If you want to believe that things can turn around simply due to an individual player getting things on track, look no further than Jhoulys Chacin. In the time since I have written for Rox Pile, we have watched Chacin miss extended periods of time with mysterious injuries, be his own worst enemy because he couldn’t throw strikes, and receive accusations of being out of shape and overweight from the front office.
We all knew that Chacin might have the stuff to be a number one pitcher, but you would hardly think that anybody expected him to do as well as he has in 2013. When we all discounted the Rockies as a relevant 2013 baseball team before the season actually started, what did we almost universally point to? The rotation. Sure, Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa are really talented, but…
Every time we talked about how those guys could be good, it seemed to end with some sort of “Yea, but…” comment.
Hopefulness and high expectations are two different things, and while we all dared to have high hopes that Chacin would finally come into form this season, I think we can reasonably say that not many people expected what we have seen from you this year.
That made Friday night’s 9-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks an appropriate culmination of what this season has been for Chacin. He has to be considered one of the single most important players on the team, and time and again he has pitched like it. Last night was no exception as he tossed six innings, overcame five walks and surrendered only two runs to get his 14th win of the season. He also chipped in a two-run home run, making himself the star of this game in front of the Coors Field faithful.
It was a while ago now that we realized that 2013 would be about cheering and appreciating individual development and accomplishments. Chacin tops that list, and that’s what made last night’s win so fun.