So far, this Rockies season has been marked by multiple reversals of fortune in the same game. The cause for this is most likely the fact that the team’s cohesion is still pretty messy. The lineup consists of some really old guys and some really young ones, some who have been in the Rockies organization their entire careers and some who are brand new this season. The starting rotation is, for the moment, consistent, but likely to change any time. The bullpen is a fairly solid piece, but how much work it has to do on a given day varies widely. The Rockies don’t have much of a game plan right now; the strategy seems to be for each guy to go out there and do whatever he can to keep the team in the game. That’s not awful, and it has worked 3 out of the last 4 days. The problem with it is that there is an enormous amount of luck and chance involved each time they take the field.
On days when luck is on our side, however, I won’t ask too many questions. Especially because I can’t think of anything luckier than a walk-off home run by our own Todd Helton. Nobody deserves to be the hero on a given day more than the Toddfather, and nobody is more likely to read a pitcher’s stuff on the spot and make such good use of every pitch. (See: Troy Tulowitzki, coming to the plate before Helton and taking a terrible third-strike swing in an attempt to be the hero himself.) I am speechless at the sight of Helton’s brilliance, and all I can do is pay my respects.
Not so respectful was the job done by the pitching staff yesterday, which made the walk-off necessary. Starting from the top, we’ve got Jhoulys Chacin, who needs to start doing something awesome real soon. Yesterday’s outing wasn’t that bad; just one earned run in 4 innings. (3 walks though? My eyes bleed.) Without the rain delay, perhaps, he might have gone longer and held the lead. Instead, post-shower, he was replaced by Josh Roenicke, which pleased me because I dislike Esmil Rogers and want nothing to do with his long relief. So imagine my disappointment when Roenicke did not make good use of this opportunity and allowed 3 earned runs in his one inning pitched, on a 3-run shot by Miguel Montero. Yikes.
The Rockies still had the lead when Matt Reynolds replaced Roenicke in the 6th, though they were holding onto it by a thread. Reynolds got his one out and was spotted by Matt Belisle, who gave up a run to tie the game at 5. Also: alarm. Troy Tulowitzki with TWO throwing errors in that same inning. TWO IN THE SAME INNING. This is our Gold Glove Tulo, who committed 6 errors all season in 2011, and he has 3 already this year. Is he getting sloppy? I won’t pass judgment on that. I’ll just close my eyes and hope that when I open them again he’s back to normal.
Next in line was Rex Brothers, who gave up the lead. Tyler Chatwood came on in the top of the 8th and showed how nasty he could be, striking out Ryan Roberts and Justin Upton. But he also surrendered two hits and a run, which widened the margin by 2.
Where was the offense in all this? Well, credit them for picking up the pitchers just like they did on Friday. Things got started with back-to-back home runs by Tyler Colvin and Ramon Hernandez in the 2nd. It was Hernandez’s second homer in as many days; who knew he’d be such a power producer? Dexter Fowler seems to have realized that sometimes a guy at the top of the order has to walk to get on base, and when he does that he often scores, especially with a guy like Michael Cuddyer coming up to hit an RBI single. Even Chacin contributed an RBI groundout. And kudos to Eric Young Jr. for smacking a double to right on a 3-2 pitch and driving in Colvin, bringing the Rockies to within one.
And then we have the Toddfather. What more needs to be said? The man is immortal.
The Rockies haven’t swept a series since the Astros last August. Can they overcome the dreaded Sunday curse and make it happen today, against a real team? Stay tuned.