Rockies Win! Apocalypse Forestalled Another Day

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Rockies 8, Marlins 4

Not a sweep. Not a sweep. Finally, not a sweep! There is much to be thankful for from this game, and that is perhaps the biggest thing.

In my pre-series chat with Marlin Maniac editor Ehsan Kassim, I predicted that Alex White was the Rockie most likely to regress. The logic behind that was that White had the outing of his career last week and only a loss to show for it, thanks to the awful offense that failed to support him. I was afraid White would struggle to pitch well, thinking that even if he did his team wouldn’t come through for him. Well, good news. White recorded his first win of the season last night, and while it wasn’t quite as dominant an outing as the previous one, it’s safe to say that he did not regress. And the offense did come through.

I’m especially impressed with White because he was down 3-0 going into the 3rd inning, and I’m sure he was thinking, these guys are going to get almost no-hit again, and I’m going to lose. But he kept at it, and he even managed three 1-2-3 innings of the 6 he pitched. He also did not give up any home runs, not even to Giancarlo Stanton (who went hitless). The only real quibble I have with White is the RBI single he allowed Carlos Zambrano to hit. Pitchers should never be allowed to drive in runs, but especially not Big Z.

Now back to that offense. Troy Tulowitzki finally had the game he’s been needing to have for quite some time now. He hit an RBI double and a 3-run home run, which means this game wouldn’t have been won without him. If you recall, he’s our offensive superstar, and generally speaking as he goes so goes the team. That’s not for a minute to say he’s to blame for the Rockies’ troubles lately; there is plenty of blame to share. But studies show (and by studies, I mean me, watching a lot of games) that Tulo needs to hit well for the team to win easily. It’s good to see him have a productive game like this. Perhaps most importantly, in both AB’s that produced those runs, he didn’t swing at any bad pitches. Another thing we need Tulo to do is not ground out weakly to second base or hit a pop foul that the first baseman catches. He does those things all the time. So even more than the fact that he drove in four runs, I’m happy that he didn’t waste a swing on a pitch he couldn’t really do some damage with.

Of course, he wasn’t the only one to produce runs, and Carlos Gonzalez deserves a mention as well. He hit an RBI single just before Tulo’s homer in the 5th, and then he hit an RBI triple in the 7th. We need him swinging productively, too. He didn’t strike out once in this game, and that’s a good day for Cargo. Also good was Marco Scutaro, who reached base ahead of Cargo three times and therefore was able to score three runs. Scutaro makes stupid mistakes sometimes and isn’t having quite as good a year as I was hoping he’d have, but he gets on base. Quite a lot more than Dexter Fowler, in fact, whose presence in the lineup I didn’t miss in the least.

I’d be remiss not to mention Adam Ottavino, Matt Belisle, and Rafael Betancourt, who did a very fine job holding the lead. Belisle and Betancourt didn’t allow any hits. And let’s also be sure to notice that the fielding was quite a bit sharper than it has been, even with Eric Young in center field. It’s those defensive mistakes that have really been hurting us (well, that, and all the runs our pitching staff gives up), so to see an improvement there was refreshing.

Of course, I wouldn’t get too excited. The problems with this team run far deeper than what can be improved on in one game. That said, a win is a win is a win. The end.

After a travel day, the Rockies arrive in Cincinnati for a weekend series with the Reds.

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