Rockies Decisively Tie D-backs in Spring Opener
Rockies 1, Diamondbacks 1, F/10
I’d just like to start by saying that I am so thrilled to be writing an actual game recap, for a game that just happened. I’m pretty sure I’m the happiest person on earth right now.
And now to the game at hand. The Rockies faced off against the split-squad Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields this afternoon. As is generally the case with spring training games, there were frequent substitutions, so let’s look at who dazzled and who disappointed in today’s game.
Drew Pomeranz got the start for the Rockies, and that was no accident. He’s expected to make the rotation out of camp, and I for one am very excited about what he brings to the team. He wasn’t perfect in this outing, allowing a hit and a walk, but he pitched two scoreless innings and showed the same poise that we saw from him back in September. He also struck out two batters. And other than one very long flyball off the bat of Matt Davidson, Pomeranz kept the ball down and hit his spots.
Speaking of hitting spots, Ramon Hernandez proved very adept at handling this pitching staff. That’s no small task, considering just how many of them there are and how varied their repertoires. But Hernandez’s veteran presence is perhaps even more important than we first imagined, and I’ll certainly admit that I undervalued him. He may not be an offensive powerhouse, but I think his ability to call a game and calm a pitcher makes him an asset. And you know what? Maybe just forget what I said about not being a powerhouse. He was the only Rockie to collect 2 hits today, and he drove in the only run. I’m sure Jim Tracy will be putting him in the clean-up spot in no time.
Rob Scahill also put in a pair of scoreless innings and allowed just one hit. The first inning he got all three of his outs on long-ish flyballs, but he also threw only one pitch to each of those hitters. The man works fast. He only needed six pitches to get through his second inning.
Will Nieves replaced Hernandez as a pinch-runner in the 4th and finished out the game behind the plate. He started off the 10th inning with a single that was just the Rockies’ fourth hit of the game. And he gunned down Adam Eaton trying to steal 2nd in the 6th. Excellent work by our catchers today.
Nolan Arenado didn’t do much at the plate, but his defense was as advertised. Arenado made several plays that are worth mentioning, but the best was in the 4th when Gerardo Parra hit a groundball down the third base line. Arenado made a diving stop and nailed Parra at first base. He couldn’t stop the run that scored on the play, but he was smart enough to get the only force out he had, and the dive was awesome.
Of course, nobody else did much of anything. The box score is pretty much one long line of zeros. I’m not even going to bother to name all the guys that went hitless. It was most of them. We’ll let them off the hook a little bit since almost nobody had more than two at-bats. But I will single out Tyler Colvin. He was the designated hitter. I’m a National League fan, so I realize I might be a little out of touch with what this position is actually for, but I am pretty sure he was designated to hit. And instead he struck out three times. On nine straight pitches. Actually, upon closer examination, that’s ten straight pitches. His third at-bat was cut short when Charlie Blackmon was caught stealing 2nd to end the 9th. So Colvin got another chance and he still struck out.
Josh Outman took over for Pomeranz in the 3rd and struggled a bit. The good news is that he didn’t give up seven home runs, which was the fear since his flyball rate is pretty high. He managed to avoid giving up any flyballs at all, as a matter of fact. But he had a hard time keeping traffic off the basepaths. In the 4th he walked Paul Goldschmidt on four pitches and then gave up a double to Geoff Blum on the very next pitch. The Parra groundout that Arenado fielded so brilliantly drove in Goldschmidt. Not an awful performance for Outman, but out of seven pitchers he was the only one to allow a run.
Carlos Gonzalez broke his bat. You’re stunned, right?