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.

Lineup Card: Rockies vs Padres 4-18-12

Colorado Rockies (5-6)

  1. Marco Scutaro (SS)
  2. Dexter Fowler (CF)
  3. Carlos Gonzalez (LF)
  4. Michael Cuddyer (RF)
  5. Todd Helton (1B)
  6. Wilin Rosario (C)
  7. Chris Nelson (3B)
  8. Jonathan Herrera (2B)
  9. Juan Nicasio (P)
To the surprise of very few, Troy Tulowitzki gets the night off. 

People have been calling for that dating back as far as Saturday, but last night's two errors and the non-effort to run out a groundball — controversial or not, just run — sealed the deal. Now he has two full days to clear his mind, rest his hip, or whatever it is he needs to do to get back on track. 

To replace Tulo, Marco Scutaro, a shortstop by trade, slides over to his more comfortable position while Jonathan Herrera — coming off three hits on Sunday — will try to continue being a professional pain in the opponent's ass. 

It's also worth noting that Wilin Rosario receives another start behind the plate. We understand Ramon Hernandez tweaked a hand during his final at-bat on Monday, which is a contributor in this decision, but Rosario more than earn the opportunity with his performance last night. I'm looking forward to seeing how he builds on that. 

San Diego Padres (3-9)
  1. Will Venable (CF)
  2. Chris Denorfia (RF)
  3. Chase Headley (3B)
  4. Jesus Guzman (LF)
  5. Yonder Alonso (1B)
  6. Nick Hundley (C)
  7. Jason Bartlett (SS)
  8. Orlando Hudson (2B)
  9. Clayton Richard (P)
What They're Saying About Jamie Moyer's win

— Last Night's Recap: Jamie Moyer Earns His Place In The History Book

— Michelle Hoag over at Rox Pile

— David Martin from Rockies Review

— Andrew Fisher from Purple Row

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

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.