Jhoulys Chacin appeared to be in shape and healthy. Check. He commanded his fastball. Check. Limited to a 75 pitch count, Chacin still went 6 innings, surrendering only 1 run and getting the win as the Rockies defeated the Mets 6-2.
We all know what the talking point after the game was: fastball command. It might be that the piggyback paired four man rotation forced Chacin to do something he could not talk himself into in the past: pitching to contact. It is possible that the fact Chacin struck out “only” two batters reflects a positive rather than a negative development as he works his way back. Chacin talked about working with the pitch count: “I just tried to attack the hitters. When you only have 75 pitches, you want to get the quickest outs you can, and that’s what I was trying to do.” Moving forward, Chacin will benefit if he remembers that mentality
when if the Rockies return to a more typical 5 man rotation.
Chris Young, who haunted the Rockies in his days as Jake Peavy‘s right-handed right hand man in San Diego, continued his ways as a Rockie killer. He was perfect through the first 5 innings and struck out 9 batters over the course of 7 innings. He was the victim of unearned runs caused by an error committed by…er…himself. Nevertheless, he was dominant once again and pitched well enough to win on most nights. Which brings me back to this point…
…This Rockies team, led by its youth, keeps finding ways to win. If I had told you that Chris Young would pitch 7 innings and strike out 9, would you have ever imagined that the last place Rockies won the game? Yet that is exactly what they did. Charlie Blackmon logged his first Major League knocks of the 2012 season, including an RBI, a double, and a stolen base. Andrew Brown added a double of his own and Dexter Fowler had 2 hits and 2 RBI.
I do not dare write about a Rockies victory and not mention the heroes in the bullpen. Matt Reynolds, Josh Roenicke, Matt Belisle, and Rex Brothers did what they do. It is not just the delusions of an ever-hopeful Rockies fan to say that this bullpen is legitimately good.
All in all, the Colorado Rockies are improving in two key areas: starting pitching and playing on the road. The more they can repeat these developments, the more they can improve their chances of being a relevant team in the near future. You know, as opposed to the far, far, far distant future.