Saturday, May 26, 2012

Another Rock Solid Recap? Two in a row?

Rockies 6, Reds 3 (boxscore)

The Rockies streak of impressive play improved to 15 innings on Friday night. Their streak of not being outscored by the opponent now sits at two games. That means we get to pick a winning player!

Winning Player: Todd Helton! 

This is what Todd Helton does once or twice a month. He reminds us that an elite baseball player remains somewhere underneath his beaten up body, and when he's feeling good, he can win you a baseball game at any time all by himself.

Granted, he had help on Friday from Troy Tulowitzki, Christian Friedrich and a damn solid bullpen, but it was Helton's two-run homer that set the tone, and his RBI single that provided the insurance.

This one belongs to The Toddfather.

Turning Point: The Rockies jumped up 3-0 early, then Cincinnati tied it at 3 in the 4th. It's at times like this that the Rockies have lost their focus this season. The quality of at-bats tend to decrease significantly. But that wasn't the case this time around. Rather, the Rockies continued pressuring Reds ace Johnny Cueto (who admittedly wasn't on his game), and quickly regained control of the game.

It started with Wilin Rosario's double. Christian Friedrich followed with his first professional basehits (spanning 40 at-bats in the majors and minors), and that pesky Eric Young Jr. knocked the run home with a single to center. Pretty damn refreshing to see this, and to see the Rockies bullpen make it stand up was also a positive.

Christian Friedrich's Line: 5 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 95 pitches (62 strikes)

Friedrich was fantastic out of the gate, then struggled to limit the damage in the 4th before tiring in the 5th. But all things considered, I'd say he did a solid job containing a red hot Reds offense in a very hitter friendly ballpark. Not to say there aren't things for him to improve on — there's plenty — but the fact that he's pounding the strike zone pretty consistently gives him a solid foundation. I'm a believer.

Screengrab of the Game
The Bird was damn cool. 
Highlight of the Night: I haven't given Rafael Betancourt much love yet this season. Mainly because it seems like he's only pitching once a week. But he's been damn good, and that continued in the 9th inning on Friday.

Who doesn't love watching EY Jr. cut in front of CarGo for that final out? I swear he's gone from the guy I figured would be the first cut from the opening day roster, to easily one of my top three favorite players currently on the roster. (Along with Todd Helton and Jordan Pacheco)

What's Next: A pair of scuffling right-handers — Jeremy Guthrie (2-2, 5.55) and Mike Leake (1-5, 5.32) — will meet on Saturday night (5:15 MT). Of course Guthrie has been much better on the road (1.86 ERA) than at home (9.92), but the Great American Ballpark is about as brutal as it gets for a flyball pitcher in Guthrie's mold.

In other words, better get to pounding on Mike Leake.

Final Thoughts: My God Jeff Huson was awful in this game. Terrible. Didn't know Mike Leake's name. Didn't have an original thought. Repeated Jack Corrigan over and over. Cut Corrigan off in mid-thought several times. I'm sorry, I know he tries really hard, but it just gets to be unlistenable at times.

My thoughts exactly
It's like a prospect that doesn't pan out. He's not improving at all as an announcer. Maybe it's time to upgrade at the backup analyst position.

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