There was bad defense and then there was good defense; both involved the birthday boy, Todd Helton. There were two welcome sights as Troy Tulowitzki jacked a home run and Jorge De La Rosa delivered another gem, winning his 13th game. Put it all together, and the Colorado Rockies got a feel-good win on the road, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3.
Nolan Arenado‘s gem, aided by Helton’s acting, got much of the attention on this night. But we saw something else too; we saw the formula for the Rockies, the formula to win games, and the formula we hope will someday lead this team to the playoffs.
Tulowitzki shined on offense, cranking a home run. He was joined by Wilin Rosario, who delivered a beautiful shot over the center field fence. Once Tulo is joined by Carlos Gonzalez, a lineup that is driven by those two stars is expected to produce runs in bunches (and on the road, maybe, someday). That sets the stage for a cast of surprisingly steady starting pitchers, led by De La Rosa and Jhoulys Chacin.
With the lead created by the stars and held by the starters, the ball then gets handed to the trio of Matt Belisle, Rex Brothers, and Rafael Betancourt. No Josh Outman. No signs of Adam Ottavino entering the game way earlier than he should have to. And, thank heavens, no sign of Wilton Lopez. To indulge the cliche, such is the difference between using the bullpen when you “want to” and when you “have to.”
So there’s the formula, one that we have not seen nearly enough of in 2013 (as evidenced by the team’s mediocre results). Still, it won’t hurt one bit to see more of it between now and the end of September as we try to figure out just who exactly the Rockies are going into next season.