Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Training Hits & Misses: Game 29 vs. Texas


Old professional hitters are professional

Todd Helton and Jason Giambi combined to go 5-for-6 with a home run, two doubles, two runs and three RBI against Yu Darvish. You think they give a crap about the hype? Just throw them your best and they'll figure it out sooner or later. Usually sooner.


3-4 punchless

Yikes. We knew Darvish was going to present a challenge for the Rockies offense, but I don't think even a worst case scenario would have called for Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki to go 0-for-6 with six strikeouts.Yet that's exactly what happened.

Did I already say yikes?

Jordan Pacheco also contributed an 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a GIDP. Not exactly the performance he was looking with the third base job now within his reach.

Got Their Work In

Jhoulys Chacin

6 1/3 IP, 5 ER, 9 H, BB, 3 K

Bad news: Chacin was roughed up a bit by a Texas Rangers lineup that has made back-to-back appearances in the World Series.

Good news: The San Francisco Giants lineup will not present this type of challenge when Chacin takes the mound against them a week from Monday in the home opener. Nor will Barry Zito present the same challenge for the Rockies offense as Darvish did tonight.

Bottom line: Chacin needs to eat up more innings this season. He knows it. You know it. Everybody knows it. That he was able to get deep into the game (longest outing by a Rockies starter this spring) despite a couple lengthy innings is a good step for him, even if the numbers weren't ideal.

Rotation is set

Jeremy Guthrie, Jamie Moyer and Juan Nicasio will start the opening series in Houston with Chacin handling the home opening assignment as mentioned above. Of course Nicasio starting the home opener would have made his great comeback story even better, but it's understandable why the Rockies would want to take that pressure off his shoulders and give the nod to Chacin, who just as easily could have started the regular season opener.

So there you have it. The Rockies rota...

Oh, right, Drew Pomeranz. Yes, he's also in the starting rotation, but the Rockies have decided to option him to the minors until they need a 5th starter on April 15. Since their plan is to cap Pomeranz's inning at about 170, it makes plenty of sense to conserve some of those precious innings early. In the meantime, they will employ an eight-man bullpen, which is great news for the likes of Esmil Rogers, Josh Roenicke, Alex White (one scoreless) and Edgmer Escalona (two-thirds scoreless).

Oh, yeah, and the score in case you're wondering

Yu Darvish ended up fanning 11 over his six innings and earned the W as the Rangers held on for a 5-3 victory.

What's next

Another battle with the Chicago White Sox comes your way on Saturday at 2:05 MT. 850 KOA has the coverage.

More Rockies thoughts await you if you follow me on Twitter: @Townie813