Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rock Solid Recap: Jamie Moyer Earns His Place In The History Book

Rockies 5, Padres 3 (boxscore)

Winning Player: Jamie Moyer

I must say, we've been a part of some really cool moments over the years as Colorado Rockies fans, and Jamie Moyer's victory tonight — making him the oldest pitcher in baseball history to enter the win column — rates right up there among the coolest.

I say that, first and foremost, because the perseverance and mental toughness it takes to endure elbow reconstruction at the age 48 to continue living your dream, and to continue competing at the highest level of professional baseball is off the charts. It's extraordinary. You can't not respect or appreciate that.

But what makes it even cooler is that the now 49-year-old Moyer wasn't just out there competing tonight, he was out there taking ownership of this baseball game.

I've said before that Moyer isn't a pitcher that can win you a game with just his arm. Well, tonight, I sit corrected, because that's exactly what he did. He was the guy setting the tone early. He was the guy picking up his teammates. He was the best Rockie on that baseball field, and there was no question about that the entire time he was working.

It was special to watch. And I hope his staff mates were paying close attention, because he set quite an example for them. Even on nights when you don't have "it" (great stuff/bad day/whatever) you can still challenge major league hitters and get them out if you believe you can do it.

Believe you me, Jamie Moyer still believes whole-heartedly that he can do it.

Tonight, he proved that he can do it.

Tonight, he earned his place in the history books.

Turning Point: Continuing on with Jamie Moyer praise, a scoreless top of the first is something the Rockies hadn't enjoyed since Moyer's last start five days ago. That he put that 0 on the board right away again tonight (needing only 13 pitches) gave the offense a little breathing room for a change and allowed all of us to get comfortable before spouting off angry tweets

Jamie Moyer's Line: 7 IP, 2 R (0 ER), 6 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 3 double plays, 87 pitches (54 strikes)

The line is brilliant as is, and could have been even better if not for Troy Tulowitzki's yips over at shortstop. Moyer was able to pitch around the first Tulo error thanks to one of his three induced double plays, but the second error in the seventh contributed directly to both unearned runs and unfortunately ended his bid to be the Rockies first starter to pitch into the eighth.

Screengrab of the Game
Jamie Moyer's wife and family celebrate the moment. (Root Sports)

Highlight of the Night: Wilin Rosario also stoodout tonight for several reasons. At that top of that list is the game he called for Moyer behind the plate. Not far behind is the leadership he showed in the ninth inning, taking charge and guiding Rafael Betancourt through a turbulent situation. He also had a solid night at the plate, crushing an RBI double to the opposite field in the fourth, and providing very important insurance in the eighth with a sacrifice fly. Very encouraging night for him.

What's Next: The Rockies wrap up their nine-game homestand with a rubber match against San Diego. Not only is it a rubber match for the series (1-1), but it's also a rubber match for the homestand (4-4). Needless to say, it would be great to start the home schedule with a winning stand, especially within the division.

Juan Nicasio takes the hill looking to bounce back from a painful outing on Friday vs. San Francisco. He'll be matched up against *cringe* left-hander Clayton Richard, and we'll begin once again at 6:40 in the mountain timezone.

Final Note: Congratulations are in order for Rockies pitching prospect Edwar Cabrera, who took a perfect game into the ninth inning tonight pitching for AA Tulsa before allowing a lead-off infield single. Cabrera was immediately removed after that lone hit, and finished the game with eight strikeouts while lowering his season ERA to 1.35 in three starts. It's possible we'll be seeing that 24-year-old left-hander sooner than we thought.

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