Wednesday’s First Pitch: Rox Washed Up, Pitching Again the Undoing

By Editorial Staff

The Rockies starting pitching was perhaps the best park about the team so far into May. Starting pitchers had gone seven games with a quality start, and while tonight was no exception to that, one pitch proved to be Jason Hammel’s undoing.

Hammel gave up a two-run double to pitcher Mike Pelfrey just minutes after getting drilled in the left knee by a comebacker straight up the middle. It was Pelfrey’s first hit of 2011, and gave the Mets a lead they would not relinquish, and they went on to win 4-3. The Rockies fell to 6-7 in one-run games, something that was their Achille’s Heel in 2010.

Though the Rockies came back from a 2-0 deficit courtesy of a Troy Tulowitzki home run, followed up by a Seth Smith homer two batters later, the Pelfrey double put the final stake in the Rockies’ heart. Hammel said postgame that he is very optimistic he’ll make his next scheduled start.

A bright spot of the game was that Carlos Gonzalez hit his third home run of the year, and showed signs of breaking his horrible slump, however there was more news on the injury front.

After a 50-minute rain delay, Dexter Fowler took to the plate with a 2-2 count. On the first pitch he saw, he fouled a ball of his left knee, and could barely walk off the field under his own power. Trainers and Manager Jim Tracy said the sore left knee tendon shouldn’t be more than a day-to-day issue. Ryan Spilborghs pinch-hit, subsequently drawing a walk. The Rockies wouldn’t see another base hit the rest of the game. By my account, that’s the first time in recent Major League history that a pitcher has faced two batters technically in the same at-bat which lasted 50 minutes. Could be off there, but that’s why this game is fascinating – you see something new every day.

Tonight’s game will be a rubber match – Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Jonathan Niese. If Ubaldo can perform like he did against Florida last month, the Rockies might be able to salvage this series.