Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: So You Want To Be A Catcher?

Padres 3, Rockies 2 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: Rough day for the offense against Ross freaking Ohlendorf and company.

How rough?

Hitters 3-6 were a combined 0-for-14, with the only production coming from Carlos Gonzalez (two walks, two stolen bases). It will take a special day from the bottom of your order and/or your pitching to overcome that.

As you can tell by the score, the Rockies almost did.

Turning Point: Jordan Pacheco's second big league start behind the plate on Sunday turned out to be quite the experience, which you had to expect it would be given how this entire season has gone for the Rockies.

Naturally his day got off to a very active start in the first inning. Before the Rockies could off the field in that frame, Pacheco was forced to attempt blocking a pitch in the dirt, which did not go well at all. Rather than drop to his knees and smother it, he went backhand and baseball went to screen. He also had to go way up the line to knock down a throw from the outfield. He did that well. And then he handled a pop up right up the elevator shaft without any problems.

All in all, not the worst possible start.

Then comes the play at the plate in the 4th inning. John Baker singles to Eric Young in center, Everth Cabrera comes charging around third with the tying run. EY makes a good, strong throw home, but the ball and Cabrera unfortunately arrive at the same time, and Pacheco paid the price for it.

Rock Solid Recap: That Game Was Quite Fun

Rockies 8, Padres 6 (12 innings - boxscore)

I'm almost a little rusty when it comes to talking positive about the Rockies, but I must say tonight was one of the most enjoyable complete game experiences of the season. It was really was a fun, competitive game, that saw both teams coming up with the timely hits and spectacular defensive plays to literally keep their teams alive.

And we're happy to report that when all was said and done, it was the Rockies who prevailed, thanks in large part to the man our resident Rockies nickname-giver Brian Smith quickly anointed #Paycheck.

Winning Player: Jordan Pacheco (3-for-6, career-high 4 RBIs, game-winning hit)

I couldn't think of a more spot on nickname for Pacheco, who continues to cash in on his extended opportunity to start games at the hot corner. Obviously, Pacheco can flat out hit. He's also an improving defender, though there's still a long way to go before we'll feel 100% comfortable over there. But it's clear he's willing to work hard at it, and it's more clear he's going to carve out a nice little career for himself regardless of where or how much he plays.

Another good hitter, Michael Cuddyer, also had a big night at the plate, tying a career-high with four hits. He scored the winning run on Pacheco's 12th inning single. Ramon Hernandez then followed with his own RBI single to make it 8-6.

Turning Point: All of those heroics wouldn't have been possible without one incredible play by right fielder Tyler Colvin. With runners on 1st and 2nd in the 9th and only one out, Mark Kotsay pulled one towards the right field line that seemed destined to fall for a game-winning double. However, Colvin was able to run it down (showing the advantage the Rockies have with a Gonzalez-Fowler-Colvin outfield) and made an incredible diving catch to save the game.

And thanks to the overly aggressive baserunning of Everth Cabrera, it turned into an inning-ending double play.

It was awesome. Like, really awesome.