Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rock Solid Recap: Milestones Galore

Before we get too far in... yes, we must take our hat off and salute the great Roy Halladay on his Perfect Game in Florida.

Alright, that's enough saluting already.

There were actually two MUCH more important milestones that took place at Coors Field on Saturday night.

1) Rockies 11, Dodgers 3

Boy does that feel good to type.

2) Jim Tracy's 100th victory as Rockies manager.

Congratulations to Jim for not only achieving the milestone, but doing so so quickly. Pretty amazing.

Winning Player: Miguel Olivo

I'm going all in on Olivo. I've been hesistant at times because I don't trust that he's much more than a platoon catcher that'll wear down with too much playing time. I also really pull for Chris Iannetta, so I'm probably biased.  But hey, Olivo does everything right. He epitomizes the type of player I'm attracted to... in a sporty man crush kind of way.

His pure hustle alone on a routine groundball to Rafael Furcal created an error. That error created a two-out rally. That two-out rally created two runs.  That's the type of stuff the Dodgers do to the Rockies all the time.

Tables turned tonight. Way to set a tone, Olivo!  A leadership play.  And how about the two-run triple? Three triples in a season for a catcher in pretty special. Olivo's on pace for 10.

Like I said, I'm all in on Miguel at this point, but still pulling for Chris to get hot, too.

Speaking of hot... Carlos Gonzalez and Seth Smith have been on base machines at the top of the order. Todd Helton, though not hitting as well as we'd like, is also getting on base a bunch, which is pleasing to Tulo, Hawpe, Olivo and even Ian Stewart.

We're starting to opposing pitcher's pitch counts get run up earlier in games. That is allowing the Rockies to add on insurance runs against middle relievers. That's where the Rockies have to do a lot of their damage, because we've seen all season how much they're struggling against backend relievers. It hasn't been pretty.

Aaron Cook hasn't been very pretty for the most part in 2010. I wouldn't exactly call what he did tonight pretty -- it was effective though. Things like walking the pitcher are annoying, but unlike most starts, he wasn't compounding his mistakes with bigger mistakes.

So yes, not pretty overall, but closer to Cookmanlike than all but one or two of his starts. Now he needs to win a road game next weekend in Arizona.

Another chance to win a series against LA comes tomorrow afternoon. Clayton Kershaw, who pitched in the other rubber match, outdueling Ubaldo, gets the ball again for LA. Jhoulys Chacin, who tossed eight scoreless in LA, takes the ball for Colorado.

Can either/or repeat their performance?

Doesn't matter to me... as long as the Rockies have a bigger number in the R column come game's completion.