Rockies 2, Pirates 1 (boxscore)
Winning Player: It probably feels like Juan Nicasio deserves the nod here, but how about the bounce back effort from Esmil Rogers?
Called upon in the eighth inning with a one-run lead, Rogers not only accepted the challenge from Jim Tracy, but owned it by striking out the Pirates 2-3-4 hitters. A dominant, emphatic and damned impressive shutdown inning when the Rockies desperately needed one. Also, our short relievers take a pounding when things go poorly, so why not pat them on the ass when they come up big?
Well done, Esmil.
And well done by Matt Reynolds (got his one batter) and Rafael Betancourt (1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save).
Turning Point: Eric Young's wheels have been changing games all month, and that's what happened again with the game tied at 1 in the eighth.
With one man already out, the speedster reached base on a hit by pitch. Marco Scutaro directly followed that with a single through the hole on the LEFT side created by Clint Barmes cheating towards second (looking for an EY steal attempt), which allowed Jr. to move first to third without hesitation. That set up Tyler Colvin, who hit nothing more than a medium pop fly to right field. But that's all EY needed to score from third and give the Rockies the lead.
Just that simple. That just quick.
Juan Nicasio's Line: 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 95 pitches (61 strikes)
Nicasio has been getting by almost exclusively on his fastball since debuting with the Rockies last May. Today, however, he was throwing his developing slider for strikes early in counts get ahead — even threw it for a strike in a 2-0 count — and also used it to wipe a couple hitters out. Very encouraging.
If Nicasio can continue to develop the type of confidence and effectiveness in his slider that we saw today, he'll be in great shape going forward.
Highlight of the Afternoon: I want to tip my cap to Wilin Rosario's for keeping the Pirates running game in check.
First inning, the speedy Alex Presley leads off with a single to left-center. After Clint Hurdle surprisingly decides to not bunt with Jose Tabata, Presley attempted to swipe the bag and Rosario gunned him down rather easily. Then, after Pittsburgh tied the game in seventh, Rosario throws out Clint Barmes (pitch out helped) to kill any potential rally there. Big, big plays in a tightly contested game.
Game 2 Lineups
Colorado Rockies (9-8)
- Marco Scutaro (2B)
- Dexter Fowler (CF)
- Carlos Gonzalez (LF)
- Troy Tulowitzki (SS)
- Todd Helton (1B)
- Michael Cuddyer (RF)
- Ramon Hernandez (C)
- Jonathan Herrera (3B)
- Jhoulys Chacin (P)
- Alex Presley (LF)
- Nate McLouth (RF)
- Andrew McCutchen (CF)
- Garrett Jones (1B)
- Pedro Alvarez (3B)
- Yamaico Navarro (2B)
- Clint Barmes (SS)
- Rod Barajas (C)
- Charlie Morton (P)