The Colorado Rockies have certainly been a huge disappointment this season, but at least they're beating up on the National League's two biggest disappointments — the Milwaukee Brewers and Miami Marlins.
Rockies 5, Marlins 3 (boxscore)
That's four wins in a row now. Four!
A win on Friday would be five. Five!
Five would equal their longest winning streak of the season, but I'm getting way ahead of myself here. Let's just enjoy four.
I would say the Rockies pitched well overall on Thursday night, but haven't pitched incredible during this homestand. That was especially true in the later innings against Milwaukee. But the reason those six runs Milwaukee scored in all three games on that series didn't balloon to nine or ten is because the Rockies haven't been shooting themselves in the foot with ill-timed errors. And when they have made a mistake like Jonathan Herrera's error tonight, they haven't compounded it with another mental or physical miscue.
They have kept their focus. They have limited damage in the field. They have taken advantage and maximized opportunities to score runs. They are simply playing really good baseball, and have been since the last road trip started in Los Angeles.
Better late than never... I guess.
Winning Player: Welcome back, Michael Cuddyer!
His two-run homer in the 6th tied the game at three and ended up serving as the turning point for Colorado.
The Rockies would then score two more in the 7th on a Josh Rutledge pinch-hit RBI triple and a successful safety squeeze bunt from Eric Young Jr.
The Other Turning Point: After the Rockies grabbed the 5-3 lead, Matt Belisle took over in the 8th and faced a two-on, no-out situation. But in typical Belisle style, the reliable right-hander didn't crack, but calmly retired Greg Dobbs on a lazy flyball and escaped on a Donovan Solano 4-6-3 double play.
Alex White's Line: 4 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 74 pitches (38 strikes)
An intentional walk skews the numbers a bit, but White certainly didn't have an efficient outing here. But I guess at this point we're not concerned about efficient outings or developing these guys, so yay Alex White for not giving up too many runs and allowing the offense to rally!
Adam Ottavino's Line: 3 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K
Ottavino was the beneficiary of the Rockies rally and picked up his 4th win of the season. I would definitely say he earned it with that solid line, and he also put down a nice bunt that he actually ended up reaching on after a Ricky Nolasco error. Good game for Adam.
Rafael Betancourt's Save: One. Two. Three. Again.
Highlight of the Night: Saved the most important highlight for last.
What's Next: The Rockies and Marlins hook up again on Friday at 6:40. We're looking at a Jeff Francis (4-4, 5.99) vs. Wade LeBlanc (1-2, 1.45) in that one, so I'm going to project a higher score than 5-3. Have your piggyback relievers at the ready.
Final Thoughts: Not a lot to complain about at the moment.
I mean sure, I could mention how the Rockies still aren't doing right by their pitchers, and because of that aren't giving me any reason to believe the future is any brighter. But at least they seem to be getting over the "constantly embarrassing themselves" hurdle and are poised to play better all around baseball. It's welcomed progress, even if it's not going to solve the bigger issues.