking at the key battlegrounds in the series.
  • At TheAthletic.com Joe Vardon wrote about team-by-team observations, one of his notes on the Nuggets was that during the training camp portion of life in the bubble Paul Millsap golfed nearly everyday.
  • TheAthletic also has an article with an anonymous scout, coach and exec who pick first-round series winners. All three picked the Nuggets to advance. TheAthletic’s John Hollinger also made his picks and thinks the Nuggets will advance in six games.
  • The Denver Post published its Nuggets playoff guide today and in it they wrote about Michael Porter Jr. and why he has a playoff advantage. As well as five things to watch in the series, how Denver is more confident this year after last season’s playoff experience and Mike Singer also wrote about how the Nuggets have backed up their commitment to social justice while in the bubble.
  • My thoughts: It’s been a long time since the Nuggets were legitimate favorites heading into a playoff series, but there’s no reason they shouldn’t get past the Jazz in five or six games. With Conley being out for the Jazz that makes these first couple games pivotal, Denver needs to win each game he misses and put Utah away as early as possible.
    I want to believe, but I definitely worry about them stumbling a little and having to go seven games, just like last year. Unfortunately, this year they don’t have the home crowd to help if that does happen. I’ll pick them to win in six games.
  • Nuggets-Jazz schedule
DateTime (MT)Channels
Mon., Aug. 1711:30 a.m.ESPN, Altitude
Wed., Aug. 192 p.m.TNT, Altitude
Fri., Aug. 212 p.m.TNT, Altitude
Sun., Aug. 237 p.m.TNT, Altitude
*Tue., Aug. 25TBDTBD, Altitude
*Thur., Aug. 27TBDTBD, Altitude
Sat., Aug. 29TBDTBD, Altitude
*If necessary, all games played on neutral court in Orlando

Avalanche

Shortly after the Nuggets-Jazz game ends the Avalanche face a pivotal Game 4 (3:30 p.m., NBCSN, Altitude, 92.5 FM) in their first-round series against Arizona. Colorado leads the series 2-1, a win would push the Coyotes to the brink of elimination, while a loss would tie the series at 2-2.

TheAthletic’s Ryan S. Clark and Kevin Kurz wrote about how the Avs did all the right things during their loss in Game 3, but unfortunately for Colorado so did Arizona.

  • Through three games it’s clear that Colorado is the better team overall, but with Darcy Kuemper in net for Arizona it could be a problem for the Avs according to The Post’s Mark Kiszla.
  • My thoughts: A hot goalie in hockey is sometimes all a team needs to win a playoff series. Kuemper has been outstanding so far for Arizona, but I think the Avs are just too good overall for him to pull Arizona back.
    The only thing that could change that would be if Philipp Grubauer struggles in net today and the Avs are faced with a goalie controversy. I don’t foresee that happening. Avs still should close out the series in five games.
  • Avalanche-Coyotes results and schedule
GameResult
Game 1Colorado 3, Arizona 0
Game 2Colorado 3, Arizona 2
Game 3Arizona 4, Colorado 2
Colorado leads best-of-seven series 2-1
DateTime (MT)Home teamChannel
Mon., Aug. 173:30 p.m.ArizonaNBCSN, Alt.
Wed., Aug. 19TBDColoradoTBD, Alt.
*Fri., Aug. 21TBDArizonaTBD, Alt.
*Sun., Aug. 23TBDColoradoTBD, Alt.
*If necessary. All games played at Rogers Place, Edmonton

Rockies

Outfielder Raimel Tapia had three hits and Jon Gray pitched seven solid innings as the Rockies ended their three-game losing streak by beating Texas 10-6 on Sunday afternoon at Coors Field.

It was a get-right game for the Rockies and one they hope gets them back on the winning track after Colorado had lost five of its past six games.

Charlie Blackmon went 2-for-3 in the win, ending a mini-slump of sorts after being one of the hottest hitters in baseball. And Ryan McMahon added a three-run homer for the Rockies as well.

  • Sunday wasn’t all good news for the Rockies unfortunately, right-handed reliever Carlos Estévez recorded the final out of the game, but it took getting hit by a comebacker to do so. Estévez replaced Jairo Díaz in the ninth inning after Díaz walked three, including two with the bases loaded. Rockies manager Bud Black said it was too early to know the extent of Estévez’s injury.
    My thoughts: No matter what the situation is with Estévez, the Rockies need to get Díaz out of the closer’s role and put Daniel Bard in it. Díaz was hurt by a McMahon error on Sunday, but Bard clearly has shown that he’s the best person for the job right now.
  • It’s a big week for the Rockies as they open a four-game series in Houston today (7:10 p.m., AT&T Sports Net, 850 AM) before heading to L.A. to take on the Dodgers for three straight starting Friday.
  • Left Kyle Freeland (2-0, 2.45 ERA) takes the mound tonight for Colorado against Houston’s Brandon Bielak (2-0, 1.76 ERA).

