Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rock Solid Recap: Pitching holds strong, Tulo steals the W

This is what happens when you put an underachieving team (Rockies) and mediocre team (White Sox) together for a baseball game. A long game full of fans from both sides wondering how their teams is going to blow it, why the other team refuses to win it, and why they're staying up into the late evening hours to witness it.

Rockies fans are glad they did, because it was shown there is one big difference between these teams, and, quite frankly, the two leagues.

The Colorado Rockies have a superstar by the name of Troy Tulowitzki. A superstar who's athletically gifted and can change a game any number of different ways, including with his legs. The Chicago White Sox have no such player. In fact, most American League teams don't.

Rockies 3, White Sox 2 in 13 (boxscore)

That game could have gone on for 20 innings without a resolution if not for Tulowitzki's instincts and hustle, but let's make no mistake about where this game was truly won for the Rockies...

Pitching. Pitching. Pitching.

Jason Hammel: He walked the pitcher on four pitches in the 5th. Juan Pierre would follow with an RBI double. Two batters later, Carlos Quentin, one of the hotter hitters in the AL grounded into a 6-4-3 double play limiting the damage to only one run.

Walking the pitcher aside, this was another really quality start by the Rockies big right-hander. He finished with zero strikeouts. You could also take that as a negative, but he induced something like 13 groundballs. Maybe it ended up being more. He only had the one bad inning. The only blemish in the other six was an Alexei Ramirez 2nd inning solo homer.

All the others were very quiet and very efficient low pitch innings. Really the type of the start the Rockies needed here to save the bullpen. Unfortunately, the offense would not allow such a thing to happen. But please, tip your cap to Hammel, even if you must do so begrudgingly.

Matt Belisle: His usual solid self.

Huston Street: Flat NASTY.

Matt Reynolds: On track, getting his lefties out.

Rafael Betancourt: Big bounce back for him. Needed a strong inning and got it despite walking the lead-off man.

Matt Lindstrom: Overpowering.

Rex Brothers: Congratulations on the first big league win! What a great way and a great game to get it!

Ty Wigginton: Kudos for getting the baseball in play. But also, and Jack Corrigan pointed this out on the radio, he took a tempting pitch on 3-1 to extend the count to 3-2, which allowed Tulo the running head start. I love TEAM baseball.

Overall: The Rockies first walk-off win of the season! Hallelujah. You know it took the Mets 299 games to hit a grand slam. They ended that last night with grand slams in back-to-back innings. I kind of get the feeling the Rockies are going to follow suit and win in walk-off fashion on back-to-back nights. Yes, I'd much rather take 10-1, but 4-3 in nine innings sounds good for Wednesday!