Tuesday’s First Pitch

By Editorial Staff

Leading Off
The Rockies further proved that they can contend with some of the best in the American League Monday, defeating the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians 8-7 at Progressive Field. What’s more is the Rockies got back to their winning ways in one-run games. The team produced one through nine, which is a good sign your team is getting back to consistantly winning.

The Good
The Rockies are back to .500 with Monday’s win, and look to improve on that mark tomorrow while continuing their series against the Indians. Troy Tulowitzki went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored, and he got his average up to .278, Carlos Gonzalez went an impressive 3-for-5 with two runs scored, upping his average to .281, and Jason Giambi went 1-for-4 in his 2011 debut as a Designated Hitter, a role he was very famliar with early on in his career. The Giambino hit a huge three-run home run in the fifth inning to put the Rockies on top 7-4, his seventh of the year. Seth Smith (.307) went 2-for-5 and Todd Helton (.311) went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored. Smith and Helton have been the Rockies’ two most consistent hitters all year.

The Bad
It seems almost too repetitive to write, but the bullpen once again nearly blew a win for the team. All in all, five relievers gave up five hits, while Matt Reynolds gave up the Indians’ seventh run to put the Tribe within one run. Rafael Betancourt came in to relieve Reynolds in his first trip back to Progressive Field since having been traded in 2009, and Huston Street recorded his 21st save of the year. With the save, Street now leads all of Major League Baseball in the save category.

The Ugly
Juan Nicasio doesn’t belong in this category, and while his outing today wasn’t horrible, it certainly wasn’t something to write home about. He went just 4 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and six runs, while walking two and striking out six. In 80 pitches (53 for strikes), Nicasio gave up two home runs that nearly put the game out of reach early on. The first was to Travis Hafner with two on, and the second was to Carlos Santana, a solo shot to right field.

Game MVP
Carlos Gonzalez: 3-5, 2 runs, 1 strikeout (.281 avg., .343 OBP, .452 SLG)
Huston Street: 1.0 Inning Pitched, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 5 pitches thrown (3.74 ERA)

On Deck
The long-awaited article about the Rockies and the American League will be posted today. It had to be bumped back a few days (Thank you work and a much-needed remedial course in math – you’ll understand later), your usual Daily Matchup, and a belated Minor League Monday report (hard to post when you work Sunday and Monday nights).