The Colorado Rockies were 33-52 at this point last year. Keep that in mind at the tail end of this 16 game stretch versus the NL West. Tuesday was the second game of a three game series against the San Diego Padres. After losing five of six games to division leaders Arizona (1st) and Los Angeles (2nd, 3.5 GB), a series against the Padres is just what is needed. The Rockies started off the series right with a close 4-2 victory Monday night. On Tuesday the pitcher’s park, located in downtown San Diego, would continue to slow down an offense that is about as shorthanded as last season’s four man pitching rotation.
Stults. Image: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Jhoulys Chacin (8-3) did more than his fair share to give his team a chance to win. The power pitching righty gave up just one run in six innings on five hits. Even though he only struck out four Padres he was pulled after the sixth inning with a pitch count of 97. Opposite Chacin was six year veteran Eric Stults (6-7) who more than matched him.
And all you have to know about the rest of the game is Eric Stults.
Sure he gave up a run in the ninth; that was after 115 pitches. Stults had a four hit compete game, while forcing 14 ground ball outs and striking out five. The 33-year-old fooled a young Rockies lineup that was without Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, and had Nolan Arenado coming off the bench (1-1 with an RBI).
So to sum up: this was a game that a playoff caliber team would be expected to win. The Padres snapped a 10-game losing skid against the only team in the majors to have two players in the Home Run Derby, and perhaps the best Rockies starter on the mound.
The All-Star break cannot come soon enough. It may take a streak the likes of 2007 for the Rockies to make the playoffs. It has been a few years since the club put together a late season run, but at least they are in position to start one any day now.