Rockies rookie Ryan Castellani threw six innings, allowing just two runs on three hits as Colorado beat Arizona 3-2 on Monday night to end the Rockies’ seven-game losing streak.
The win was the first of Castellani’s career and it was fitting that it was at Arizona’s Chase Field, just five minutes from his high school. Castellani still lives in Arizona and his wife and young son were watching the game from the family’s Scottsdale home.
“I grew up going to these games here. I’ve sat everywhere in the stadium, and now for things to come full circle and be on the mound to get my first win here is just amazing.”
Castellani said after his first major league win.
The Rockies offense didn’t do a lot, but this time it did enough to get the job done. Trevor Story hit his ninth home run of the season, a solo shot in the first inning. Colorado’s second run came by way of a sacrifice fly off the bat of Daniel Murphy. And the winning run was scored when Raimel Tapia drove in Tony Wolters with a single in the fifth inning.
Daniel Bard worked a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his second save of the season.
Story now has 20 home runs against Arizona, the second most of any opponent. He has 21 against the Giants.
Outfielder Charlie Blackmon was a late scratch from Monday’s game due to left quad tightness. Manager Bud Black said Blackmon is day-to-day.
The two teams are back in action tonight at 7:40 p.m. (AT&N SportsNet) with Germán Márquez (2-4, 4.38 ERA) looking to bounce back from his worst start of the season for the Rockies against Alex Young (1-1, 4.50 ERA) of the Diamondbacks.
Lastly, MLB.com had its writers back bold predictions for what each team will do at this year’s trade deadline which is Aug. 31. Thomas Harding wrote that the Rockies will trade for Texas’ Shin-Soo Choo. And if not Choo, the other name he suggested was Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr.. Both Choo and Bradley will be free agents after this season.
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.
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.
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.
Mon., Aug. 17
Wed., Aug. 19
Fri., Aug. 21
Sun., Aug. 23
*Tue., Aug. 25
*Thur., Aug. 27
Sat., Aug. 29
*If necessary, all games played on neutral court in Orlando
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.
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
Colorado 3, Arizona 0
Colorado 3, Arizona 2
Arizona 4, Colorado 2
Colorado leads best-of-seven series 2-1
Mon., Aug. 17
Wed., Aug. 19
*Fri., Aug. 21
*Sun., Aug. 23
*If necessary. All games played at Rogers Place, Edmonton
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).