It’s nice that after a disappointing sweep in San Francisco, the Rockies were able to head a little further south and get their spirits back up. The Padres will do that for you. Padres: thank you.
As Colorado attempts to go 6-0 against San Diego in the season series this afternoon, one has to wonder if their bats can possibly have any juice left. They have already scored 36 runs on the Friars in 5 games, with no signs of slowing. Last night, the heroes were Josh Rutledge (reaching base 3 times despite not recording a single hit, and scoring all 3 times – that’s called making lemonade, folks); Carlos Gonzalez (3 hits, 2 runs scored); Troy Tulowitzki (2 hits, 2 RBI); Todd Helton (2 hits, 2 runs scored); and Wilin Rosario (4 hits, 3 RBI). That’s more than half the lineup making a significant contribution. That is GOOD. It was nice to see Helton especially do his part, since his bat has been a little weak thus far this season. As Joel reminds us, Helton is not the type who feels the need to go out with fanfare; he simply wants to play the game of baseball and do it well. He may not be able to do it well much longer, given his age and health, but his performance last night proved that he’ll never stop going out there and doing the best he can.
Other good things: 3 stolen bases on the night, two of which came from Rutledge. The first time he had grounded into a force out, which is the opposite of a sacrifice bunt and not in a good way, so good on Rutledge to fix his mistake by putting himself in scoring position. Tulo driving in a run with a sacrifice fly. I love Tulo homers as much as the next guy, but he seems to be learning he doesn’t have to be the hero, i.e. the guy crossing the plate, every single time. Get ‘em in any way you can. And fielding – Rosario, whose passed ball total for the season is still at one, made a nice throw to third baseman Reid Brignac to get Everth Cabrera trying to steal third.
And let’s not forget pitching! Jhoulys Chacin continues to impress, last night going 5 innings and allowing 2 runs. His ERA has dropped below 2.00. Generally, I’d like to see a longer outing than that for him, but he was plenty effective in his 83 pitches. The bullpen couldn’t hold off San Diego’s offense entirely, but they kept the Padres from ever taking the lead. Matt Belisle‘s having a rough beginning to his season – last night he gave up his 3rd earned run in 6 1/3 innings pitched – but he’s a steady, reliable reliever, and I expect to see him return to form soon enough.
In any case, as I said, the Rockies need this morale booster. Remember 2011, when they lost every Sunday except for a few, and they could never seem to get up any momentum? I like a win for today, and some energy going into this next homestand.