Welcome to the 58th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I have a bit of a lighter post for the second straight week because I write these on Monday nights and for the second straight week the Avalanche are in an intense playoff game on Monday night. It’s awfully difficult to put one of these together with one and a half eyes on the TV screen. (Update: I worked on this instead of working at my job today… Not that short afterall!)
Aaaaand it looks like Denver will host a Game Seven tomorrow night at The Can. Game Sevens are a lot of fun. But only if your team wins. If I’m in Vegas, I’m not betting on a Game Seven because there is an element of unpredictability involved. One random bounce can end a teams’ season.
But I do think the Avalanche have a lot going in their favor.
- They’re at home.
- They have the better goalie.
- Matt Duchene did not look limited at all in Game Six. In fact, he played more than Roy said he would and looked pretty sharp. Duchene is possibly the Avs’ best player and he will make an impact tomorrow night after knocking some rust off on Monday.
- They’re not afraid to rest their genitalia atop various eating surfaces.
So I’ll pick the Avs … But who the hell knows?
I have a feeling it will be intense, entertaining, and a whole lot of fun. If you have a couple free tickets, feel free to throw them my way.
We also can’t forget about the awesomeness of Saturday night, when the Avs pulled off a trademark “Cardiac Kids” victory again, scoring another goal after the goalie had been pulled and winning again in overtime.
Don’t look now, but the Rockies have won nine of their last 13 games and sit just a half game back of the Giants for first place in the NL West. As we all know, strong starts from the Rockies can fade quickly, but I’m here to tell you it’s okay. It’s okay to get little optimistic about this team as April turns to May. That’s part of the fun of the long marathon of a baseball season.
The past week was an encouraging one for the Rockies. They went 4-2 against the Dodgers and Giants– the two teams that have killed the Rockies’ seasons the past few years. Winning the series in Los Angeles could turn into a huge statement if the Rockies continue to play well.
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the Rockies’ April: Things have not gone all that well. They have managed to pull off this impressive start with their best starting pitcher (Chacin) on the DL and their third best starter (Chatwood) missing a few starts, and their main offseason acquisition (Anderson) going down and their most reliable position player (Cuddyer) hitting the DL and uncharacteristic struggles from perhaps their best player (Gonzalez) and another of their best starters (De La Rosa) and two of their supposed better relievers (Belisle and Brothers).
That’s a lot to overcome.
But the rest of the roster has exceeded expectations. Tulowitzki and Blackmon (more on him later) are both Player-of-the-Month candidates. Morneau has been incredible. Arenado has improved. Jordan Lyles and Franklin Morales have turned in a number of quality starts out of the blue. Ottavino has been blowing people away with his slider (which is fun as hell to watch).
If nothing else, you should be watching this team just because of the defense of Tulowitzki and Arenado on the left side. They are just ridiculous. Arenado might have been the difference in both the wins in Los Angeles with run-saving plays like this one:
So proceed with cautious optimism, Rockies fans. Yes there’s 135 games left, but allow yourself to be optimistic. It’s okay.
Stud of the week:
Charlie Blackmon’s beard. (And Charlie Blackmon too I guess.) If there wasn’t 135 more games left in the season, Blackmon would probably be your National League MVP. Coming into Monday’s game, he led the National League in Slugging Percentage, On Base Percentage, OPS (obviously), Offensive WAR, Hits, Runs Scored, and is second in total bases. He’s been very good defensively too.
Coming into the year, center field was a major question mark for the Rockies. So was finding a lead off hitter. Blackmon has put those concerns to rest in a way that has far exceeded the expectations of literally everyone in the world. With Michael Cuddyer going on the DL and Carlos Gonzalez struggling, Blackmon’s performance has been beyond essential to the Rockies solid start.
He also has a sweet Twitter handle @Chuck_Nazty. So there’s that.
Douche of the week:
Donald Sterling in a no-brainer. I don’t have much to add to this story. It won’t be going away any time soon. The best things I read on the topic were this scathing takedown by Dave D’Alessandro of the New Jersey Star-Ledger and Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s strong take for Time.
Tweet of the week:
The ugly Donald Sterling thing created this scene in Oakland, which was pretty funny.
And we actually have another stud in Dani Alves. I guess he is a Brazilian soccer player, presumably in some kind of soccer league somewhere. Anyway, Donald Sterling is not the only racist person in the world and some enlightened hooligan threw a banana at Alves. His reaction was pretty much gold.
Maybe he just needed some potassium. Or maybe that’s the best possible way of saying “I don’t care about you ignorant idiots.”
A few links I enjoyed from the last week:
Dr. Jack Ramsey died Sunday night. On Monday morning his son published this touching piece on ESPN.com. It’s worth your time.
Jason King of Bleacher Report: “Remembering Lacey Holsworth: How 8-Year-Old with Cancer Captured America’s Heart”. Unbelievable story in so many ways.
These interactive maps on the borders for baseball fandom are interesting and enjoyable.
I’ve often said that in another life I was destined to be a guy waiving a towel on a basketball team’s bench. So I found this goofy video to be particularly entertaining.
This bit from Fallon aired last night. It is simply brilliant.
(This was updated Tuesday night. I originally posted the boring interview segment of Cano on Fallon. My bad.)
Carlos Gomez is generally kind of a douche, but this was a cute moment.
And finally, graduation season is approaching fast. I’m all about doing awesome stuff to bring attention to yourself when leaving the stage. This guy’s super-awesome backflip is right on the money.
Happy Tuesday everybody. Enjoy Game 7 tomorrow night. Put your balls on a table for me. Thanks for reading. See ya next week.
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