Execution + Good Pitching = Winning
I'm not talking about Charlie Sheen's definition of winning. I mean actually winning. Succeeding. Combining terrific effort with great results. That type of winning.
Rockies 3, Marlins 1 (boxscore)
It boiled down to two at-bats for the Rockies on Saturday night. Both of those at-bats resulted in outs, but both were very productive outs.
After Todd Helton led off the sixth with a double, Seth Smith immediately followed with a double of his own. However, Helton was unable to score on Smith's double because he's not exactly Dexter Fowler and because Marlins left fielder Emilio Bonifacio, while completely lost on the play, managed to confuse Helton enough to not stray too far from the base.
So that set up 2nd and 3rd with no outs for Ty Wigginton. The guy I've applauded in the past for his clutch two out hits in Pittsburgh and Wednesday at Coors Field against Matt Cain. This time it wasn't a clutch two out hit, but a well struck flyball to right center field. It was plenty deep enough to score Helton, and also positioned well enough to allow Smith to take third. That's a big 90 feet to get with less than two outs.
Jose Morales was walked intentionally which brought up Jason Hammel. Immediately the thought of the squeeze comes into play, and without any hesitation, Jim Tracy called for it and Jason Hammel executed it.
Looking back at it Hammel may have squared around a bit early. I'm a little surprised Vazquez didn't step off, but with a slider away called, he probably figured it would be a difficult pitch to get down fair. So credit Hammel again for bunting a tough pitch.
But where Hammel makes his money is pitching, and tonight he earned his paycheck.
6 2/3, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 109 pitches (67 strikes).
Again, it wasn't an outing where Hammel wowed you with stuff. He dealt with his fair share of traffic and wasn't exactly efficient closing out innings, but when the big pitch was needed, he made it. When the Rockies finally jumped ahead, he put that big zero on the board. It was an excellent outing and a very well deserved second win for Jason.
His ERA now sits at a healthy 3.80.
Huston Street, Rafael Betancourt and Matt Lindstrom took over and retired the final seven Marlins in order without a single Rockies fan having to break a sweat. That's always much appreciated by this fan.
Sign of the Night
Oh look, it's everybody's favorite Denver sports tweeter @cheryltweedy.
Seriously, even if that wasn't her, that sign would make the blog. Creative and hilarious.