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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 Rapids Rockies

Nuggets, Rockies, Rapids all in action today

Nuggets

The Nuggets are back in action today for the first time since mid-March, albeit just a scrimmage vs. the Washington Wizards (1:30 p.m., Altitude).

Denver is only expected to have nine players available to play as both Gary Harris and Torrey Craig cleared quarantine on Tuesday, but will not be available.

  • According to The Denver Post fourteen of the Nuggets players will wear messages on their jerseys supporting racial equality. Guard Troy Daniels added the team also is considering other ways of protesting, but said nothing has been decided as of now.

Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon was named a finalist for yet another award on Tuesday, this time the Hart Trophy, the NHL’s MVP. Last week the MacKinnon also was named a finalist for the Lady Byng and Ted Lindsay trophies.

The Lady Byng is given to the player who displays the best sportsmanship, along with high standards of play. MacKinnon definitely makes sense for that since his 12 penalty minutes this season are the fewest among the NHL’s top 25 scorers.

And the Ted Lindsay trophy is for the league’s “most outstanding player.”

My thoughts: I’m guessing the Lady Byng is the only regular-season hardware MacKinnon brings home this year, but he’ll be perfectly fine with that if he adds a Stanley Cup instead.

Rockies

It was just an exhibition game, but still, it was great to see the Rockies back in action on Tuesday night. Colorado beat the Rangers 5-1 as Texas opened new Globe Life Field.

Colorado got home runs from Daniel Murphy, Nolan Arenado and David Dahl in the win. The team’s square off against tonight (6 p.m.), before Opening Day on Friday.

Broncos

Today in their on-going series, The Denver Post tackled the Broncos’ running backs.

My thoughts: I still don’t understand the need to sign Melvin Gordon this offseason. I think he’s clearly an upgrade over Royce Freeman, but I’m not sure he’s an upgrade over Phillip Lindsay. And the $16 million over two years just feels like a major overpay.

I would have rather seen Denver sign a less expensive free agent (Devonta Freeman perhaps) and use the extra money for some help on the offensive line or at cornerback.

And one thing the Post article does not mention is Gordon’s problems with fumbling during his career. It doesn’t matter how well he runs this ball, if he can’t hang onto it he’ll be a liability.

  • ESPN.com published its list of the most improved teams this offseason from 1-to-32. Denver checked in at No. 6, right behind Cleveland and just in front of Arizona.
    They ranked Miami the most improved and the L.A. Rams as the least improved.

Rapids

Colorado is back in action tonight against Minnesota United (8:30 p.m., ESPN, Altitude 92.5 FM) for what likely is their final game of the MLS is Back Tournament.

The Rapids dropped the first two games of the group stage against Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City. Minnesota already has clinched a spot in the knockout round.

The Denver Post wrote about whether or not the Rapids have a discipline problem. And judging by the numbers, the do. Colorado led the MLS in red cards last year and in 2018 had 11 more yellow cards than the next closest team.

CSU Rams

The Mountain West Conference released its conference’s coaches poll on Tuesday and Colorado State was picked to finish fifth out of six teams in the Mountain Division. Not surprisingly, Boise State is picked to finish first, followed by Wyoming and Air Force.

New Mexico was the one team ranked below the Rams.