Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rock Solid Recap: Nine Innings. No Complaints.

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 1 (boxscore)

A Rockies baseball game took place tonight and I have nothing to complain about.

Not a managerial decision. Not a mental lapse on the bases. Not a lack of hustle (though I could reach for a couple if I wanted). Not even a blown call by an umpire.


The Rockies brought it in every phase of the game for nine complete innings. They never once made life easy for Arizona. Not even for one pitch or one batter, and they were rewarded with an easy 6-1 victory.

It's all sounds so basic. Like something silly to get excited about. But the Rockies just don't play enough games like this. It's almost stunning when they do. They've been on the losing end of them repeatedly, but unless they're in the middle of some unconscious month long run to October, these only pop up occasionally.

I'll certainly take it, though, and pull for many more just like it.

Winning Player: Jamie Moyer

I stated going in that it felt like Moyer needed a solid outing tonight to reestablish himself in the rotation. He responded like a guy that's been in this spot a time or ten in his 26-year career. He responded like a guy that really wants to stay where he is. He responded with a beauty.

Jamie Moyer's Line: 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K, 98 pitches (56 strikes)

I think the line speaks for itself. But not only did Moyer need this, I think Jim Tracy really needed it. After last night's debacle, a night away from making stressful decisions was surely welcomed.

The bullpen also obviously needed this with only Josh Roenicke (1 2/3 scoreless) and Esmil Rogers (perfect 9th) used to close it out. Credit to those guys because now the Rockies core relievers will be fresh for Thursday afternoon.

Highlight of the Night: Oh, and how about Moyer's night at the plate?

The two RBI were Moyer's first since May 2, 2010 and tied a career high for a single game. He can thank his own hustle for first one. He can thank Dexter Fowler's hustle (scoring from second base) for the second.

Turning Point: Speaking of Dexter Fowler, he played a fantastic game tonight.

It started with his two-run triple, which followed Jordan's Pacheco RBI single, in the 2nd. Those two at-bats were the turning point because it gave the Rockies offense a desperately needed crooked number and gave Moyer breathing room. For those that have been following Moyer's season, he hasn't been afforded that very often.

Fowler later added a double, single and the run scored on Moyer's hit.

Screengrabs of the Game
The squirrel arrives and crazy things started happening.
Whose stride is more graceful?

What's Next: Another quick two-game set wraps up on Thursday at 1:05 MT.

For the Rockies, it'll be their de facto ace Juan Nicasio (2-1, 4.65) on the bump. Kirk Gibson counters with Trevor Cahill (2-4, 3.65). A sweep, as short as it might be, sounds good to me.

Final Thoughts: If you haven't already, check out Mark Kiszla's column in Wednesday's Denver Post talking about Dan O'Dowd's role in the Rockies struggles. (Link: Denver Post)

I'll be honest, I've never been a Kiszla fan for as long as I've read his work, but credit goes where it's due. He's on the money when discussing O'Dowd's lack of urgency, and he's admittedly become more tolerable over the past few months. Of course that could have a lot to do with our shared frustrations over the Rockies failures, but I wouldn't rule out Kiszla improving his perspective since the old "throw crap at the wall, see what sticks" strategy doesn't have a long shelf life.

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