Rockies Defeat Padres With Early Offense


On the same day the Colorado Rockies announced that the four man piggyback paired pitching experiment thing would end after this season and the team would return to a five-man rotation for 2013, Jim Tracy’s managing showed the flaws in the experiment. Tyler Chatwood struggled and threw a lot of pitches early, an issue that has stymied the plan because of the Rockies insistence on a 75 pitch count. That was always the decision that made this a failed attempt at “paired pitching,” and last night it showed because Chatwood was not paired with anybody. The rest of the pitchers Tracy inserted, 5 of them in total, worked anywhere from 0.2 innings to 1.2 innings. That is not a recipe for success. Unless…

CarGo shined with 4 hits on Friday night in San Diego. Image: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

…your first five hitters of the game reach base and you score 5 runs in the 1st inning. The Rockies were able to accomplish as much to protect Chatwood from what would have otherwise been a real disaster. Wilin Rosario (who is still on a short leash) and Jordan Pacheco both delivered 2-run doubles in that first inning, and Carlos Gonzalez distributed 4 hits over the course of the game.

Although the pitching plan for a 9 inning game was less than ideal, the Rockies bullpen did an astoundingly good job. After Chatwood surrendered 4 in the opening frame, the staff put up donuts for the rest of the game, ultimately making that 1st inning lead stand up.

All 4 of those runs came on a grand slam off the bat of Yonder Alonso, who symbolizes the way in which the Padres are emerging as a threat to contending teams down the stretch of this season. It used to be that if you scored against the Padres, even 1 or 2 runs, you felt you had a good chance to win because nobody in their lineup truly worried you. Hitters like Alonso, Carlos Quentin, and the now-polished Chase Headley have changed that, and teams have to get serious about not letting the Padres out-hit them. It never felt that way before, even in the days of Adrian Gonzalez and Brian Giles.

The Rockies hope to take a second game from the red-hot Padres tonight with Drew Pomeranz on the mound. Perhaps he will show a certain measure of rejuvenation now that he knows he can pitch in a normal 5-man situation next season.