After finally getting Jamie Moyer his oldest-pitcher-in-the-history-of-the-world win, the Rockies turned right around and got Juan Nicasio his came-back-from-the-dead win. So it’s been a good couple days to be a Rockies fan.
Poor Nicasio pitched brilliantly in his first start opening weekend and got a no-decision because his team was decidedly unbrilliant. In his second start, he struggled. But this time, all the pieces finally came together: Nicasio was great (well, good enough), and the rest of the team didn’t mess it up for him.
Let’s start by looking at Nicasio’s outing. He stayed in the game 6 1/3 innings and allowed 4 earned runs, which is obviously more than we’d like to see. He allowed 2 homers to Chase Headley which accounted for 3 of those earned runs. One was a fastball and one was a changeup, so you can’t even accuse Nicasio of throwing the same mistake pitch twice. Headley just had his number. And as for the rest of the Friars’ lineup, they only collected 4 hits total off Nicasio. And that fourth earned run really shouldn’t have scored, but Esmil Rogers made sure that it did. He came into the game with 1 out in the 7th and Nick Hundley on 1st. Rogers recorded a strikeout but then gave up a single and a walk to load the bases. Then, he struck out Will Venable on a wild pitch. Hundley scored and Venable reached base. So what should have been the third out of the inning tacked another run onto Nicasio’s total. All told, though, it was a much better outing than his counterpart Clayton Richard‘s, and it’s encouraging to see him continue to improve.
And Rogers wasn’t all that bad. He went 1 2/3 innings and only allowed 1 hit and 1 walk. If not for that poorly timed wild pitch, it would have been a great outing for him. Matt Belisle also gets respect for his perfect 9th inning. Neither he nor Rogers have given up an earned run yet this season. I feel like we’re moments away from a 2/3-inning, 7-run outing from Rogers, but I’m starting to cautiously set my skepticism aside.
How about the offense? They definitely did Nicasio a solid with their efforts last night. I would have thought they’d have struggled without Troy Tulowitzki in the lineup, but the bottom of the order took care of business. 6-7-8 hitters Wilin Rosario, Chris Nelson, and Jonathan Herrera combined for 6 hits and 4 RBI. It was great to see Nelson especially have a bit of a breakout game. Nolan Arenado‘s call-up can’t be too far off, and Nelson needs to be better than he’s been if he wants to see any playing time after that point. Of course, Nelson, Rosario, AND Tyler Colvin all got caught stealing, but we’ll turn away from that seeing as how they still managed to score enough runs to win the game.
Also: Michael Cuddyer is awesome. I know we’re still early in the season, but all those people who were angry that we signed him ought to be eating their words right about now. He has been extremely solid at the plate so far, and his 2-run home run last night was crushed. He is earning his keep for sure.
As for Tulo, well, he’s got to get his head in the game, because 6 errors in less than 2 weeks is really not acceptable. Hopefully two days off will reset him a little bit, and he can come back on Friday and start doing what we know he can do. At the very least, that’s not let easy groundballs out of the infield.
The Rockies are off today and will head to Milwaukee for a 3-game series this weekend.