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The Colorado Rockies had their losing streak extended to five games after the New York Yankees defeated, 8-2.
The loss dropped the Rockies record to 46-51 on the season.
Ahead are takeaways from the loss.
The grass is not always greener
This year has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the Rockies with the team finding themselves in more valleys than peaks.
There are some fundamental differences between the Rockies team of this year and the postseason clubs of 2017-18. It just so happens, two familiar faces happen to play for the opposing team in their current series.
Both D.J. LeMahieu and Adam Ottavino were critical components to the Rockies success in each of the past two seasons, but both players now find themselves chasing a championship with the Yankees.
The two players signed with the Yankees for a combined $51 million last offseason and have been among the best players in the American League.
LeMahieu and Ottavino each had impacts against their former clubs, with LeMahieu driving home a pair of runs and Ottavino striking out the side in the sixth inning.
It’s safe to say the Rockies would be in a much better spot at this point in the year if they’d have re-signed one, if not both.
Former Rockies’ outfielder Mike Tauchman is also a member of the Yankees and did some damage against Colorado by collecting a trio of hits.
Freeland sputters again in grand fashion
Kyle Freeland made his first start away from Coors Field since being recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque. Freeland spent time with the Isotopes, the Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate, in order to refine himself on the mound after a rough go around in the first half of the season.
Freeland got off to a strong start, working two scoreless innings to open up the ballgame.
Freeland fell into trouble in the third inning. With one out and the bases clear, Freeland surrendered a base hit to LeMahieu. Freeland then buckled, walking back-to-back batters to load the bases. Edwin Encarnacion then plunked a grand slam over the fence in left field, establishing a devastating 4-2 lead for New York.
LeMahieu got the best of Freeland once again, driving home a run in the fourth inning.
Freeland departed with a line of four innings pitched allowing five runs on six hits while striking out six batters.
McMahon continues to swing it
Rockies’ infielder Ryan McMahon stayed hot at the dish versus the New York Yankees. McMahon platted the first run of the ballgame for the Rockies by crushing a solo home run to center field in the second inning.
McMahon has been locked in at the dish as of late, hitting .340 (18-for-53) with four doubles, one triple and four home runs in his last 14 starts.
McMahon became the 10th Rockie of all-time to hit a home run in Yankee Stadium.
Almonte struggles in his latest chance
Yency Almonte has added to the Rockies’ recent pitching woes out of the bullpen.
Colorado’s bullpen started off the season strong; however, the Rockies’ relief pitchers have sputtered as of late. The Rockies’ bullpen entered Friday’s game with a 4.88 earned run average which ranks in the bottom third of the National League.
Almonte was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque during the Rockies doubleheader versus the San Francisco Giants and has remained with the club since. Almonte was summoned out of the bullpen in relief of starting pitcher Kyle Freeland with Colorado trailing 5-2.
Almonte was unable to keep things close as he coughed up three runs on four hits in two innings of work.
Although the Rockies were trailing at the time Almonte entered the game, the bullpens’ inability to keep games both close and competitive has crippled Colorado since the All-Star break.
Davis was already the lone veteran at inside linebacker, with Josey Jewell, the second-year man out of Iowa, stepping up to push himself to be a starter. Basically, because there is no one else.
But with Davis, a fifth-year pro who started 45 games in Denver the last three years alongside Brandon Marshall, out it leaves second-year man Alexander Johnson as the next man up on the inside.
Johnson played from 2011-14 at the University of Tennessee, but then was suspended due to rape allegations and although he was expected to be drafted in 2015, didn’t make it to the NFL until 2018. After those allegations were eventually cleared, Johnson signed with Denver just before the 2018 season, appearing in one game and playing on the practice squad.
So, to say he has little experience in the important interior of the defense would be an understatement.
“He’s got good size. He’s a thumper in there. He’s strong. He’s just got to improve his overall understanding and execution,” head coach Vic Fangio said of Johnson on Friday. “He’s a guy that, you guys know the story, missed a lot of football in his career and he’s got a lot of catching up to do, not just in our system but learning how to play in the NFL and overcoming all the lack of action that he missed throughout his career.”
But, it’s not just Johnson or bust for the Broncos, Denver and Fangio — the famed linebacker whisperer — must find a surefire starter at that key position. Even if Davis returns to the practice field in time for Week 1, he’ll be woefully behind compared to teammates and the rest of the league, who will have four games of preseason to get into game shape.
Jeff Holland, the defensive end whom Denver signed after the 2018 draft, has been moving between DE and ILB. Fangio said that transition between positions has been a bit tough on the second-year pro.
“The biggest adjustment; I don’t think it’s a problem going back and forth but it’s a little bit of an issue for him because he hadn’t done it much,” Fangio said of Holland moving positions back and forth. “He did it a little bit in the college all-star game, so the newness of the position is more so an issue than going back and forth, but he’s been doing fine with it.”
