July 13, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy (4) greets shortstop Josh Rutledge (14) after his first major league game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field. Rutledge recorded two hits and two RBIs during the game. The Rockies won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

The Rockies Take Game One against the Phillies

The game

Rockies 6, Phillies 2

Christian Friedrich was able to pitch well enough to secure his first victory since June 4 (against the Diamondbacks). Friedrich out-pitched Cliff Lee, words that didn’t seem possible.

Friedrich pitched six innings (82 pitches), struck out seven and gave up one run on five hits, while Lee gave up nine hits and three runs.

This season more than any, we’ve heard over and over how it’s hard to pitch at Coors Field. But when a pitcher mixes up pitches and keeps hitters off balance like Friedrich was able to do in the 6-2 victory, the proof it’s not impossible for a pitcher to succeed in Colorado rises.

Tonight was only the third win by a starting pitcher since June 4. Those three wins have come in the past seven games. It’s unfortunate that since the starting pitching has been better recently; that the message will be the four-man rotation is working. Put everything aside and just look at one key issue with a 75-pitch limit. Each starter’s arm will be conditioned to only last about 75 pitches. You can’t seriously think that’s a good thing for a young pitcher like Friedrich.

An even bigger story was the debut of Josh Rutledge. Rutledge went 2-for-2 with a stolen base and two RBIs. His sacrifice fly in the sixth drove in Tyler Colvin.

Fresh off his All-Star Game appearance, Carlos Gonzalez went 3-for-5 with a run scored and Michael Cuddyer really knocked the ball around with a double and RBI triple.

The Rockies have now won three of their last four games and provided an enjoyable game to watch. Very rarely this season have the Rockies provided good baseball for the fans. Take away the fact the Phillies have struggled much of the season and soak in this victory as a relief from what has been going on this season.

 

Be patient with Wilin Rosario

It’s no secret Rookie catcher Wilin Rosario is raw defensively, but it’s safe to say he has adjusted well at the major league level offensively. Rosario has filled in very well for Ramon Hernandez since he has been on the DL. The phrase Rosario can become the catcher Colorado has been missing all these years is always matched with criticism of his defense behind the plate.

Yes, Rosario is still raw behind the plate, his 10 passed balls leads the national league, but one thing you can’t argue with is his production at the plate. His 14 homeruns leads all major league rookies and has him on pace to break Todd Helton’s franchise rookie homerun record. However, an eye sore to say the least, is his 27.8 percentage strikeout rate.

With every positive Rosario shows, there’s an immediate counter because he is such a raw player, but he has come a long way since 2011, when he was called up in September.  During his call up, he hit .204 with eight RBIs and three homers in 57 plate appearances. This season, he’s hitting .247. He needs to produce more obviously. Keep him in the lineup and let him continue to work on his game for the remainder of the season. It’s not like the Rockies are deep in a playoff race.

The word patience is a word that many fans are tired of hearing, but if there’s to be a youth movement, let the young players get the experience.

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Tags: Carlos Gonzalez Christian Friedrich Cliff Lee Colorado Rockies Josh Rutledge Michael Cuddyer Philadelphia Phillies Todd Helton Wilin Rosario

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