The Colorado Rockies have been playing some excellent baseball over the past week, posting a 4-1 record in their last five games. Why is that? Well, their starting pitchers have been pitching deeper into games, which is rare to see if you’re a Rockies’ fan that is.
David Hale started it off with a spot start in-game two of a double-header May 23 against the San Francisco Giants. Hale didn’t disappoint in his Rockies’ debut. The former Atlanta Braves’ product gave up eight hits over 6.2 innings, yielding three runs/two earned while striking out two. Hale kept his pitch count relatively low and pitched to contact, helping Colorado snap San Francisco’s eight-game winning streak.
Result: Win (5-3).
How about the performance from Chad Bettis to complete the series split Sunday afternoon? Bettis was unstoppable and pitching like a Cy Young candidate until the wheels fell off in the ninth inning — surrendering an RBI double and single before skipper Walt Weiss elected to go with Brooks Brown to finish the game. Like Hale, Bettis kept his pitch count low, throwing 104 pitches over 8.1 innings. Bettis gave up two runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out seven.
Result: Win (11-2).
Eddie Butler had his struggles early on in the game on Memorial Day, giving up a two-run shot in the first inning to Todd Frazier, but did just enough to keep Colorado in the game. Colorado’s number two prospect gave up four runs on nine hits, walking two and striking out one. Thanks to Nolan Arenado‘s performance with the bat, Colorado collected their third-straight win.
Result: Win (5-4).
Chris Rusin made his Colorado Rockies’ debut in a spot start to relieve Jorge De La Rosa, who was scratched from his scheduled start due to a cut on his pitching hand. Rusin pitched like every Rockies’ fan expected. Well, no. It was refreshing to see someone pitch deep into the game in a spot start however. Minus the walks, Rusin was pretty darn good. Over seven innings pitched, Rusin gave up one run on four hits, walking four and striking out five. Unfortunately for Rusin, the Rockies’ bats were silenced by his counterpart Michael Lorenzen.
Result: Loss (2-1).
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After pitching well in each of his last three starts, Kyle Kendrick did the same against Cincinnati Wednesday afternoon. The veteran was cruising until a hiccup in the bottom half of the eighth inning. Kendrick gave up a lead-off home run to Tucker Barnhart and the wheels fell off. Kendrick issued a single and a walk only to be relieved by Boone Logan. Logan walked two in-a-row before giving up an RBI single to Jay Bruce — three runs all credited to Kendrick. After all, Kendrick did his part, pitching 7.1 solid innings, yielding four runs on five hits, walking one and striking out one.
Result: Win (6-4).
Over those last five starts by Rockies’ pitchers, the team has logged 35.1 innings while giving up just 13 earned runs — good for a 3.31 earned run average and a record of 4-1. Not bad at all. Hopefully we can expect the same from Colorado’s three probable starters (Chad Bettis, Jorge De La Rosa, Jordan Lyles) against Philadelphia starting Friday night. Colorado has the offense to put up numbers, but the pitching will always be their x-factor.
The Colorado Rockies (19-26) resume action Friday night as they prepare for a three-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies. Chad Bettis (1-0, 4.19 ERA) take the hill for Colorado as the Phillies counter with ace Cole Hamels (5-3, 2.98 ERA). First-pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM EST, 5:05 PM MST.