MLB: All-Star starting lineups announced (Big League Stew)

NEW YORK — Here are the starting lineups for Tuesday night’s MLB All-Star game as announced by National League manager Bruce Bochy and American League manger Jim Leyland at Citi Field on Monday afternoon.
National League
1 —Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds, 2B
2 — Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals, RF
3 — Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds, 1B
4 — David Wright, New York Mets, 3B
5 — Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies, LF
6 —Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals, C
7 — Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies, SS
8 — Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies, DH
9 —Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals, CF
P — Matt Harvey, New York Mets
American League
1 — Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels, CF
2 — Robinson Cano, New York Yankees, 2B
3 — Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers, 3B
4 — Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles, 1B
5 — Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays, RF
6 — David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox, DH
7 — Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles, CF
8 — Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins, C
9 — JJ Hardy, Baltimore Orioles, SS
P — Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers
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Daily Dose: Strike On Ike? (Rotoworld)

Nate Grimm assesses Ike Davis’ chances of a repeat, Carlos Gonzalez’s back and Troy Tulowitzki’s imminent return in Friday’s Daily Dose.

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The Juice: Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki team up for five homers as Rockies clobber Reds (Big League Stew)

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The Juice returns for season No. 6! It’s almost eligible for free-agency! Stop by daily for news from the action, along with great photos, stats, video highlights and more.

For the Colorado Rockies, it’s always an uphill battle to prove they can not only hit on the road, but win games consistently away from Coors Field. It becomes much easier, however, when Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are both healthy enough to put the entire offense on their backs. We saw a good example of that Wednesday night as Colorado’s dreaded 3-4 combo teamed up to hit five home runs in a 12-4 beatdown of the Cincinnati Reds.
It was Gonzalez who did the majority of home run damage, connecting for a solo shot in the first, a 458-foot three-run blast in the fourth and a two-run roundtripper in the eighth. Tulowitzki, on the other hand, had a more complete offensive game with two home runs and three singles as he tied a career-high with five hits. For good measure, Todd Helton added his sixth home run to help round out Colorado’s merciless 20-hit attack.
Here’s a little more on the Rockies performance courtesy of Joe Kay from the Associated Press:
The Rockies hadn’t hit six homers in a game since they had that many against the Marlins on July 4, 2008, according to STATS LLC.
”When we get some guys hitting in our lineup at the same time, it’s a dangerous lineup,” manager Walt Weiss said. ”Two really good players in the middle of our lineup were swinging the bat well tonight.”
Unfortunately for Cincinnati, the result here was just the tip of the iceberg on an all-arould rough day. Their scheduled starter, Johnny Cueto, had to be scratched early in the afternoon with a right lat injury. He was later placed on the 15-day DL. 25-year-old Pedro Villarreal was called up for the spot start and ended up taking the ugly loss.

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The Juice: Rockies get to Craig Kimbrel in dramatic win; Jose Valverde earns save in return (Big League Stew)

The Juice returns for season No. 6! It’s almost eligible for free-agency! Stop by daily for news from the action, along with great photos, stats, video highlights and more.
Kimbrel Rocked: Considering the last time he allowed more than one earned run in an outing was Sept. 19, 2011, the Atlanta Braves probably felt very comfortable handing the ball to closer Craig Kimbrel with a 5-3 lead even at Coors Field. The comfort didn’t last long, however, as 5-foot-9 (generously listed) Jonathan Herrera laced a one-out double down the right field line and Troy Tulowitzki singled to put runners at the corners.
Kimbrel recovered and overmatched Eric Young Jr. for the second out, but the breakout season of Dexter Fowler continued as he connected and confused left fielder Justin Upton with a slicing liner that smacked off the wall, tying the score at five. Three hard fought innings later, an admittedly nervous Yorvit Torrealba — a catcher by trade, but a first baseman with Todd Helton ailing and Colorado out of players — ended it with a walkoff single scoring another catcher, Wilin Rosario.
”Usually in winter ball I just played first, but I also played once last year when I was with the Toronto Blue Jays,” he said. ”Still, it’s not my position so I was a little bit nervous.”
Helton hasn’t played since Friday with a strained forearm and the Rockies may be forced to DL him if he’s available again on Thursday. After a doubleheader Tuesday followed by 12 innings Wednesday, they could use a fresh arm in their bullpen. A little bench depth wouldn’t hurt either to ensure Torrealba isn’t need to dust off his first baseman’s mit again.

