Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rock Solid Recap: Bottoms Up

Rockies 8, Padres 4  (boxscore)

Winning Player(s): As the title may or may not indicate, I'm going with the bottom third of tonight's starting lineup. That includes Chris Nelson, Jonathan Herrera and Juan Nicasio. All three played a huge part in tonight's win, and you're about to read how.

Turning Point: Sometimes the turning point can be obscure, other times it's blatantly obvious. Tonight's was the latter, because it came via Chris Nelson's two-run double in the second that gave Colorado a 2-1 lead.

The most important thing is that it did just that, gave Colorado the lead. But with runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out, I felt like it was ultra important for the Rockies to not settle for one, or even worse, none in that spot. Nelson's hit not only guaranteed they would put up the crooked number, but it opened the flood gates to a five-run inning that San Diego never recovered from.

Nelson would finish up his night with a pair of doubles, a walk, two runs scored and two more driven in. That's how you take an opportunity and run with it.

Juan Nicasio's Line: 6 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, 99 pitches (65 strikes)

Terrific outing for Nicasio on the heels of that unexpectedly disastrous effort against San Francisco. If you recall, Nicasio walked FIVE in that game (career high), but came back firing strikes with all of his pitches tonight and worked effectively outside of the zone when he had to. The only Padre that got to him was Chase Headley (two home runs), but he's been getting to every Rockies pitcher since he came into the league so we're used to seeing that.

A great bounce back effort for Juan all things considered. And hey, he collected his first career RBI just for good measure.

Highlight of the Night: I mentioned that Chris Nelson's turning point double opened the flood gates in the second inning. Now, can you believe it was little Jonathan Herrera who delivered the crushing blow that turned it from one big hit to one HUGE inning?

Yup, he was the one, and with an OPPOSITE FIELD home run no less.

Screengrab of the Game
Dexter Fowler and company greet Herrera in the dugout. He's in there somewhere, I swear. (Root Sports)

What's Next: The Rockies take Thursday off before traveling to Milwaukee for a three-game series this weekend. The pitching matchup in the opener on Friday will see Jhoulys Chacin take on Shawn Marcum, and the first pitch comes your way at 6:10 MT.

Final Thoughts: I again take my hat off to Wilin Rosario for his work behind the plate and with the bat (two more hits). In addition to him, Michael Cuddyer (two-run homer) and Esmil Rogers (1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 K) were the other standouts in what was probably the Rockies cleanest game of the season. Really not a thing to complain or be discouraged about.

And honestly, to win back-to-back series, to win this homestand (5-4) within the division, and to head to Milwaukee at 6-6 overall is something to feel good about. The overall record really could be a lot worse right now, and you have to feel like better days are ahead once Tulo and CarGo start firing away.

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


Sam said...

They finally bench tulo and play the best game of the year. Coincidense? I wont say they should keep sitting him because that would be dumb but dont you think he should sit more often when he's struggling?

Mark Townsend said...

I don't know how often you mean but the only times I would sit him are when he's struggling to the point he has been over the past week, in the middle of a 16-20 game stretch with no off day, or when he's dealing with some time of nagging injury.

In the injury situation you evaluate him day-by-day. When it gets to be a mental thing as it appears to be now, I'd just give him the one game off (which is this case equates to almost 72 hours off the field) and then throw him back out there and let him go. If things aren't much better in a week, do it again. But I think he'll come around before this weekend is over.

But that's just my take. Thanks for checking in with yours, Sam.