Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: Rockies Settle For The Predictable Doubleheader Split

Before you go any further, check out the Game 1 Recap. That was the good one. 

Pirates 5, Rockies 1 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: Plain and simply, the offense stunk today. They were lucky to scratch out the win in Game 1 behind the wheels of Eric Young Jr. and the arms of Juan Nicasio and Esmil Rogers, and they followed that up with another feeble effort in Game 2 against Charlie Morton. That's not to mention getting nothing last night other the CarGo home runs.

I know this Pittsburgh staff has pitched lights out so far, but man, the Rockies offense has to find a ways to put pressure on the opposition. The Pirates offense is lousy to be sure, but at no point in this series were they ever in danger of being put out of the game. That made life easier on manager Clint Hurdle in terms of handling his pitchers, and it allowed their bats to peck, peck, peck, in search of one or two big hits, not three or four.

That's a BIG difference for them.

That's a BAD series loss for the Rockies.

Turning Point: This is easy. What should have been two harmless flyball outs to end fifth inning in a scoreless tie, ended up breaking the game open for Pittsburgh as Carlos Gonzalez lost both of them in the sun. The unlucky — He was wearing sunglasses! Not good ones, but still  — misplays would lead directly to Pittsburgh's first two runs. Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez then followed with back-to-back home runs, sealing the W for Morton.

Jhoulys Chacin's Line: 5 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, 98 pitches (62 strikes)

It's unfortunate all of the runs charged to Chacin were earned (the lost balls in the sun are not errors), but it's not like he was sharp today, either, so don't feel too bad.

Quick Game 1 Recap and Game 2 Lineups

Rockies 2, Pirates 1 (boxscore)

Winning Player: It probably feels like Juan Nicasio deserves the nod here, but how about the bounce back effort from Esmil Rogers?

Called upon in the eighth inning with a one-run lead, Rogers not only accepted the challenge from Jim Tracy, but owned it by striking out the Pirates 2-3-4 hitters. A dominant, emphatic and damned impressive shutdown inning when the Rockies desperately needed one. Also, our short relievers take a pounding when things go poorly, so why not pat them on the ass when they come up big?

Well done, Esmil.

And well done by Matt Reynolds (got his one batter) and Rafael Betancourt (1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save).

Turning Point: Eric Young's wheels have been changing games all month, and that's what happened again with the game tied at 1 in the eighth.

With one man already out, the speedster reached base on a hit by pitch. Marco Scutaro directly followed that with a single through the hole on the LEFT side created by Clint Barmes cheating towards second (looking for an EY steal attempt), which allowed Jr. to move first to third without hesitation. That set up Tyler Colvin, who hit nothing more than a medium pop fly to right field. But that's all EY needed to score from third and give the Rockies the lead.

Just that simple. That just quick.

Lineup Card: Rockies @ Pirates 4-25-12 (Game 1)

Last Night's Recrap: Rockies Killer B's Kill Rockies

A real quick look at the Game 1 lineups while I have a moment.

Colorado Rockies (8-8)

  1. Marco Scutaro (2B)
  2. Tyler Colvin (CF)
  3. Carlos Gonzalez (LF)
  4. Troy Tulowitzki (SS)
  5. Jason Giambi (1B)
  6. Michael Cuddyer (RF)
  7. Wilin Rosario (C)
  8. Chris Nelson (3B)
  9. Juan Nicasio (P)
Pittsburgh Pirates (7-9)
  1. Alex Presley (LF)
  2. Jose Tabata (RF)
  3. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  4. Neil Walker (2B)
  5. Casey McGehee (1B)
  6. Pedro Alvarez (3B)
  7. Clint Barmes (SS)
  8. Michael McKenry (C)
  9. James McDonald (P)
More Rockies thoughts await you if you follow me on Twitter: @Townie813 & @HeavenHelton