Game Notes: Colorado Rockies 4, Philadelphia Phillies 1


Apr 28, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 Friday night behind Chad Bettis. Notes and observations from game one of the series. 

6. Final. 4. 108. 1

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Chad Bettis threw what might have been the best game of his life for the Colorado Rockies on Friday night. Eight innings with two hits, no walks, no runs, seven strikeouts – and, oh yeah, a perfect game he took into the seventh and a no-hitter he took into the eighth – was good enough to defeat Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1.

Bettis was nails, Troy Tulowitzki was dominant, and the Rockies are starting to play a little bit better, lo and behold, than they were about two weeks ago. That’s baseball, kids, and that’s why we look at it in big picture terms, rather than a game-by-game death like football (ahem, Woody Paige and Les Shapiro).

Anyways, some game observations from Friday night’s affair at Citizen’s Bank Park:

Walt Weiss made some good decisions. Namely: subbing in Charlie Blackmon and moving Brandon Barnes from center field to left, removing Rafael Ynoa, once Bettis got through six innings of perfect baseball. He also subbed in Ben Paulsen at first base for Wilin Rosario. Kudos to Weiss for understanding the moment and what it’d mean for his pitcher – let alone his team – to have a better defense in late.

Weiss should have left Bettis in with trouble in the eighth. After Bettis lost the no-hitter with one out in the eighth inning, he got into some trouble with runners on the corners and the potential go-ahead run at the plate in what was then a 2-0 game. Weiss had a long talk with Bettis on the mound, and decided to keep the starter in the game. Great call. 

Sure, Bettis got the strikeout to end the inning – and his night – after eight full innings, but even if Bettis had screwed up, it was his game to screw up, not the bullpen’s affair. Bettis threw the ball the best he’s ever thrown it on Friday night, and he earned the right to finish the eighth inning. Kudos, Walt (part two).

One bad Walt Weiss decision… Hindsight is 20/20, but I’m still not sure how I feel about shifting on Cody Asche with one out in the eighth. Asche ended up hitting a ball right where Tulowitzki had been playing for a clean single.

I know, the shift giveth and the shift taketh away – and Bettis probably wouldn’t have had a perfect game without the shift – but has Asche earned the right to be shifted upon? In 726 big league plate appearances, Asche is slashing .247/.303/.383. I report, you decide.

Ben Paulsen’s home run was critical. As it stood, the Rockies would have won without it, but pushing a two-run cushion to four in the final frame and giving John Axford breathing room was huge. Damn, Paulsen can hit.

Troy Tulowitzki finally got hot! A four-hit game for Tulo, his first since June 5, 2013.

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Congratulations to the Rockies, who have now won three of four on this road trip, and are playing much much better than they were just a week or two ago.

They still may not be a playoff team, but this club is looking much better – and it’s started with phenomenal starting pitching that’s going deep into games and attacking opposing hitters early in counts.

Rox and Phils meet up again Saturday afternoon.