Monday, August 13, 2012

Rock Solid Recap: D.J. LeMahieu's Career Night Paces Rockies Attack

Rockies 9, Brewers 6 (boxscore)

All I wanted for my birthday was some cake, ice cream, and a lot of Rockies runs (enough to win at least). Low and behold, I got all three!

Winning Player: D.J. LeMahieu

I singled out LeMahieu on Sunday for his excellent play on the entire road trip and he follows that up with a career-high four hits on Monday. Granted, all four were singles, but singles can be very effective when everybody in the lineup is contributing. Monday was one of those nights for the Rockies, as all eight position players had at least one hit (Eric Young Jr., Dexter Fowler, Tyler Colvin and Chris Nelson each had two) and all eight position players had at least one run scored or one RBI.

Those nights are the best.

Turning Point: It was nice to see the offense come out swinging against Mike Fiers, who had an incredible 1.02 ERA over his last 10 appearances (9 starts). He's a good — potentially great — young pitcher that I figured this Rockies lineup would struggle against. They didn't struggle at all, and I credit EY and Jonathan Herrera for getting that started in the 1st, as well as Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez and Wilin Rosario for not letting the inning go to waste (Rockies jumped up 3-0).

Jeff Francis's Line: 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 77 pitches (44 strikes)

How nice of Francis to allow a two-run homer to Carlos Gomez on his 77th pitch. That made life easy on old Jim Tracy, who immediately brought the hook.

Of course what else would you expect to happen when a starting pitcher has become conditioned to throwing 75-85 pitches, but all of that just plays right into the hands of Rockies management. They can continue selling the 75 pitch thing by pointing at a result like this. Unfortunately for them, though, we're not idiots.

Unfortunately for us, they just might be.

By the way, overall it was a very nice outing for Francis. Happy for him to get a win out of it.

Adam Ottavino's Line: 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 33 pitches (23 strikes)

Ottavino is up to eight straight scoreless innings over his past three appearances, which is pretty amazing to me considering his workload. Of course it no doubt helps that he's only walked two batters over the period of time, so I guess the message here is keeping throwing strikes and all will be well until you detach something.

Will Harris Debut Line: 1 IP, 3 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 16 pitches (12 strikes)

As many have already said to Harris... welcome to Coors Field.

Highlight of the Night: Aurora shooting survivor Carey Rottman threw out the first pitch before Monday's game. Despite the fact that Rottman grew up a Brewers fan in Milwaukee, we'll still give him a standing ovation for his courage, strength, a good first pitch and for the fact that he's become a Rockies supporter since moving to the Denver area.

Well done, Carey.

What's Next: We'll have another meeting with the Brewers on Tuesday night at 6:40. We're already back to Tyler Chatwood's (2-2, 5.06) spot in the rotation coming off his strong four-inning outing in San Francisco. Randy Wolf (3-8, 5.46) will go for the Crew.

Final Thoughts: That was a very satisfying game and victory after a decent road trip. Looking at the schedule, I have a strong feeling the Rockies will play about .500 ball (maybe even better) over the next three weeks, which would make the September run at 100 losses pretty interesting (if you can call something that dreadful interesting).

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