Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rock Solid Recap: That Almost Looked Easy

Rockies 8, Marlins 4 (boxscore)

Well, at least after the uninspired first three innings that left them trailing 3-0.

4th inning on, beautiful baseball.

Winning Players: Marco Scutaro, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki - (Combined 6-for-12, HR, triple, double, 6 RBI, 7 runs and 2 walks)

This was how Dan O'Dowd drew it up at 2-3-4 during the offseason. Then, before he knew it, his plans were changed when Jim Tracy moved Scutaro to the leadoff spot. Scutaro never got comfortable in that spot... or so it seemed, but appears to be settling back into the second spot nicely. Which of course means he'll be leading off all weekend in Cincinnati.

Oops. Sorry. I'm trying to be positive tonight. No more cheap shots until Friday at the earliest.

In addition to Scutaro's productive (3 runs) night, CarGo and Tulo were the offensive forces they're paid to be, each delivering the type of at-bats needed to be productive in the situation presented to them.

For CarGo, that included setting the table (along with Scutaro) by drawing a walk ahead of Tulowitzki's RBI double in the 4th. Jason Giambi and Michael Cuddyer followed with equally productive sacrifice flies.

In the 5th, Gonzalez singled home the tying with two outs. Troy Tulowitzki followed that by taking TWO pitches, working himself into a favorable 2-0 count, and then he connected on the game-deciding three-run home to deep left center.

Highlight of the Night: Watch Troy Tulowitzki's big home run

And then again in the 7th, Gonzalez hit an absolute missile off the center field wall for a two-out, RBI triple.

I don't know what got into either guy tonight, but it was nice to see both reel themselves in a bit, slow the game down, and not allow the moment to overwhelm them as it has at many critical times this season. It's a positive step for both of them, and it's greatly appreciated by me.

Turning Point: I mentioned that 4th inning just above and I'll note it again. It really was the perfect offensive inning.

The Rockies trailed 3-0 going in. Scutaro walked (quality). Gonzalez walked (quality). Tulowitzki doubled (productive). Giambi sacrifice fly (quality/productive). Cuddyer sacrifice fly (quality/productive). Just like that, game tied at 3.

As I indicated in the headline, they really made it look easy that entire inning, and they even carried it over to an even better 5th. Every pitch, every take and every swing had a purpose from that point on. Almost like they understood the situations, took a gameplan to the plate, and were disciplined enough to execute it. Because of that, the results were very positive.

Alex White's Line: 6 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 111 pitches (70 strikes)

White was even more solid than the line would indicate. He had a few shoddy defensive plays behind him early that weren't exactly errors — though the Jason Giambi probably should have been — that led directly to a couple runs and elevated the pitch count. But While really impressed after getting past those early bumps and even looked to be getting stronger as the night progressed, retiring the final seven batters he faced.

It wasn't a quality start by definition, but there was plenty to build on. And hey, it's always nice to see a Rockies starter outlast his opponent.

Screengrab of the Game
The home run was better than this slide... but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy both.
The postgame crew is ready!

What's Next: The Rockies are off on Thursday. I say we all just take a day to savor what we witnessed tonight and relax. Maybe even sleep in or take a nap depending on your schedule. We'll worry about Friday when Friday gets here.

Final Thoughts: See, What's Next. I'm going to leave it right there to ensure we remain in a good mood.

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