Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rock Solid Recap: Winning road trip? Better believe it.

Hey any non-Rockies fans reading this right now, it's a big deal to us! This road trip through Pittsburgh and New York almost always results in a 1-5 or a 2-6. Doesn't matter who's good or who's bad, so to have a guaranteed winning trip with two still to play is meaningful on a few levels.

Rockies 5, Mets 4 (boxscore)

-- Tonight's heroes: I think they're going to look familiar.

Troy Tulowitzki: Fell a triple shy of the cycle. Had two plate appearances needing only the triple. Struck out the first try in the 7th and was intentionally walked the in the 9th. But by that time Tulo had done all the damage he needed to do. His three-run 5th inning home turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead and the Rockies never looked back.

Jonathan Herrera: Reached base three more times out of the two-hole. I don't know what else I can say. He never really hits the ball with authority, he just concentrates on finding a pitch he can handle and placing it where it's meant to be placed. His discipline and ability to spoil really tough pitches are what amaze me more than anything. It's a special, unique and immeasurable talent.

Ryan Spilborghs: If you're going to have a 1-for-4 night at the plate, might as well make that one your first home run of the season. That run ended up being difference.

Matt Lindstrom: The Rockies needed a good clean 8th inning tonight in a one run game. They haven't been getting those from Rafael Betancourt in recent days (possibly due to a groin issue), so Lindstrom got the call. And he answered the call with his best inning in a Rockies uniform, sending the Mets down in order.

Huston Street: When Street is locked in and in rhythm, he can as good as there is in the 9th inning. He's pretty locked in right now. It appears that three inning outing in Pittsburgh that I was worried about may have had a very positive affect on him. I'm happy it's working out that way.

-- Esmil Rogers didn't have what you'd call a really solid outing tonight. That said, he was one out away from qualifying for a quality start. Maybe that exposes how flawed the quality start stat is, but he still battled his ass off and kept the team in the game. And once again, your #5 won a start over the opponent's #2. It's a big deal.

Rogers struggled again with finishing off hitters he gets ahead of and with finishing innings where he retired the first two hitters. In the 3rd , 4th and 5th innings Rogers retired the first two batters each time, but ended up having to pitch himself out of a jam.

In the 3rd: He loaded the bases with two walks and a single. 24 extra pitches.

In the 4th: Only 5 extra pitches but he allowed a pair of doubles and a run.

In the 5th: He allowed a triple to Angel Pagan. 10 extra pitches.

As it was he needed 106 pitches to get through 5 2/3. If he finds a way to get over that last hurdle, and can start finishing his innings the way he starts them, you're looking at a pitcher that will get deep into games pretty consistently. There's little doubt in my mind he'll get there, but the Rockies have to stay committed to him and allow him figure it out as he goes.

-- Rockies have a chance to close this road trip out on a special note tomorrow. Even a split in that doubleheader and you've done something exceptional. That said, I want both games. Badly.

Lineup Card: 4-13-11 Rockies @ Mets

If you're looking for Rockies game lineups and you don't feel like searching all over Twitter or waiting for to post them, check back to Heaven & Helton about 60-90 minutes before first pitch and they should be here waiting for you.

Not surprisingly both managers filled out the same lineup card scheduled for last night's rainout.

Colorado Rockies (7-2)
  1. RF Seth Smith
  2. 2B Jonathan Herrera
  3. LF Carlos Gonzalez
  4. SS Troy Tulowitzki
  5. 3B Jose Lopez
  6. 1B Todd Helton
  7. CF Ryan Spilborghs
  8. C   Chris Iannetta
  9. P    Esmil Rogers
Good to see Seth Smith get a start against a lefty. Interesting that he's leading off when given that chance, but with the at-bats he's taking lately he should be fine up there. Also nice to see Todd Helton back in there. 

New York Mets (4-6)
  1. SS Jose Reyes
  2. 2B Daniel Murphy
  3. 3B David Wright
  4. RF Carlos Beltran
  5. 1B Ike Davis
  6. CF Angel Pagan
  7. LF Willie Harris
  8. C   Josh Thole
  9. P   Jon Niese
If Esmil plans on repeating or coming close to the success he had in Pittsburgh, a good place to start would be keeping Jose Reyes off base. Reyes looked as good, healthy and productive as we've seen him in probably four years. I hope that continues for him... starting again on Friday.