Monday, August 20, 2012

Rock Solid Recap: Rockies Earn Win With Jumbled Lineup

Rockies 3, Mets 1 (boxscore)

Most of the names in the lineup were unrecognizable to people who don't follow the Rockies closely (and even some who do), yet they found a way to start their road trip on the right track with a win over the New York Mets. And to make it more satisfying, they won a game started by Cy Young candidate R.A. Dickey (no-decision for him).

Winning Player: Tyler Colvin

First base belongs to Colvin again with Michael Cuddyer back on the disabled list. He took advantage of the playing time on Monday night, breaking Colorado into the scoring column with a mammoth second deck bomb off Dickey in the 5th.

But that was just his first big moment in the game. In the 8th, with the Mets threatening to retake the lead, Colvin make a fantastic diving stop of a Jordany Valdespin groundout that was ticketed for the right field corner. Colvin then gathered himself and flipped to Matt Belisle (who was a little late covering) JUST in time to get the out.

Big time play.

Without the out, the game would have been tied and New York still has the bases loaded. If the ball gets down the line, it likely clears the bases and we know the result that would lead to.

And then to cap his night, Colvin singled in the 9th to keep the inning alive. One batter later, Ramon Hernandez gave the Rockies an insurance run with a single of his own.

Turning Point: Colvin's plays were huge. However, the turning point that led directly to Colorado taking the lead happened in the 8th when Jonathan Herrera led-off with a bunt single and then advanced to second when the Mets completely botched the play up. Chris Nelson then executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to get Herrera to third, and New York immediately followed with another miscue... a passed ball.

So basically you had a three batter stretch where the Rockies did everything properly to scratch out a difference-making run, while the opponent did everything to give away that all important run. That shoe has been on the other too many times this season so this was a real nice change.

Alex White's Line: 4 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 83 pitches (46 strikes)

White struggled a bit out of the box, settled in nicely, and then promptly got yanked as he was peaking. Same song and dance we're used to at this point, but no less frustrating with each passing game.

Bullpen's Line: 5 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 4 BB, 6 K

The bullpen is the reason Colorado has turned their improved play of late into victories. This was another incredible effort from all four relievers who took the ball, including and especially Guillermo Moscoso, who tossed 2 1/3 scoreless.

Rex Brothers had the most trouble of the four, allowing three base runners in 1 1/3, but he survived it and got the win (7-2). We already talked about the one out Matt Belisle got (thanks again, Tyler Colvin), and Rafael Betancourt locked down his 24th save.

Good, good stuff.

What's Next: More good stuff. The return of Jhoulys Chacin!

The 24-year-old right-hander will make his first start for Colorado since May 1 (pectoral muscle) against the Mets and Chris Young (3-6, 4.50). I think we'll all be quite interested to see how he looks this first time out, but don't overreact too much to ineffectiveness if that occurs. We just want to make sure he's finally 100% healthy and can restart the process towards becoming the guy the Rockies desperately need him to be.

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