So this series has been horrible. The Rockies tied a Major League record for one team having consecutive batters retired by the same team with forty in a row. The team also went scoreless in twenty-eight straight innings going back to Thursday. The Rockies had lost their last four games entering Sunday and had not given up more than three runs in a single one of those games. Good pitching gets no credit when the team still loses.
Blackmon. Image: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Despite Cardinal starters Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright each having starts that could be described as better than dominating, Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa was not impressed. He would face another good young arm in Jaime Garcia, who had a 4-1 record coming into the Mother’s Day series finale. De La Rosa has pitched very well after missing the last year and a half of baseball. In his first seven games started he has had five quality starts.
The Rockies have dropped from first to third in the division pretty quickly, not having won a series since beating The Dodgers on May 1st and the Diamondbacks on April 21st before that. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have the best start in all of baseball at 23-12 with their rotation’s record at an impressive 20-7.
But Jorge was not impressed. Perhaps a gift to Mom or trying to show up Wainwright and Miller, De La Rosa pitched 6.2 innings worth of no-hit baseball. The Cardinals first hit of the game came via David Freese on a ball that snuck by Jordan Pacheco at first base. De La Rosa’s final line looked like this: 7 inn, 2H, 3BB, 7Ks, and 0 runs allowed. He was not the opening day starter, he is not the most veteran guy on the staff, and he probably does not have ace type stuff, but he did exactly what aces do: show up with a big start when it’s needed the most.
May 12, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (29) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Like I mentioned before, quality pitching does not matter if the team loses. Rockies pitching has been giving the team a chance to win, it’s the bats that have not been around until today. It started in the third inning. With Pacheco and Carlos Gonzalez on base, Troy Tulowitzki homered to left field. It was Tulo’s first hit of the series and also his first game of the series without a strikeout. Rockies up 3-0.
The offense would not let up. In a great feel-good moment Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run home run in his first Major League level game of the season to make it a 5-0 lead. Blackmon would again be involved when the Rockies scored in the top of the eighth. Reid Brignac, who has been kept to pinch-hit duties for the most part this season, would come through as De La Rosa’s replacement. A Brignac double drove in Blackmon and Josh Rutledge. Dexter Fowler would then break a mini slump of his own with a single to drive in Brignac. Rockies up 8-0.
In true baseball karma fashion the Cardinals would have a “Texas-Leaguer” of an inning, scoring two in the bottom of the ninth to take away the shut out from the Rockies staff. Of course former Rockie Ty Wigginton was involved, scoring the second Cardinal’s run. Rockies win 8-2.
I have said it all season: the Rockies could be a good team. The pitching consistently gives the team a chance to win. Is it dominating? Other than today’s start, no it’s not. All you can ask of a pitching staff is the chance to win the game. The only difference today was the offense. The big hitters did their part with the Tulo home run, but the entire lineup has the ability to do good things. That is easier said than done, apparently. But as far as today’s game goes Jorge was not impressed. Moving forward consistency is going to be needed.
Happy Mother’s Day!