Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rock Solid Recap: Nine Innings. No Complaints.

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 1 (boxscore)

A Rockies baseball game took place tonight and I have nothing to complain about.

Not a managerial decision. Not a mental lapse on the bases. Not a lack of hustle (though I could reach for a couple if I wanted). Not even a blown call by an umpire.


The Rockies brought it in every phase of the game for nine complete innings. They never once made life easy for Arizona. Not even for one pitch or one batter, and they were rewarded with an easy 6-1 victory.

It's all sounds so basic. Like something silly to get excited about. But the Rockies just don't play enough games like this. It's almost stunning when they do. They've been on the losing end of them repeatedly, but unless they're in the middle of some unconscious month long run to October, these only pop up occasionally.

I'll certainly take it, though, and pull for many more just like it.

Winning Player: Jamie Moyer

I stated going in that it felt like Moyer needed a solid outing tonight to reestablish himself in the rotation. He responded like a guy that's been in this spot a time or ten in his 26-year career. He responded like a guy that really wants to stay where he is. He responded with a beauty.

Jamie Moyer's Line: 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K, 98 pitches (56 strikes)

I think the line speaks for itself. But not only did Moyer need this, I think Jim Tracy really needed it. After last night's debacle, a night away from making stressful decisions was surely welcomed.

The bullpen also obviously needed this with only Josh Roenicke (1 2/3 scoreless) and Esmil Rogers (perfect 9th) used to close it out. Credit to those guys because now the Rockies core relievers will be fresh for Thursday afternoon.

Lineup Card: Rockies vs D-Backs 5-16-12


Colorado Rockies (14-21)
  1. Marco Scutaro (2B)
  2. Tyler Colvin (RF)
  3. Carlos Gonzalez (LF)
  4. Troy Tulowitzki (SS)
  5. Michael Cuddyer (1B)
  6. Wilin Rosario (C)
  7. Jordan Pacheco (3B)
  8. Dexter Fowler (CF)
  9. Jamie Moyer (P)
Troy Tulowitzki is a go again tonight after looking awfully sore and limited last night. Meanwhile, Todd Helton gets his routine mid-week day off with Michael Cuddyer moving in to play first and Tyler Colvin sliding over to right. Also, Jordan Pacheco is safe. 

Arizona Diamondbacks (16-21)
  1. A.J. Pollock (CF)
  2. Aaron Hill (2B)
  3. Justin Upton (RF)
  4. Jason Kubel (LF)
  5. Paul Goldschmidt (1B)
  6. Ryan Roberts (3B)
  7. John McDonald (SS)
  8. Henry Blanco (C)
  9. Patrick Corbin (P)
It's hard to believe the Diamondbacks are struggling almost as much as the Rockies. I haven't been watching them close enough to know exactly what their problems are — well, aside from missing Chris Young — but this appears to be a chance for the Rockies to string some wins together. 

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

Rock Solid Recap: Marco Scutaro Helps Rockies Escape San Francisco With Unexpected Split

Rockies 5, Giants 4 (boxscore)

Winning Player: Marco Scutaro

Scutaro was out of the starting lineup tonight and didn't enter the game until an 8th inning double switch. That still left him plenty of time to play hero as his lead-off home run (first as a Rockie) in the 9th provided the difference in the game.

Turning Point: Of course it wasn't an easy path to get to that moment. The Rockies led 4-1 in the 7th before Josh Outman and Matt Belisle worked together to allow San Francisco to tie the game. More on that debacle and where the blame ultimately lies a little later.

When the bottom of the 8th rolled around, Jim Tracy continued to show confidence in Rex Brothers by throwing him into the fire. Naturally, four batters into the inning, the Giants had the bases loaded on three walks (one intentional). Everybody had a pretty good idea on how this would end, but Brothers actually flipped the script this time by overpowering and striking out both Brandon Belt and Melky Cabrera to escape the jam.

If I'm Bob Apodaca, I'm calling Brothers into the video room first thing tomorrow to make him watch that entire inning pitch-for-pitch, and then repeatedly tell him how damn good he can be and how much easier his life will be if he attacks hitters and trusts himself. That message needs to become lodged in his head.

Jeremy Guthrie's Line: 5 1/3 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 4 H, 4 BB, 4 K (season high), 90 pitches (50 strikes)

Was hoping Guthrie would be more efficient and work a little deeper in his return, but looking back at how the outing unfolded, I'll certainly take this line. The Giants had plenty of opportunities to make it an even shorter outing, but Guthrie survived it by making a quality pitch every time he needed one. He even racked up a couple strikeouts in those spots and doubled his season high overall.