Broncos

With Training Camp in full swing TheDNVR’s Andrew Mason looked at whether the Broncos will be able to keep running backs Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon happy this season with only so many carries and playing time to go around.

Colleges

Bad news for CU and CSU writes The Post’s Sean Keeler, as according the recruiting experts the Buffs had a bad week, but for the Rams it was even worse.

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Gray stumbles as Rockies drop second straight

Rockies

Nolan Arenado returned to the lineup after an off day Sunday and went 4-for-4, while Charlie Blackmon extended his hitting streak to 14 games with four hits of his own, unfortunately for the first time this season Colorado’s pitchers got hammered as the Diamondbacks held on for the 12-8 win Monday night at Coors Field.

Jon Gray started and lasted just 3 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs on 11 hits, including a leadoff home run to Kole Calhoun to open the game. Despite the loss Colorado remains in first in the NL West, a half game ahead of the Dodgers and 1.5 ahead of the Padres.

The Rockies had trimmed an 8-3 deficit down to one by the seventh inning when shortstop Trevor Story misplayed a possible double-play grounder into a two-run single. Story’s been great at the plate this season, but he does have four errors already.

  • Lefty Kyle Freeland (2-0, 2.41 ERA) gets the start tonight (6:4o p.m., AT&T Sports Net, 850 AM) for Colorado against Arizona’s Zac Gallen (0-0, 2.81 ERA).
  • Not only does Blackmon have a 14-game hitting streak, he’s leading the majors in batting average (.484), on-base percentage (.514) and on-base plus slugging (1.217). He’s been so hot that manager Bud Black compared him to former greats Barry Bonds and George Brett.
  • TheAthletic.com’s Ken Rosenthal wrote about Story, and how he’s underrated, but undeterred and that he just keeps getting better.
  • Meanwhile, TheAthletic.com’s Nick Groke wrote about where the Rockies stand a quarter of the way through the season. He focused on Freeland, the depth of the starting rotation and Blackmon’s tear so far this season.
  • The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders talked to Freeland who said the Rockies’ pitching staff is pitching with a chip on its shoulder this season.
    He also talked to Black who said if outfielder David Dahl breaks out of his slump he likely would return to the top of Colorado’s batting order.

Nuggets

Despite sitting all of their starters for the entire fourth quarter the Nuggets nearly knocked off the top-seeded Lakers on Monday night in Orlando. Instead, Kyle Kuzma knocked down the game-winning three pointer over Bol Bol with 0.4 seconds remaining as Denver lost 124-121.

Coming off a thrilling double overtime win against Utah on Sunday head coach Michael Malone was more concerned with not over working his players vs. Los Angeles.

Jamal (Murray), Michael (Porter Jr.), Nikola (Jokic), Jerami (Grant) have all played an extremely high amount of minutes. So, this game is an opportunity for us to compete, to get better, go out there and be prepared to win, like we do every night, but whether we win or lose, I’m not going to look too much into this because of who’s available and us closely monitoring how much we’re playing our key players.”

Michael Malone said before Monday night’s game against the Lakers.

So instead, as the Nuggets headed to the fourth quarter with the score tied at 88 Denver rode a lineup of Bol, Mason Plumlee, Monte Morris, P.J. Dozier and Keita Bates-Diop against LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

“Couldn’t be more proud of our group. I thought we played extremely hard against the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. … For us to sit our starters that whole fourth quarter and to have guys on the bench out there giving them all they could handle and lose a heartbreaker is always tough.”

Malone said after the game.

Porter led the Nuggets in scoring with 15 points in 24 minutes of action, while Jokic added 12 points in 25 minutes.

  • Next up for the Nuggets is the other L.A. team, the Clippers on Wednesday at 7 p.m. (ESPN, Altitude, 92.5 FM). Then it’s the final game before the playoffs on Friday as Denver takes on Toronto at 1:30 p.m. (Altitude, 92.5 FM).
  • Denver is 1.5 games behind the Clippers for the No. 2 seed in the West, and one game ahead of the Rockets.
  • TheDNVR.com’s Harrison Wind wrote about whether the Nuggets will be able to balance building chemistry while maintaining a healthy roster.
  • Both ESPN.com and TheAthletic.com released their latest NBA Power rankings. The Nuggets checked in at No. 5 on ESPN and No. 8 on TheAthletic.

