Say what you will about the Rockies’ struggles in spring training, this was an impressive win. The Rox were in split squad; the American League Champion Texas Rangers were not. And we saw all their big guns and fired right back. Mostly just good feelings about this one.
I pretty much always want to mention Todd Helton in the dazzling category, because I think he’s earned a lifetime membership in it regardless of how he performs on any particular day. Just the same, he’s getting old, and some games are better than others. Today’s was definitely of the better variety. The Toddfather went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, taking those great at-bats we know and love him for. Both his hits were doubles. I hope the kids were watching.
Jordan Pacheco hasn’t been perfect in spring training, but he has been excellent, and today was no different. Three plate appearances, three hits, three runs batted in. Three cheers for Checo.
Huge sigh of relief called for here: Tyler Chatwood is not terrible. Nor is he great, yet, but he nailed out a pretty great start today. He lasted 4 innings and allowed one run on 4 hits and a walk. And let me reiterate: this was not the Rangers B team. Chatwood faced, and mowed down, Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Michael Young, AND Adrian Beltre. That’s just wow. Nice to see some confidence and execution from this kid.
Marco Scutaro didn’t do much with his bat today, but that turned out to be a good thing: he walked twice in three tries and scored once. He also got Chatwood out of a jam in the 3rd inning. There were 2 outs and Kinsler was on 2nd, with one run already in. Andrus hit a single and Kinsler, underestimating Scutaro’s fielding skills, tried to go all the way home. Score that one 4-5-2: Kinsler was out, and the inning was over.
The efforts of pitchers in relief were even better than Chatwood’s start. Edwar Cabrera, Josh Sullivan, Dustin Molleken, and Carlos Torres combined for 5 innings of scoreless baseball. And I’d like to single out Torres because he pitched a perfect inning with 2 strikeouts.
Matt McBride, thus far the least impressive of the Ubaldo Four, was even less impressive today. He went 0-for-2, but most importantly he stranded 4 runners in 3 plate appearances. That’s no good Matt. Drive in a run buddy.
Also leaving 4 men on was Kent Matthes, who ended two different innings with runners on base. Once, they were loaded. Ick.
That’s really all I have to say about the Rockies disappointments! Almost everyone was great today. And don’t miss the fact that they were facing Neftali Feliz when they came to the plate for the first 3 innings. I bet he wishes he was back in the bullpen.
Check back tomorrow morning for a recap of today’s second split-squad game, against the Diamondbacks.