Friday, April 6, 2012

Rock Solid Recap: Astros Giveth, Rockies Taketh

Rockies 5, Astros 3 (Boxscore)

Winning Player: One game in, one tough decision on who deserves to be the Rockies winning player. I thought Troy Tulowitzki had a terrific game with the early sac fly, a pair of defensive gems, and then the ninth inning home run — which you'll see later — that went over the train tracks and vacated Minute Maid Park all together.

Jeremy Guthrie had a very strong seven inning Rockies debut, and rightfully earned his National League victory.  Todd Helton and Michael Cuddyer were also important cogs with their two-out, opposite field run scoring hits in a pivotal third inning rally.

But my vote for the Rockies winning player goes to left-handed setup man Rex Brothers. After the Rockies took the lead in the top half, Brothers breezed through his first eighth inning appearance 1-2-3 with a pair of overpowering strikeouts and a weak groundout. That got the Rockies right back into the dugout feeling good, and then from there they added the insurance run that basically sealed the victory.

Many outings just like are sure to follow for young Mr. Brothers.

Turning Point: Jim Tracy's decision to pinch-run Eric Young Jr. for Ramon Hernandez after his eighth inning lead-off single paid off immediately with a stolen base. Of course, one minute later, it was on the verge of turning into a disaster when EY was caught in between second and third on a ball in the dirt that was blocked by Astros catcher Jason Castro.

Thankfully, Castro, who was just as indecisive as Junior, decided to throw behind him. His poor decision was then compounded by the ball sailing into center field, which allowed Young to race around third and give Colorado a 4-3 lead.

It may be the ugliest two-way play we see all season, but score one early for the Rockies lifetime manager. His move turned to gold. He also gets credit for carrying the extra position early in the season (and a third catcher), allowing them flexibility in those types of situations.

Jeremy Guthrie's Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO, 2 HR 103 pitches (64 strikes)

All things considered, a very good debut for Jeremy Guthrie. Yes, the three walks standout. As do the two home runs, which came back-to-back in the fourth. But as long as those two stats don't intersect. As long as Guthrie's walks, which should be fairly rare, don't come in front of the home runs, he's going to succeed. 

He's not an overpowering guy. He's an ace by any stretch. There are going to be moments where he puts you on the edge of your seat, frustrates you, makes you questions his effectiveness, but at the end of the day you're likely to see plenty of lines just like this one.

Simply put: He's battle tested from the American League East and he's a survivor. That's the type of guy the Rockies will always need in their rotation.

Betanclock: 15 minutes, 31 seconds by my unofficial count. The Rockies closer was on a decent pace through two hitters before running into trouble finding that third out. But all that matters is he did, and he's 1-for-1.

Highlight of the Night: Watch Troy Tulowitzki exit Minute Maid Park stage left

Screen grab of the game: That is not how it looks. I don't think.

What's Next: The season opening series in Houston continues on Saturday night with Jamie Moyer making his Rockies debut. He'll be opposed by 26-year-old right-hander Lucas Harrell, and you can mark that down as a 5:05 MT first pitch.

More Rockies thoughts await you if you follow me on Twitter: @Townie813


AD said...

1-0 is much better than the alternative. Lets make it 2-0!