Colleges

Colorado State athletic director Joe Parker confirmed reports that the Mountain West is postponing its fall football season due to coronavirus concerns. With the announcement CSU, Air Force and Wyoming are all left waiting to see if the season will be played come spring.

Now all eyes locally turn to the Pac-12 Conference which could make an announcement as early as today as to whether the season will be postponed or canceled. Several media outlets were reporting the Pac-12 and Big Ten could make a decision in tandem.

  • The Denver Post’s Sean Keller wrote about how if the Buffs and the Pac-12 do play this season then it will prove that it’s about the money, not player safety.
  • Buffzone.com’s Pat Rooney wrote that even though college football players want to play, that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to.
  • My thoughts: I think college sports, football and men’s basketball in particular, are headed for a reckoning of sorts. For way too long the structure of college athletics at the Division-1 level has been a mess. There’s no reason that at CU the football team should have to play in order to fund the athletics department as a whole. How is it that D-II and D-III schools have sports teams, when they don’t have football and men’s basketball teams that generate huge sums of money? It’s ridiculous that it’s taken a global pandemic for this problem to finally get addressed, but now the question is whether the power that be actually will figure out a solution. And that’s the other problem, there’s no one actually in charge. We’re seeing it right now with each conference making its own decisions and with schools like Nebraska saying they’ll find somewhere else to play if the Big Ten does close up shop. Imagine the NFL allowing each division to decide what its teams are going to do this season, it would be chaos. Which is exactly what we have right now thanks to the NCAA.

Avalanche

With the first round of the NHL playoffs starting today TheAthletic.com released its Power Rankings and coming in at No. 1 is the Colorado Avalanche. No. 2 in the rankings is the team who beat the Avs on Sunday, the Vegas Golden Knights.

Not surprisingly in the prediction section of the article all the voters picked the Avs to beat the Coyotes in the teams’ first round series which starts Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. (NBCSN, Altitude, 92.5 FM).

Broncos

The Broncos announced their training camp practice schedule for this year on Monday. As of right now the team’s first practice is scheduled for this Friday and they are slated to have 18 practices over the following three weeks.

Denver opens the regular season at home on Monday, Sept. 14 against the Tennessee Titans.

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Avs blank Stars 4-0, eye No. 1 seed

Avalanche

Pavel Francouz made 27 saves and became the first goalie in Avs history to post a shutout in his first postseason game as Colorado dominated Dallas 4-0 in the teams’ second of three round-robin games on Wednesday in Edmonton.

Rookie Cale Makar got the scoring started just 3:19 into the first period on the power play. Joonas Donskoi later scored just after an Avs’ power play ended to give Colorado a 2-0 lead. Vladislav Namestnikov scored late in the second period and Andre Burakovsky added the final tally early in the third.

Colorado faces the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday (time to be determined) and with a win would earn the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed.

  • TheAthletic.com’s Ryan S. Clark wrote about what the Avs will do throughout the rest of the playoffs with two goalies in Francouz and Philipp Grubauer who have both looked very sharp in Colorado’s first two games.
    My thoughts: In hockey you almost always have a clear No. 1 goalie, so the idea of going with two during the playoffs just feels weird. But the reality of the matter is it’s worked with the Avs so far, so what’s wrong with sticking with it. And if one guy gets hot or goes cold then you can make an adjustment, but until then, don’t try to fix what’s not broken.
  • TheDNVR’s Evan Rawal handed out grades to the Avs after the victory over the Stars.
  • Unfortunately, The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla was forced to write about how ridiculous it is that so many fans in Colorado still can not watch the Nuggets and Avs because of Altitude not being able to reach an agreement with Comcast and Dish Network.

Nuggets

Michael Porter Jr. had his second straight 30-point game as the Nuggets rallied to beat San Antonio 132-126 on Wednesday afternoon in Orlando. Porter finished with 30 points, 15 rebounds and made five threes in Denver’s second straight win.

The Nuggets also got another solid game from center Nikola Jokić who finished with 25 points and 11 assists. Monte Morris, starting in place of injured Jamal Murray had 19 points, four assists and zero turnovers. Both Jerami Grant (22 points) and P.J. Dozier (12 points and eight assists) led the Nuggets off the bench.

