Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rock Solid Recap: Hammel punches back against Padres

That was Jim Tracy's headline quote in the postgame describing Jason Hammel's impressive outing and victory over the San Diego Padres.

Rockies 3, Padres 2 (boxscore)

Apparently Hammel had a sitdown talk with some coaches after his last start and the gameplan for Friday night was to pitch inside more. It appeared to work, although I'd be lying if I said I paid real close attention to his location in comparison to previous starts. I just know he was throwing the ball with some zip, and was able to overcome the small doses of traffic he dealt with. I'm encouraged by that even if it was against a sorry offense in a very pitcher-friendly park.

Hammel's line: 6 1/3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB 5 K

The important thing for Hammel now is to make this start his foundation for rebuilding his season that crumbled around the last month or so. A home date with the Philadelphia Phillies next week will make that a difficult task, though a good start there could go a long towards rehabbing everyone's confidence in him, including his own.

Three positives

1. Ian Stewart 1-for-4, RBI, run scored: We're celebrating every minor victory for Ian. However, on his play scale this season, this actually qualifies as a major victory. He was honestly a big part of this win with that RBI hit, the stolen base that followed, and the run he scored on the balk that was ultimately the game-winner.

2. Jason Hammel: Alright, I talked about his pitching already. How about the double? Pretty good form.

3. Bullpen: Five relievers combined to throw 2 2/3 scoreless innings with only two hits allowed. Rafael Betancourt and Huston Street in particular standout as they tossed complete scoreless innings in a one-run game. Great for either's trade value, but except Betancourt to be the one to go.


This is a nice little win for the Rockies to follow up Wednesday's win. Yeah, I know the Dodgers and Padres stink. But good baseball is to always be appreciated, and the Rockies have played two real solid games on the road. And hey, one good outing from Ubaldo Jimenez on Saturday and they could enter play Sunday looking for a winning road trip. Not to put the cart before the horse or anything, but it's nice to think that's possible.