Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rock Solid Recap: Let's Take Two

Did you know doubleheaders are split 74.8% of the time?

Those odds, the Rockies inability to win two games in a row in what seems like years, and the return of a previously struggling Jason Hammel from the DL, would seem to add up in favor of the Washington Nationals.

But that's why odds, stats and momentum mean little in terms of an individual baseball game.

Rockies 4, Nationals 3

Winning Player: Jason Hammel 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K.

That's the very definition of rock solid.

I'm sure Jim Tracy would have been satisfied with five good innings from Jason. He must be overjoyed that he got seven.

You may have noticed I emphasized and highlighted the zero walks. Man, that's so important for Jason. Limiting that extra traffic and keeping his pitch count down are two KEY contributors to his success. If we could get this we saw guy tonight about 66-75% of the time, the Rockies rotation becomes very strong, because you're not counting on him as more than a 4th or 5th starter.

It was also important for Jason himself because he has a couple guys breathing down his neck for a permanent rotation spot once everyone gets healthy. He'll hope to build on this in Houston or Kansas City this week.

Save: Manny Corpas

One run 9th inning saves tend to be rollercoasters. Not today for Manny. 1-2-3, set'em up, set'em down. He actually pitched two perfect 9th innings today, so extra pats on the back for that.

Overlooked Move/Play

Jim Tracy doubleswitched Brad Hawpe out of the game between the 7th and 8th innings. Two batters into the Nats 8th, the move paid off in a big way.

Willie Harris hit a ball towards the RF corner that, if fair, looked like a sure double, possible triple. CarGo got on his horse to make a sliding catch (highlight) right at the line for the second out of the inning. No offense to Brad, that's just a play he doesn't make. That extra speed in the outfield was a game changer, and maybe even a game saver.

CarGo also hit a ball so hard, it had no choice but to stay fair for a second deck HR (highlight). Seth Smith followed that up with the Rockies first back-to-back HRs (highlight) of the season. That really isn't hard to believe when your 3rd and 4th hitters have combined for one HR 15 days into May.

Oh, and a big thank to Adam Dunn.  Not for this (highlight), but for this (highlight).

Todd Helton is the anti-Adam at first base (highlight).

Now, for tomorrow, all I ask from the Rockies is a little bit of greed. Let's not be happy to split a series, let's win this one and send the Nationals to St. Louis ice cold. Series victories = a good record.