With the return of two of its offensive stars, the Colorado Rockies were supposed to stop putting up these kinds of stinkers on the road. Instead they struck out nine times and managed only two hits as Zack Greinke threw a complete game shutout and the Dodgers pulled out a 1-0 victory.
In the process the Rockies wasted a superb start from Tyler Chatwood, who went all eight innings and allowed only one run. That came in the first inning on an RBI ground out.
Nothing like a firm hand shake. Image: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
This series wasn’t supposed to feel like a typical west coast series, was it? And yet here we are, a 1-0 game after a 3-0 Rockies victory Friday night. Day games usually loosen things up a bit, but if we are headed for another nail-biter on Sunday afternoon, there is nobody better than Jhoulys Chacin to toe the rubber for the Rockies.
Finding a way to split this series with the Dodgers would be no small accomplishment. It would put the Rockies at 46-50 entering the All-Star break. Maybe it’s not rational, but to me that feels so much better than 45-51. Now I’m starting to get it in my head that if the Rockies could win today and then crawl back up to 50-50, that would feel like the perfect launching point for a winning stretch.
Before I talk myself into more silly plans for a grand scheme for the Rockies, here are the top three reactions to last night’s loss at the hands of Greinke:
"This was definitely a tough game to lose, but sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other guy. My stuff was the same the whole game and I felt good.”"
You FOOL! You never tip your cap to the other guy! Do you know what you’ve done? Cue the Twitter vitriol!
"Greinke didn’t miss today. It’s always tough in afternoon games here, always tough to see. Afternoon games make it a little tougher, but Greinke was spot on. He was locked in.”"
There were also mutterings from the players about umpire Jim Joyce’s strike zone. But really, Chatwood benefited from the shadows too, and presumably got his share of generous strike calls as well. It seems reasonable to say both pitchers were outstanding and both pitchers took advantage of the setting on this day.
"It’s a lot of fun to play behind, because you don’t have a lot of time to think about anything else besides what he’s trying to do to get outs. Greinke is one of the smartest pitchers I’ve been around. He’s pretty tough when he’s on his game.”"
Schumaker is an expert, of course, having pitched earlier this year. When he talks about pitching, you listen.