The Rockies offense struggled with Reds ace Johnny Cueto early in today's game. Well, with the exception of Todd Helton, who connected for a pair of solo home runs — a second inning shot to right and an opposite field blast in the fourth. I actually decided to go back and watch the second one a couple more times just so I could admire it some more. It really was picture perfect swing on a pitcher's pitch down and away. Every hitting coach should have that swing on tape and show it to their pupils repeatedly. It was professional hitting at its finest.
Blake desperately needed a moment that not only made himself feel confident heading into the season, but the Rockies coaching staff and myself as well. He had that moment in the fifth inning when he crushed a two-run homer to left off Cueto to give the Rockies the lead.
It was a good step in the right direction, but my hope is the Rockies will continue to make Blake prove himself (health wise and on field production) before adding him to the opening day roster. I know the Rockies won't ask him to play 130 games, so that helps his cause, but they can't afford to have any dead spots on the roster like we saw for too many extended periods last season.
Apparently White doesn't want to be overlooked in this bullpen mix. He was excellent today in his latest audition to be the bullpen's bridge guy (starter-to-late inning relievers), throwing two scoreless and striking out three. Among his victims: Drew Stubbs, Brandon Phillps and Joey Votto. All very good hitters.