Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rock Solid Recap: New faces produce different results in tough road win

Rockies 6, Pirates 4 (boxscore)

These are exactly the types of games the Colorado Rockies need to win if they plan on winning their first NL West championship. Not just because tonight's game specifically was a nip and tuck, roller coaster type of affair, but because they lost a similar game last night. Often times in the past those types of losses have led to extended struggles, especially away from Coors Field.

You already knew that. What a waste of a paragraph.

We begin with the story of the night: Greg Reynolds.

Reynolds isn't really a "new face" but he's new to giving the Rockies positive results. That counts.

Me on Reynolds seven hours ago:

"I'm willing to give him another chance. I mean what else can I do? He's going out there. I want the Rockies to win, so I'm hoping tonight's the night he finally impresses."

He impressed. Not to the point where I'm going to beg for him to stick in the rotation when Ubaldo Jimenez returns, but credit goes where it's deserved. He did himself proud. I was crossing my fingers and hoping for five decent innings. He gave Colorado six STRONG innings. Hats off to that.

He still doesn't have that putaway pitch, but if the sinker is working as it was this evening, and if the umpire is giving the low strike, Reynolds can be more than credible. Thankfully those factors came together and things worked out.

-- While Reynolds was a hero on the mound, no doubt Ty Wigginton was the man on offense. His two-out, bases clearing double past a diving Pedro Alvarez was as clutch as it gets for Colorado on the road. He's just the type of professional hitter they need, along with Jonathan Herrera, in the lineup to support Gonzalez and Tulowitzki. Just a fantastic piece of hitting.

-- Matt Lindstrom earned his first save in Rockies uniform with Huston Street unavailable after his incredible three innings last night. I wouldn't say it was smooth. Pittsburgh timed his fastball pretty well, hitting two on the screws to center. One dropped for a hit, one was flagged down by Fowler. After a Jason Jaramillo bloop hit, Lindstrom made a big pitch inducing a game-ending double play from Steven Pearce.

-- And not to be overlooked, Seth Smith hit a very important home run that momentarily put Reynolds in position to win this game.

-- Excellent win tonight. Really good chance to steal a the first road series tomorrow with Jhoulys Chacin on the hill.