Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rock Solid Recap: Christian Friedrich Shines In Big League Debut

Rockies 6, Padres 2 (boxscore)

Winning Player: Christian Friedrich

Rockies fans have been waiting anxiously for Christian Friedrich's big league. Well, today was the day, and the 24-year-old left-hander did not disappoint one bit. In fact, he managed to surpass even reasonable expectations — even against the Padres in San Diego — with a stellar line.

Christian Friedrich's Debut Line: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 7 K, 93 pitches (60 strikes)

Friedrich pounded the strike zone all day with a fastball ranging between 91-94, and kept Padres hitters off balance with a curveball in the 76-78 range and an effective changeup. I can only think of two pitches San Diego squared up. One was a lead-off single by Will Venable in the 1st that led to their first run. The other was Chase Headley's lead-off single in the 6th on a 3-2 pitch. Friedrich left him stranded.

San Diego's unearned run came after Marco Scutaro committed an error beginning the 3rd. Chase Headley followed that with a bloop single and then Yonder Alonso plated the run on a broken bat bloop double just out of Chris Nelson's reach.

In other words, Friedrich was really, really sharp today, and should have earned himself another turn in the rotation. And honestly, I wouldn't be opposed to several more turns.
Turning Point: Trailing 2-1 heading into the 6th, the Rockies were desperately in need of a break to get their offense going. Padres shortstop Andy Parrino provided that break, booting Jonathan Herrera's routine grounder. That opened the door. The Rockies then kicked it open with a series of productive plate appearances.

Carlos Gonzalez: Doubled over Will Venable's head in right, moving Herrera to third.

Michael Cuddyer: Scored Herrera on a sacrifice fly to right.

Jason Giambi: Walked intentionally.

Wilin Rosario: Missed a three-run homer by mere inches, but settled for a go-ahead two-run double. 

Chris Nelson: Picked the right time for his first hit on the road. His RBI single to center punctuated the rally and pushed the Rockies lead to 5-2. 

Highlight of the Afternoon: In honor of Christian Friedrich's debut and first big league win, I present this...

Screengrabs of the Game: You heard about them during the game, now see just how close Jason Giambi and Wilin Rosario came to hitting the ball out of Petco Park. 

Jason Giambi's disputed double in the 4th.
Wilin Rosario's disputed double in the 6th.
What's Next: The Rockies take the day off on Thursday and then begin a stretch of 13 straight without an off day on Friday in Los Angeles. The pitching matchup in the opener will feature a pair of crafty old lefties. That's Jamie Moyer (1-2, 4.01) for Colorado and Chris Capuano (4-0, 2.21) for Don Mattingly's Dodgers. First pitch is 8:10 MT... and I'll be listening to Vin Scully.

Final Thought: Much needed win today, obviously, but the Rockies will still have to find a way to not only avoid sweeps in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but find a way to steal of one those series as well. I know, that's not exactly optimistic analysis, but at least it's honest.

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