Colorado Rockies Morning After: Tyler Chatwood’s Gem Just What Rockies Needed
By Kevin Henry
Just when the Colorado Rockies needed it most, Tyler Chatwood was near perfection on the mound with perfect timing on Saturday in San Francisco.
A day after losing Jon Gray to the disabled list, Chatwood reminded people exactly what he can bring to the table. A complete game domination of the Giants pushed the Rockies to a 5-0 victory at AT&T Park brought back memories of last season when Chatwood was at a historical best away from Coors Field.
As down as Rockies fans might have been after Gray’s injury was announced, Chatwood’s performance against the Giants brought the roller coaster of emotions right back to dizzying heights. Winning two of the first three games in San Francisco and seeing the Rockies improve to 8-5 on the season, especially with the number of injuries this team has taken on already this season, is, well, nothing short of a tip of the cap to Rockies management and the players who haven’t let injuries become an excuse.
On a weekend where many will celebrate Easter, Chatwood’s performance was the greatest Easter egg the Rockies could have hoped to find on Saturday.
"“It was old-school, man,” Colorado manager Bud Black told reporters after the game. “Low pitch count, efficient, complete game. Nine innings in this era? I love it. It was great.”"
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It was great on a number of levels. Perhaps most importantly, Colorado’s bullpen finally got a day off, the first its seen since the season began. Suddenly, Black has plenty of options available to him in Sunday’s series finale before Colorado enjoys its first scheduled off day of the season on Monday.
Chatwood certainly doesn’t seem to mind pitching in San Francisco. In his last 17 innings at AT&T Park, he’s allowed five hits and no runs. Last season’s 2-0 win orchestrated by Chatwood in San Francisco on September 29 not only put the Rockies into the victory column but also assured Chatwood of a Rockies-record 1.69 road ERA in 2016.
The 27-year-old Chatwood has already been through a lot in his career with two Tommy John surgeries serving as low points and Saturday’s win among the high points. Now, it’s possible that Chatwood will step into the role of rotation leader at a time when his team needs it the most.
Of course, there was more to Colorado’s win on Saturday than just Chatwood. The Rockies offense totaled 11 hits, including Stephen Cardullo getting his first base knocks of the season with a 2-for-4 performance. Six of the nine Colorado starters recorded at least one hit. That’s a good sign for an offense that has struggled in recent games.
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Last season, Chatwood pitched 158 innings. That was the third-most on the team behind Chad Bettis and Jon Gray. With neither of those pitchers currently on the active roster, Chatwood’s ability to go deep into games will be key for the Rockies moving forward. It’s something to watch, especially with Chatwood’s next start scheduled to come against these same Giants at Coors Field next weekend.