Back In First, Kind Of
Today the Rockies played their 10th game of the season against the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks. Coming into today Colorado was one game behind both Arizona and the San Francisco Giants. The Rockies relinquished first place back on May 8th, and have struggled in the month of May compared to their hot start in April.
Your winning pitcher. Image: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The afternoon start at Coors Field featured the third time this year that pitchers Jorge De La Rosa (5-3) and Trevor Cahill (3-4) faced off. De La Rosa came into the game with a 7-4 record against the team that signed him as an amateur free agent in 1998 (1-1 this season having given up 2 earned runs in 12 innings). The Rockies lefty continued his success against his former team today. He only managed to pitch 5.1 innings thanks to D-backs hitters grinding out long at-bats, just like manager Kurt Gibson used to, but he only gave up 1 run on 6 hits.
As for the offense, all you avid followers of the Rox Pile know that the Rockies roster has gone through plenty of changes lately. That was never more obvious than when today’s lineup card was submitted with center fielder Dexter Fowler hitting cleanup for the first time in his career. Strange move? No doubt about it, but with Troy Tulowitzki not in the lineup today Manager Walt Weiss tried it. Fowler finished the game 2-4 with a double and run scored.
Colorado did get the kind of game you would expect from the one superstar in the lineup: Carlos Gonzalez. Cargo hit his 11th home run of the year with his 1st inning solo shot. He also tripled in DJ LeMahieu for his second RBI of the game before scoring himself on a wild pitch. Cargo was directly responsible for three of the Rockies’ four runs, exactly what is needed from him on a day when the team’s table setter is hitting fourth.
The Rockies bullpen kept up its good body of work, pitching 3.2 shutout innings between three pitchers. Rex Brothers pitched the 9th inning earning his first save of the season. Brothers is likely to see the majority of save opportunities while closer Rafael Betancourt awaits the results of an MRI. The Rockies bullpen has pitched the most innings in the NL this year and continues to meet the challenge.
The Rockies 4-1 victory put the team into a tie for first place with both the D-Backs and the Giants. They also improved their record in May to 10-10. If May is considered a bad month for the Rockies this year, we will be watching competitive baseball in the fall.