The guy that was drafted ahead of Tim Lincecum, Evan Longoria, and Clayton Kershaw came up big for the Rox last night. Coming off a tough loss and dealing with a depleted bullpen, Colorado desperately needed a solid performance out of Greg Reynolds. The 2006 top draft pick delivered, giving the team six tough innings and only surrendering two runs.
Greg’s efforts last night earned him some respect from his peers. Even if he struggled early, Jim Tracy was going to stick with Reynolds. He had no choice. Anything less than five innings would have been a disastrous result for the club. Reynolds answered the call. He went six and put the Rox in position to win. He battled out of several jams by throwing strikes and pounding his sinker. Reynolds probably won’t start many games this year, but, if he is needed, his manager and teammates know that he’ll go out there and battle. What more can you ask of your seventh starter?
On Friday, the Rockies approach at the plate was awful, but last night it was much better. They were more patient and had a few opportune hits. Seth Smith’s sixth-inning solo blast jump started the offense, but it was Ty Wigginton’s eighth-inning three-run double that decided the affair. Wiggy turned on a first pitch, 94 MPH inside fastball, driving it past a diving Pedro Alvarez at third. The double was Wiggy’s only hit of the night, but it couldn’t have been more timely, breaking open a tie game and giving the Rockies the lead for good.
Today, the Rox go for the series win with Jhoulys Chacin on the mound. Last time out, Chacin threw seven shut-out innings against the Dodgers. He doesn’t have to repeat that performance, but something close would be nice.
If they lose today, they split the series, 2-2. I suppose that’s an acceptable result. The Rockies will win at home this year. We can pretty much take that to the bank. Last year, they were 23 games above .500 at Coors and 19 games below .500 on the road. If they can play .500 baseball away from Coors, they will be a very good baseball team in 2011. However, I’m not willing to accept “very good” from this group. They have a chance to be exceptional and exceptional teams win on the road. That’s why today’s game is important. The Rockies need to set the tone for the rest of the season and be a team that can win games even when they are in the visitor’s locker room.
From the world of Twitter, Helton and Ubaldo are feeling good, but CarGo is sick today.