Rockies Lose But, in the Process, Win


Rockies 1, Rangers 4

So I thought this game was going to be your basic, run-of-the-mill blowout. I’m still pretty sure that today’s game and tomorrow’s will fall in to that category. I just don’t understand how the Rangers only managed to score 4 runs. I mean, it’s the Rangers. And it’s Christian Friedrich. I like Christian Friedrich, but he’s still Christian Friedrich.

The bulk of the praise for this game belongs to him, though, and is well-deserved. Not only did he go longer than anyone has yet gone on the new pitch limit – 6 full innings! – but he actually allowed fewer hits than his opponent Roy Oswalt, and he got a lot of key outs when he needed them. He was not rattled by a Chris Nelson error that allowed a runner on in the 6th. He hit Ian Kinsler in the 5th and then picked him off. And he got Josh Hamilton to strike out. TWICE. Yes, he did give up 2 home runs, which accounted for 3 of the 4 runs Texas scored. Still, I think he did everything he could with the odds seriously stacked against him. I was very impressed.

Also impressive was Guillermo Moscoso, who came out of the bullpen in the 7th and pitched 2 scoreless innings with 4 strikeouts. I wasn’t wild about his long relief potential when he initially came up to the big league club, but especially since the new world order of pitching has begun in Colorado, he’s been extremely solid. If Jeremy Guthrie can be as good as he was in his one appearance in Philadelphia, this thing might – gulp – work a little bit. And by work, I don’t mean cause the Rockies to win. I gave up on that long ago. I mean, not lose in egregious, embarrassing ways. At this point, that is what I will take.

Beyond the pitchers, there aren’t many Rockies I’m interested in recognizing. They did a super job getting on base but a pretty terrible job getting each other over and in. Their one run scored in the 7th when Wilin Rosario led off with a single and was erased by a Jonathan Herrera double play. I had to cringe at that, because the next batter, Dexter Fowler, hit a triple. That was followed by a Marco Scutaro RBI double. At that point, Oswalt exited the game, and Robbie Ross, Mike Adams, and Joe Nathan took it from there. I’m not as mad as I would usually be about the lack of hits with runners in scoring position, though. Oswalt is a very good pitcher, and showed no signs of rustiness despite the fact that this was his first start of the season. I didn’t expect a whole lot more than this.

So basically, my expectations were so low for this game that I’m wildly happy with the result, even though it still goes in the loss column. And one other great thing: Carlos Gonzalez was a beast in the field last night. He notched a pair of assists, one a bullet to home plate that got Yorvit Torrealba, and the other to 3rd that allowed the infield to catch Nelson Cruz in a rundown. It’s good to see him playing with a sense of urgency, especially in a game like this, where every runner removed is most likely a run saved.

The series continues today in Arlington with Josh Outman on the mound, seeing if 3 days rest will be enough.