The Rockies caught the Cincinnati Reds at a moment when their pitching staff is hot. After defeating the Rockies 3-0 Monday night behind the pitching of Bronson Arroyo‘s eight shutout innings they have shut out their opponents in three of their last four games. For Arroyo to pitch like he did in the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ballpark against the Rockies lineup is especially impressive.
Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood left the game in the 4th inning with a triceps injury that he said “startled” him. For the game it was not a huge issue for the Rockies: the bullpen pitched admirably and the Rockies were not going to win with zero runs anyway. But moving forward it is potentially a significant problem as Chatwood had emerged as the second-best starter behind Jorge De La Rosa. Chatwood says that he hopes to make his next start this weekend against the Padres. If he misses an extended period of time the Rockies will either have an underwhelming (Jeff Francis) or exciting (Roy Oswalt) option to take his place.
As far as the pitching match-ups go, things only get more difficult for the Rockies. Tonight it is Juan Nicasio against Homer Bailey. On Wednesday it will be a true mismatch as the floudering Jon Garland faces off against Johnny Cueto. Somehow the Rockies need to find a way to not get swept before they head home for a series against San Diego. On paper last night represented their best chance to snag a victory with Chatwood on the mound. Now the Rockies either need a pitcher to step up or the offense to deliver a rare big performance on the road. Pending one of those developments, they might end up coming home this weekend in desperate need of some victories.