Denver is in third place in the Western Conference standings at 45-23, two games clear of fourth place Utah and just a half game behind the Clippers. The Nuggets are back in action tonight as they face Portland at 6 p.m. (Altitude, 92.5 FM).

  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Porter became the first rookie to score 65 points while shooting 65% or better and grab at least 25 rebounds in back-to-back games since Shaquille O’Neal in 1993.
    My thoughts: Stats like this are fun, but also not really accurate at this point. While technically still a rookie this is more like Porter’s third season than his first. He basically took a medical redshirt Year 1, and then with the four-month layoff this season due to COVID-19 it’s hard to really consider him a rookie. Either way he’s been fun to watch and if he keeps it up this year and going forward the Nuggets should be serious championship contenders.
  • TheDNVR.com’s Adam Mares broke down the play of Grant and looked at how he shows off an under-utilized skill.

Rockies

Nolan Arenado homered in his third straight game, but it wasn’t enough as Colorado’s four-game winning streak was snapped with a 4-3 loss to the Giants on Wednesday night at Coors Field.

Starter Jon Gray pitched well (six innings, three earned runs), but Brandon Belt tagged him for a three-run home run in the fourth inning and San Francisco added another run in the six to pick up the win.

  • Charlie Blackmon extended his hitting streak to nine games and is hitting .378 this season, especially impressive when you remember he missed the start of Summer Camp due to a battle with COVID-19.
  • The Rockies and Giants finish off their four-game series this afternoon (1:10 p.m., AT&T Sports Net, 850 AM) with Kyle Freeland taking on the Giants’ Tyler Anderson, a former first-round pick of the Rockies.
  • Freeland is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA after two starts this year, and one of the reasons for his early-season success has been throwing more changeups.
  • Reliever Wade Davis, who was placed on the injured list with a right shoulder strain, has not yet begun throwing and continues to receive treatment.

Broncos

There’s no question the Broncos are going to be very reliant on young players this season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. TheDNVR.com’s Andrew Mason looked at how Courtland Sutton and the rest of the offensive will attempt to build some chemistry, especially with the impact coronavirus has had on everything.

  • Along very much the same lines, PFF.com’s Sam Monson looked at whether Denver can challenge this year, with so much of a dependance on young players.
  • Over at TheAthletic.com Sheil Kapadia ranked all the NFL offenses from 1-32. Where’d the Broncos check in? How about 27th, one spot down from where they had them ranked last year. Clearly Kapadia believes the Broncos youth is a detriment, not a blessing.

CU Buffs

In some very sad news long-time CU Buffs fan Betty Hoover died Wednesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Hoover was 95 years old.

She, along with her twin sister Peggy Coppom, have been iconic fans at Buffs games for 80 years. She will be missed.

CSU Rams

Colorado State’s football scheduled was revealed, kind of, on Wednesday. Assuming it happens, the Rams will play eight conference games, with the opener coming the week of Sept. 26. CSU’s lone remaining non-conference game vs. Northern Colorado is now in limbo. As for who they’ll actual face? According to The Denver Post story, the scheduling models for the Mountain West Conference season remain “under consideration.”

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Avalanche Broncos CU Buffs Nuggets Rockies

Gray faces Padres in Rockies’ home opener

Rockies

It’s the last day of July and even though there won’t be fans in the stands or packing the streets of LoDo like most years, today still is the Rockies home opener. As such The Denver Post looked back at five of the team’s most notable home openers in its history. No. 5 on the list was Mike Hampton’s debut in 2001 after signing a record eight-year, $121 million contract in the offseason.

As for today’s opener (6:10 p.m., AT&T SportsNet, 850 AM), Jon Gray takes the mound against the San Diego Padres, a team he’s fared extremely well against in his career. Despite Gray’s overall record of success with Colorado it also will be the first time in his career starting the home opener.

“I’m ready for that real competition there, and I feel like I always have an edge (at Coors Field), so I’m excited. (At home I pitch) knowing that I’m going to out-do the other guy and knowing that our lineup is going to hit the ball. It’s a good combination and it makes you feel confident.”

Jon Gray told The Denver Post

As for the rest of the three-game series, lefty Kyle Freeland is scheduled to start Saturday (6:10 p.m.) and righty Antonio Senzatela will take the mound Sunday (1:10 p.m.)

