Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rock Solid Recap: Rockies win again on road with simple formula

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.

Good Pitching

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.

Lineup Card: 4-23-11 Rockies @ Marlins

If you're looking for Rockies game lineups and you don't feel like searching all over Twitter or waiting for to post them, check back to Heaven & Helton about 60-90 minutes before first pitch. They should be here waiting for you.

Yesterday's Recrap: Blame me for one-hit wonder

Colorado Rockies (13-6)
  1. CF Dexter Fowler
  2. 2B Jonathan Herrera
  3. LF Carlos Gonzalez
  4. SS Troy Tulowitzki
  5. 1B Todd Helton
  6. RF Seth Smith
  7. 3B Ty Wigginton
  8. C   Jose Morales
  9. P   Jason Hammel
Florida Marlins (12-6)
  1. CF Chris Coghlan
  2. 2B Omar Infante
  3. SS Hanley Ramirez
  4. 1B Gaby Sanchez
  5. 3B Greg Dobbs
  6. RF Mike Stanton
  7. C   John Buck
  8. LF Emilio Bonifacio
  9. P   Javier Vazquez

Rock Solid Recrap: Blame me for the one-hit wonder

The Rockies were doomed from the start on Friday night. 


Because I wrote this when I posted the Lineup Card prior to the game:

There's your best possible Rockies lineup on display for I believe the first time this season. And when you look at where Chacin is right now, that includes the pitcher's spot.

So let that be a lesson to me. Just shut up.

Marlins 4, Rockies 1 (boxscore)

At first this looked like it could be the Rockies night. After Dexter Fowler walked leading off and moved to second on a passed ball, Jonathan Herrera moved him to third with a ground out to the right side. After Carlos Gonzalez struck out again, Troy Tulowitzki hit a routine grounder that third baseman Emilio Bonifacio fielded cleanly, but threw low and Gaby Sanchez couldn't handle it.

Gift run.

But all of that good feeling was quickly washed away when Chris Coghlan pulled Jhoulys Chacin's second pitch into the right field bleachers.

And then went further away when Chacin couldn't make a play on an Anibal Sanchez suicide squeeze in the 2nd. It would have been a terrific play, and he had time to make it, but the scoop toss straight from his glove short-hopped Iannetta and he couldn't handle it.

That right there was all the breathing room Sanchez would need. As you've probably seen or heard, Sanchez only allowed one hit on the evening. That being a broken bat grounder just past the reach of Omar Infante at second leading off the ninth.

Tip your cap to Anibal. He was a special kind of good. And his resume looks pretty good right now with one no-hitter and two one-hitters.

On the other side, Jhoulys Chacin was not sharp at all, but color me not the least bit surprised or worried. All pitchers are going to struggle, and often times they struggle the most when they have extra rest between starts. That's the situation Chacin was facing Friday, having not thrown in an entire week. There's something to keeping a schedule, routine and rhythm for pitchers. That's why Jim Tracy has been conscious of it in the past.

I expect much better from Chacin on Wednesday afternoon in Chicago.

I expect much better overall play Saturday in Florida.

And I expect Dante Bichette to never be invited to throw batting practice rounds again.

On second thought, don't blame me for the one-hitter. Blame it on Dante!