An ideal lineup features your most productive hitters batting third and fourth. On this Wednesday afternoon, the Rockies had the right two guys holding down those positions.
Rockies 5, Padres 3 (boxscore)
Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki combined to go 7-for-8 with a home run (Todd), three doubles (2 Todd), four RBI (3 Troy) and four runs scored (3 Todd).
The biggest of the seven hits was Tulo's two-run double in the ninth that broke the tie and served as the game-winner. A big, big moment for Tulo, especially considering Heath Bell intentionally passed on Helton to get to him.
Sometimes a good slap in the face in the best kind of wakeup call.
Once Carlos Gonzalez gets his act together, I would strongly suggest to Jim Tracy that he hit fifth and Helton stays third. I really would. Helton gives you your best at-bats on a nightly basis, and Tulowitzki desperately needs someone dynamic like Gonzalez behind him for protection. That's just me though. Gonzalez still has a ways to go before we can think about that.
Charlie Blackmon: Congratulations on the first ML hit! it was a Todd Helton special on a hard groundball through the right side. And then he barely missed on a three-run homer his second at-bat that probably would have been out in Denver. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what he can do on this ten-game homestand.
Aaron Cook: I'm sure there was some rust involved, but this looked a lot like most of Cook's outings last season. Didn't get real deep. A lot of traffic. Was always one hit away from disaster. I won't judge him too harshly, but I'll hope for better when Cook faces the same Padres next week in Denver.
Huston Street: Wow. That's all. Wow.
Now let's watch Eric Patterson get picked off... and caught stealing. Thanks for the help!
That concludes a 4-5 road trip through California that could have absolutely buried the Rockies if things went poorly. I feel like they kept their heads safely above water. Granted things could have gone a lot better with a couple hits here and there, and it's nine games off the schedule with no forward progress, but the important thing with how poorly they've been playing is to survive as long as you can and hope things turn around.
Hopefully that starts tomorrow as they host the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw. Yeah, that doesn't look too promising on paper. Now let's see them finally come out, rip up the paper and make an ace look like a #5 for a change.