As for the short and long term — at least as far as this season is concerned — Denver must have consistency in the middle. Jewell is a hard-nosed defender who gives it his all on every play, but he lacks speed needed to be dominant at the NFL level. He’ll be calling the plays in the huddle, Fangio said, with Davis out.
If Johnson and/or Holland can’t play well enough at inside linebacker, the Broncos may look to add a veteran, but Fangio also said it’s too early to do that. In all likelihood, a move like that would come after final cuts are made.
Whether Davis is back in time for the regular season, Denver knew they were extremely thin at inside linebacker and that’s already rearing its ugly head. Keep an eye on that spot on the field as this marathon of a season continues.
For those Broncos fans wishing to see rookie Drew Lock suit up behind center this year, put a pin in it.
Lock may be an interesting athlete and he’s been showing flashes of brilliance in the first two practices in Dove Valley, but those mere flashes aren’t going to win games. For him to be successful in the Mile High City, Lock will have to learn what it means to be an NFL quarterback.
“His college offense really had no carry over to pro offenses and he was under duress a lot of times at his college, so a lot of his plays he was running around,” head coach Vic Fangio said of Lock on Friday. “I don’t think he’s far along being a ready NFL quarterback as he could have been. That’s what I mean when he’s got to get ready.”
Lock is great at improvising, and considering how poorly the Broncos offensive line has blocked for recent quarterbacks, that could help him. However, many NFL offenses are predicated on exact timing, great footwork and throwing mechanics; simply, Lock has a lot to improve upon.
“He’s not a quarterback yet,” Fangio continued on the rookie. “He’s a hard throwing pitcher that doesn’t know how to pitch yet, so the faster he gets that the better off he’ll be and we’ll be.”
It sounds like the new head coach in town is saying his rookie quarterback has to get to work.
Lock did just that on Thursday, making sure to get a deal done with Denver and get out on the practice field for the first practice of the year. He wanted to make sure he wasn’t holding out, likely gaining respect from his teammates along the way.
It was not only a positive sign, but a positive for Lock and the Broncos as he sounds like he needs as much time as possible learning in live drills. We knew going into the draft that his footwork needed improvement, and while he has a live arm, his touch throws as well as decision making need to be better, too.
Benjamin Allbright noted there have been a few flashes but also some “what the hell?” moments from the youngster so far.
Yes, the most popular player in any NFL city is the backup quarterback, but even if Joe Flacco struggles this year, don’t expect Lock to be thrown into the fire. Unless, of course, he has to be due to an injury to the starter or the Broncos have already been counted out of the playoffs for a fourth straight season.
2020? That could be the season of Drew Lock, or Denver could continue to kick the tires on Flacco for another year.
For the newest Denver Nuggets Daily Podcast, T.J. McBride dives into everything to do with Nuggets newest forward Vlatko Cancar.
Topics for the newest Denver Nuggets Daily Podcast include how Cancar got to the NBA, his connection to Nikola Jokic, the steps he took for the Nuggets to feel comfortable signing him, and the pros and cons to his game on both offense and defense as well as answers to questions from listeners. For more conversation about Cancar’s role on the Nuggets, click here.
Click here — or listen below — and be sure to rate the podcast, use the comment feature to leave any feedback, and subscribe through iTunes or any other podcast platform.
The Denver Broncos hit the field for day two of training camp looking to build on the strong first day at UC Health Training Center.
Linebacker Joe Jones got the day started with an interception off Kevin Hogan as Denver begins life without Todd Davis for at least 3-4 weeks, who is out with a partial tear in his calf muscle.
Alexander Johnson got the first chance at filling in for the injured Davis. The Broncos will have a rotation of players in action as Davis sits out the majority of preseason.
Courtland Sutton had a bit of a better day, getting lots of encouragement from the coaching staff through drills and cheers from the crowd on a tough catch during some offensive scrimmages.
Broncos safety Su’a Cravens is locked in for the first couple days of camp, recording an interception off Kevin Hogan. Cravens has had a solid start to the camp, recording an interception in back-to-back practices.
Rookie quarterback Drew Lock was first out of the building on Friday morning for practice, playing catch with wide receiver River Cracraft. The practices have a new vibe to it that is focused solely on football, as the music that once blared through the speakers is quiet, allowing for pure communication and synchronicity between players and coaches.
What we learned:
The Denver Broncos signed running-back David Williams and waived offensive lineman Nathan Jacobson.
Announced late-Thursday, linebacker Todd Davis will miss an expected 3-4 weeks with a partial tear in a calf muscle.
