The Rockies couldn't let their feeble offensive efforts sabotage another good night of pitching on Monday night. Especially against Chris freaking Capuano. They desperately needed someone to take charge. Someone had to be a difference maker. A game changer.
That man was the man I've been hoping it would be all season: Chris Iannetta.
Rockies 2, Mets 1 (boxscore)
In the 5th, Iannetta led off with a rope into left center field. He wasn't satisfied with a long single, so he rounded first with a full head of steam and barely slid safely into second base with a double.
I mean barely.
Jason Pridie fielded it cleanly and made a good throw. If Iannetta doesn't get there it probably looks pretty bad, but he got there. And it's a good thing he did, because it gave Dexter Fowler a chance to drive him in, which he did.
Iannetta's big night continued in the 7th, when he hung a clothesline to left field that amazingly stayed up long enough to leave the ballpark. I think it shocked everyone in the park and watching at home that it stayed up, and even stayed fair, but it was hit so hard that it no choice.
That gave the Rockies a 2-1 lead.
Rafael Betancourt pitched a strong 1-2-3 in the 8th, which set up Huston Street for his first save chance since last Thursday. Willie Harris started the 9th with a ridiculous check-swing single into left field, but Street recovered to get Jose Reyes on a flyball to left field. That set up Iannetta to be the man again, as he threw out Harris trying to swipe second base.
What a fantastic throw. Street would get another great defensive play from Troy Tulowitzki to end it.
But the night truly belonged to Iannetta, who seemingly put an exclamation point on his strong start to the 2011 season.
-- Jhoulys Chacin had a weird night on the mound, walking six over six innings, but only allowing two hits and one run. He had small stretches of brilliance, random wildness, and hard fought one-on-one battles. But the end result was a solid piece of work that afforded a scuffling offense the chance to win it with one big swing.
--Jim Tracy had a good night. He didn't do a whole lot, which is what I always prefer, but his 7th inning Matt Reynolds/Matt Belisle switch-a-roo made sense based on the matchups. And Belisle even got himself a W. His third of the season.
-- Tweet of the night courtesy @ibleedcsugreen
Rockies license plates are a great idea. You can drive around knowing you'll never hit anything on the road.
-- Nice win for the Rockies to get. As big as it was for them, probably a bigger win for the fans, who seemed to be at their breaking point on May 9th. Long ways to go, folks. Long ways to go.