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Rockies 11, Mets 3 (The SportsXchange)

DENVER — Jon Garland pitched seven strong innings, Troy Tulowitzki and Dexter Fowler hit home runs and the Colorado Rockies beat the New York Mets 11-3 on a frigid Thursday afternoon.

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Long day for Mets in Twin Bill Loss to Rockies

The four-game series for the New York Mets at Citi Field with the Colorado Rockies is one that could epitomize where the season is going. New York had leads of two runs in all four that would not last long which contributed to a Colorado sweep.

And the Mets are glad they won’t see Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki until the two teams meet again at Coors Field next month. He homered in four consecutive games at Citi Field, a record at the three-year old park for a visiting or home player. The 26 year old finished the series with a .625 batting average (10-16) with five runs scored, one double, four walks and eight runs batted in.

That was one of the contributing factors that led to New York dropping a twin bill to the Rockies concluding a losing first home stand of the season. They have lost eight of nine, including five straight.  Pitching and defense has not been what manager Terry Collins envisioned as the team embarked on a brief three-game road series in Atlanta.

“We are going to Atlanta and think about what needs to be addressed,” said Collins after a long day at Citi Field .The Mets dropped the first game 6-5, and the nightcap 9-4. The second game was in reach after another two run lead. Then a chopped ground ball to Brad Emas at second, one he could not handle allowed a run to score.

That would lead to more opportunity for the Rockies, who managed to get many of them in the series because of costly miscues by the Mets. Dexter Fowler got a single giving Colorado the 5-4 lead, starter Chris Capuano (1-1) was lifted. And then Taylor Buchholz allowed Jonathan Herrera to hit a three-run homer to right, second of his career.

So the first seven home games at Citi Field have had a recurring theme. The bullpen leaves a lot to be desired, and on the field the Mets are making too many costly mistakes that allowed the opposing team to score and get the win. Earlier this week, Collins admitted it was frustrating. It got worse when he was asked about the losing streak, and how his team played before the home fans the past week after starting the season with a 3-3 road trip at Florida and Philadelphia.

“Depressing,” was the word now used by Collins. “We’re better than this and we’ll play better than this. I still believe we are going to straighten this out. We showed too much promise in spring training. This is not or how we wanted to show our fans.”

However there were some positives in an otherwise dismal Mets clubhouse. Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a fourth inning two-run single to center field in the second game. He had two triples in the series and is getting on base with the extra base hit.

“We need to play better baseball,” said Reyes when asked if there was any sign of panic with the Mets heading to Atlanta with a 4-9 mark. “We have a better team. A loss is a loss. We need to turn this around.”

The four-game home run streak tied the longest stretch of Tulowitzki’s career. He had a similar streak from September 15-19 in 2009. “I definitely had a good series,” he said. The Rockies doubleheader win extended their best 12 game start (10-2) in franchise history and it was their first road series win on the road against the Mets since May of 2002.

“A lot of times you come on the road, you get down late, sixth, seventh inning,” commented Tulowitzki, “and you shut it down, get ready to go home. This team does not do that at all. We’re a bunch of guys who don’t quit.”

“When he gets hot, he’s a very talented player,” said Rockies manager Jim Tracy about Tulowitzki.  Reyes and the Mets also know that Tulowitzki is a talented player who can make an impact as three of the four games were lost by one run.

New York lost the opener Thursday afternoon, a game that opened the twin bill caused by a Tuesday rain out that was supposed to open the series. In that game Reyes homered closing the gap to 6-3, but Huston Street closed the win for Colorado as R.A. Dickey dropped his second consecutive start after going six innings.

For the Mets, now it is frustration and according to Collins,” We can win 10 in a row, five in a row. That’s baseball. The object is to play better, that’s my job.” It has to get better soon or quickly in April this season will be meaningless come June.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring766@aol.com

Posted under Bullpen, Colorado Rockies, Consecutive Games, Coors, Coors Field, Costly Mistakes, Dexter, Emas, First Game, Game Road, Game Series, Home Games, Miscues, New York Mets, Rich Mancuso, Second Game, Shortstop, Starter Chris Capuano, Top Story

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on April 15, 2011

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