Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rock Solid Recap: 35 up, 35 down

Back to .500. Good. If they stay at .500 come July 1st I can finally look at the standings with interest.

See, for me there are two rules when it comes to looking at the standings and watching the scoreboard.

1) It has to be July.

Why July? Because it's usually just past the halfway point and the finish line is finally closer than the starting line. To get worked up about it before that point is a waste of energy for me.

2) The Rockies have to be over .500.

Because how many times has a team under .500 realistically contended for anything? Be over .500 and you're almost always in a position to matter.

So that's how that breaks down.

Rockies 5, Tigers 4 (boxscore)

Ubaldo Jimenez: It's a cramp. Or a strain according to Purple Row. But I'm pretty sure it's the same cramp issue he dealt with a couple times last season. I'm prepared to be wrong (hopefully I'm not) but it always happens when he runs the bases, which thankfully isn't too often, but was quite often tonight.

Yes, Ubaldo came through with the biggest hit of this game - his first hit of the season - driving in the first two runs with two outs in the second. If wasn't a cheapie either. He smacked a pretty sharp liner that found a cozy spot in the left center field.

Ubaldo also went first-to-third on a Carlos Gonzalez RBI single and ran down the line hard on a groundball later in the game. That's at least 360 feet more than he usually runs in a game... and he couldn't afford to jog.

Oh, and he was pretty good on the mound before exiting with the injury. The final line is 5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. Take out the two batters he pitched to in discomfort and it's 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. Either way it was good enough for his second win of the season.

Ty Wigginton: The lone Rockie with a multi-hit game. He's had an excellent week!

Chris Nelson: Made his one hit count. His second home run of the season, which end up being the difference.

Huston Street: Yes, he got the save, but I understand the frustration sent in his direction this evening. It's a frustration I share, because he created a problem for himself by nibbling and eventually walking a meaningless hitter or a hitter representing the tying run.

In this case, there was no reason for him to nibble against Alex Avila. None. Get after him. His run meant nothing. He walks him. Next thing you know Miguel Cabrera's just missing a very hittable pitch that seemed destined to land 20 rows up the bleachers.

Way too close for comfort.

I can live with opponents getting hits. Walks I can't. That's what happened to him last season when he blew those excruciating saves in Florida and Pittsburgh. I'll never forget that.

*Takes a breath*

All that said, I still like Huston better than 80% of the closers out there. I don't worry about him nearly as much as everyone else. I just get annoyed when he nibbles and walks hitters. The end.

Overall: Four wins in a row. Heat check tomorrow facing Justin Verlander.