Sunday is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Day, the Broncos are requesting fans dress in purple and all monetary donations can be made to help end Alzheimer’s. The Broncos will be matching all monetary donations to the Alzheimer’s Association made at training camp on Sunday. Last year, the Broncos raised $40,614.31 at Alzheimer’s Awareness Day at training camp in 2018, which helped ‘Team Super Bowlen’ reach a team-fundraising record of $115,000. ‘Team Super Bowlen’ has raised nearly $500,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association since its inception in 2014.
Colorado football head coach Mel Tucker was in attendance Friday to watch the Broncos.
For the latest installment of the 20th and Blake podcast, MLB.com Executive Reporter Mark Feinsand joins Aniello Piro to reflect on the playing career of Mariano Rivera and the Colorado Rockies.
Topics include Rivera’s upbringing and path to becoming the best closer in the history of the game. The pair also discuss the rise of D.J. LeMahieu and the overall view of the Rockies from a national standpoint.
Click here – or listen below – and be sure to rate the podcast, use the comment feature to leave any feedback, and subscribe through iTunes.
Denver Broncos training camp this season will showcase plenty of new faces, including new head coach Vic Fangio. Fangio comes in as not just the new Broncos head coach, but as a first-time head coach. Fangio joined Ronnie Kohrt this morning on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 to discuss his transition into being a head coach.
Fangio brings a wealth of defensive experience to this Broncos team, having spent the past seven seasons as an NFL defensive coordinator. He inherits one of the best defensive players in the game, Von Miller, but still expects to see improvement from him and the rest of the team.
“Even starting with — many view as the best player in Von Miller — I think we can help Von become a better player.” The other Denver player to get named by Fangio was second-year corner Isaac Yiadom. “He’s a guy that we need to develop, hopefully he can become a part of this defense and get out there and play for us,” Fangio said.
On the offensive side of the ball, Fangio displayed a high level of trust in his staff. “I have a lot of trust in, besides Rich [Scangarello], the entire offensive staff. We’ve been able to put together, I think, a really good staff,” Fangio commented. “We have a lot of guys who have a lot of NFL experience, and I think they’ve done a great job of gelling together and I think we’ll put a good offensive product out on the field.”
“It was earned,” Fangio said in regard to the perception of the national media. “The Broncos haven’t been very good the last three years. We’re going to have to go out show improvement, show a better record, and then the perception will change.” The Broncos have had a losing record in each of the last two seasons, marking the first time that has happened since the 1974 and 1975 seasons.
Day One of training camp for the Denver Broncos featured 100 percent attendance including second-round 2019 draft pick QB Drew Lock, who signed his rookie contract late Wednesday afternoon.
Amid concern about how much time the ex-Mizzouri star would possibly miss, there wasn’t any concern on whether or not he’d be there on the first day, as Lock said to the media on the first day of training camp, Thursday.
“I was anxious to get on the field, but I knew from my side of the party we were trying to get things worked out,” Lock stated. “I told my agency beforehand that if it got to a point where I was missing practice, then there was no chance we were going to go on with it.”
“I was going to sign a deal and I was going to get here because the most important thing to me was getting out here,” Lock said. “If I missed the conditioning test—which I made up after practice, you may have seen it—that was OK because I was going to be able to make it up. But missing anything else is just not who I am. When it came down to it, I was going to be here to start practice.”
The potential holdout reportedly was hinging on a “QB premium,” something Lock says he isn’t even quite sure of.
“I’m not hundred percent sure on what a quarterback premium was,” Lock said. “So, for me to get to the point to where it was time for me to come practice, I guess in my head the quarterback premium I didn’t know much about was going to get thrown out the window because I need to be out here.”
It was important to Lock to be on the field to build chemistry with his teammates and improve with practice. He only missed a conditioning test, which he had quickly made up after the first practice of 2019’s training camp.
“There was no ounce of me that didn’t want to be out here on this football field,” Lock explained. “Taking every rep. that I was supposed to take and being with the guys every second I could be today and then for the rest of training camp. Missing anything else would have been [bad], it’s just not who I am.”
Between OTAs and training camp, the rookie had six weeks in which he focused on his footwork and getting more familiar with his playbook, which in time, brought more comfort to the young signal-caller.
“I felt a lot more comfortable out here today,” Lock said. “There is a lot of plays (during OTAs) when I go watch film, I would have been back there thinking about what I’m doing my feet, and did I get the call off right. But, today I was out here really digesting everything taking every single rep. in and being able to go back inside and watch it all over again and learn some more, which will be good for me.”
Getting out on the field with teammates is important for Lock, not only because he’s a rookie, but because he must build that all-important chemistry with his playmakers as he learns their traits, timing and earns their respect.
Denver Broncos linebacker Todd Davis suffered a partial tear in a calf muscle on Thursday at Broncos training camp and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks, as first reported by Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic.
Broncos ILB Todd Davis suffered a partial calf muscle tear and is expected to be out 3-4 weeks, per source.