Nuggets

The NBA season started back up last night as the Jazz beat the Pelicans (106-104) and the Lakers topped the Clippers (103-101) in two tight games. The Nuggets still have another day to wait as they reopen play Saturday morning (11 a.m.) against Miami.

In the meantime coach Michael Malone told TheAthletic.com that where they Nuggets ended up seeded is not his biggest concern.

“Right now, to be honest, I am not concerned about our seeding. Having clinched a playoff spot, my No. 1 concern is health. That continues to be a huge concern for me, a huge point of emphasis. So, can we find a way to get healthy come August 17? With that being said, we have to find ways to start improving.”

Head coach Michael Malone

On the forefront of those concerns is the status of Denver’s Will Barton who has been dealing with right knee soreness while in the bubble.

Avalanche

It’s the Rockies home opener today, the Nuggets first game back tomorrow and then Sunday is about the Avs as they kick off their NHL restart against the St. Louis Blues (4:30 p.m., Altitude) in the round-robin portion to determine the Western Conferences top 4 seeds.

TheDNVR’s AJ Haefele wrote about the glue guys on the Avs, who Colorado will need in order to go deep into the playoffs this season.

Broncos

Fullback/tight end Andrew Beck became the first Broncos player to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday. NFL rules prohibit the team from revealing whether he tested positive for coronavirus or needs to be quarantined because he was around a person who tested positive.

  • In an ESPN.com article Rivers McCown ranked the Top 25 young NFL players poised for a breakout season. No. 2 on the list is Denver defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones. Arguably Jones’ best game last season came in Week 16 against the Lions when he recorded 2.5 sacks, two tackles for a loss and was named the AFC Defensive Player of the week.

CU Buffs

The CU football team keeps adding to its 2021 recruiting class. The latest addition is Kaylin Moore, a three-star athlete out of Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian High School. Moore is Colorado’s 11th commit for 2021 and the sixth since July 13.

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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.

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Avalanche Broncos Nuggets Rockies

Marquez to start opener, Broncos nearing return, and Nuggets and Avs news

Rockies

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but Colorado officially named German Marquez its starter for Friday’s opener in Texas against the Rangers. Jon Gray will start Saturday’s game and lefty Kyle Freeland will take the mound on Sunday.

Antonio Senzatela will be the team’s No. 4 starter and while manager Bud Black said Chi Chi Gonzalez and Jeff Hoffman have made the team, he did not say which would be the fifth starter.

My thoughts: What a difference a year makes. Last year Freeland as the Opening Day starter, and Gray the two years prior. Going into last season it felt like the Rockies had three really good pitchers at the top of their rotation. Now it feels more like who knows what to expect.

Marquez is right on the cusp of being one of the top pitchers in the National League, similar to where Gray was a little while back. The question is will he be able to take the next step and keep getting better.

I thought Gray was Colorado’s best pitcher last season until they shut him down near the end. But it’s hard to know what you’re getting with him. He still has ace potential, but doesn’t show it as much as you’d like.

And as for Freeland it would be hard to be worse than he was last season. And he doesn’t need to be as good as he was in 2018, but if he can regain that form Colorado really could contend this year.

Broncos

The Broncos got the all clear to start allowing their rookies and quarterbacks into their team facility at the end of this week.

If all goes according to plan players will be tested for COVID-19 on a daily basis during the first two week of training camp. If less than 5% test positive the testing will be allowed to be done every other day.

Nuggets

Both Jamal Murray and head coach Michael Malone preached patience when it comes to evaluating the Nuggets during the NBA restart.

The team’s first scrimmage is Wednesday, but both Murray and Malone talked more about the start of the playoffs, Aug. 17, for when the team will be firing on all cylinders.

My thoughts: This really makes perfect sense. With the season hitting the pause button in mid-March, it will have been more than four months until the season resumes. A full offseason in other words.

You don’t expect, or even want, a team to be perfect to start a season. The goal is to amp up and get better until you peak come playoff time. The goal for the NBA restart should be the exact same.

Seeding doesn’t really matter since there’s no home court. So the Nuggets only goal should be figuring out what they can to do peak at the right time.

Avalanche

Cale Makar was unavailable to practice for the second day in a row. The team has only said he’s “unfit” to practice and did not provide a timeline of when he might return.

Meanwhile, Connor Timmins continues to impress.

Nationally

According to various sources the NFL is offering the players the chance to have zero preseason games this year.

  • ESPN.com put out its NFL Future Power Rankings, looking at how teams are setup for the next three seasons. Broncos’ fan have to scroll all the way down to No. 24 to find Denver.