Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Scott Olsen delivers tonight's first pitch.
Keli McGregor, president of the Rockies since 2001, died this morning in a hotel room in Salt Lake City, casting a pall over tonight's game at Nationals Park. A pregame tribute and moment of silence are planned to honor McGregor, 48, a former All-American tight end at Colorado State in the 1980s who played in the NFL with the Broncos, Colts and Seahawks.
Once the game gets underway, Scott Olsen will look to build off his strong season debut last week in Philadelphia and pitch the Nationals to their fifth win in six days. Left-hander Jorge de la Rosa starts for the Rockies.
Check back for updates throughout the game, and check the homepage for other news...
ROCKIES AT NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 66 degrees, Wind 4 mph out to CF
CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Cristian Guzman
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
LF Josh Willingham
C Ivan Rodriguez
RF Justin Maxwell
SS Ian Desmond
P Scott Olsen
LF Ryan Spilborghs
CF Dexter Fowler
1B Todd Helton
SS Troy Tulowitzki
RF Brad Hawpe
2B Melvin Mora
C Miguel Olivo
3B Ian Stewart
P Jorge de la Rosa
7:02 p.m. -- An emotional Rockies club just lined up along their dugout for a moment of silence in memory of Keli McGregor, followed by the national anthem. Clearly, this is going to be a difficult game for them to play tonight.
7:07 p.m. -- And we're underway with a ball from Scott Olsen to Ryan Spilborghs.
7:10 p.m. -- Real smooth first inning for Olsen. He started Spilborghs off with a couple of balls but then got down to business and retired the side. Inning ended with a grounder to the hole, a nice play by Ian Desmond and a nice scoop by Adam Dunn.
7:16 p.m. -- It was noted this afternoon that Nyjer Morgan had only struck out twice in 44 at-bats this season. So, naturally, what did Morgan just do to lead off the bottom of the first? Swung at a 2-2 pitch in the dirt from de la Rosa. Jinx.
7:25 p.m. -- Scott Olsen might be able to get away with some 88 mph fastballs. But not on a 3-1 count. And not to Troy Tulowitzki. And not on a platter in the heart of the strike zone. Tulo's solo homer into the left-field bullpen gives the Rockies a 1-0 lead in the top of the second.
7:32 p.m. -- Olsen had better start 1) getting ahead of hitters and 2) getting the ball down in the strike zone. He didn't do either in the second inning, and that led to two runs. In addition to the Tulowitzki homer, Olsen also issued a two-out walk to Miguel Olivo, then an RBI double to No. 8 hitter Ian Stewart and then a base hit to the opposing pitcher. So after throwing nine pitches in the first, he just threw 25 in the second. Rockies lead 2-0.
7:48 p.m. -- Nothing doing for the Nats in the bottom of the second, despite a leadoff walk by Dunn. They seem to be having trouble with de la Rosa's offspeed stuff.
8:15 p.m. -- Wow, I go down to the stands to shoot some photos for one inning and look what happens. What a disaster. Scott Olsen allows the first four batters to reach in the third and promptly gets yanked in favor of Tyler Walker. Not that Walker did any better. He allowed a bases-clearing double to de la Rosa (who's now 2-for-2 with three RBI), then a two-run homer to Spilborghs. So just like that, the Rockies own a commanding 10-0 lead (why does that score sound familiar?) and this one is all but over.
8:38 p.m. -- Since there's not much sense in offering up hard-core analysis of each at-bat in a 10-0 game, perhaps we're better off delving deeper into Scott Olsen's bizarre season to date. He didn't make the club out of spring training. He had an OK start at Syracuse. He rejoined the Nats in Philly last week and authored up a standout performance. And then he just gave up six runs and seven hits in two-plus innings to the Rockies. So what do we make of this? Was this the real Olsen tonight? Or was this an aberration and his last outing was the true sign of his progress? I think the answer probably lies somewhere in between the two extremes. He's by no means a great pitcher, but he's also by no means as awful as he was tonight. But is that good enough over the long run? I'm thinking probably not. Olsen's going to need to pitch much closer to his Philly outing moving forward if he wants to remain in the big leagues.
9:02 p.m. -- The comeback has begun. Ryan Zimmerman crushes a 3-2 pitch from de la Rosa to left for a two-run homer, making it 10-2 in the bottom of the fifth. Long way to go still before this one becomes competitive again.
9:39 p.m. -- If the Nats keep scoring two runs every inning (and don't give up any more) this game will be tied at the end of nine. It's now 10-4 after six.
9:45 p.m. -- Tonight's attendance: 15,037. Bet you those 3,500 or so fans who chose to come tonight instead of last night are regretting that decision.
10:15 p.m. -- There are a couple of guys in the center field bleachers wearing donkey masks and No. 44 jerseys that read "Dunnkey" on the back. Most interesting thing that's happened here in the last two hours. For those wondering, it's still 10-4 Rockies through eight.
10:34 p.m. -- That'll do it. Final score: Rockies 10, Nats 4. The good news: Jesse English, Brian Bruney, Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard combined to throw four scoreless innings of relief. The bad news: Scott Olsen and Tyler Walker had already given up 10. More good news: Cristian Guzman had four hits. More bad news: All four hits came after the Rockies had already scored 10 runs. One last bit of good news: Despite trailing 10-0 twice in the last three days, the Nats are still a .500 ballclub.