Position: 1st NL West
Games Back: --
Magic Number: 130
Aaron Cook pitched 8 innings with 2ER.
Todd Helton sent one yard good for 3 runs.
Danny Ardoin went 2-4 with a run.
I'd call this a good win today.
The only complaints I had were:
A. The wind. It only came up once, seriously, DURING THE 9TH WHEN FUENTES WAS TRYING TO CLOSE THE GAME!!
B. Fuentes giving up 2R. One for him, one for Cook. But then I remember, what's the job of a closer? Preserve the win. Did Fuentes accomplish just that? Yes he did.
Hell of a game for Cook though. 6H, 2K, 2BB, 2ER, all in 8IP. And the only run that actually scored while he was on the mound was a leadoff homer to Lane in the 2nd. After that, it was groundball-flyout-groundball-flyout-popup-flyout-etc-etc. 104 pitches, 67 of them for strikes.
Fuentes came in with a man on 1st and 2nd, no outs, and immediately grounded Brad Ausmus into a nice 5-4-3. Only downside was that it advanced the runner on 2nd to 3rd, and the ensuing Adam Everett triple scored that runner (Morgan Ensberg). A followup single from Eric Bruntlett then scored Everett. But, Fuentes finished the game off in Brian Fuentes style: A strikeout.
"I probably wasn't as sharp as I would like to have been," Fuentes admitted. "I was behind in the count a little more than I would like to be. I was pretty happy getting the double-play ball coming in. That was huge. I made it interesting [after that]." - Brian Fuentes (from coloradorockies.com)
But you know who my hero the last few games has been? Jamey Carroll! The guy's a freakin' workhorse! If he keeps batting this way, we have ourselves yet another starting 2B. Carroll went 1-2 with a sac bunt and a walk, and scored on Helton's 3 run jack, along with Cory Sullivan who had doubled the previous at-bat.
Ardoin led off the 6th with a double off of Mike Gallo, and then Cook and Sullivan combined perfectly to sacrifice him home. We would've had a SECOND Ardoin run in the 7th, but some poor baserunning decisions left Ardoin in a pickle between home and 3rd that resulted in not only him getting tagged out but Sullivan also getting caught stretching his double into a triple. This isn't the first time the Rox have been caught getting greedy on the basepath this year, and I'm sure it won't be the last.
Bad news for Ardoin, however. While nothing official has been said, Eli Marrero will be suiting up as a starting catcher for the 1st time in almost 3 years against the St. Louis Cardinals. Hurdle figures that with Marrero's hot bat, and Ardoin rivaling AL pitchers for OBP, maybe he should take advantage of their third catcher.
Speaking of Catchers, Torrealba is very slow in his recovery. Don't expect to see him for at least another week or 3.
As an afterthough, this homestand was huge, for many many reasons.
Reason the 1st: Our rotation really showed its strength. With the exception of a poor start from Josh Fogg on Thursday against the Reds, the Starting Rotation gave up a grand total of 6 ER. 2 today from Cook, and 4 on Friday from BH Kim. Francis threw 7 innings of shutout ball and JJ went a complete game shutout on Saturday night. And noteworthy, despite giving up 4ER on Friday, Kim also threw his second consecutive game with 9K. This rotation is something we can really start to rely on.
Reason 2: The Bullpen is something we can rely on on a day-to-day basis! We have 7 relievers in the pen with sub-4.00 ERAs, namely: Brian Fuentes, Ray King, Scott Dohmann, Ramon Ramirez (how about that kid, huh? 12.00IP, not a single earned run!), Mike DeJean (lord knows when He'll
be back), David Cortes (whom I'd argue is one of the top 3 in the bullpen), and of course, the Purple Glove, Joe Table, with his 0.55 ERA. This is a bullpen we can actually steadily fall back on! And imagine, when we get Chin-hui Tsao back, we'll have another pitcher with closing potential there to snap innings shut.
Reason 3: We won 4 of 5 at home. Before this homestand, the Rox were only 5-7 at home, 10-5 on the road. We've since improved that to 9-8 at home, bringing us to the sole possession of the NL West.
Reason 4: We swept the goddamn ASTROS. Before this series, the 'Stros were tied with the Mets for 2nd in the NL. After this series, they've dropped to 3rd in the NL Central, behind Cincinatti and St. Louis. And before the Astros, we split 2 with the NL-best Reds! We took 4 of 5 from high caliber teams, and how did we do it? Did the Blake Street Bombers return and knock a zillion out of the park, ending every game 11-9? No! We did it with good pitching, and good team play. In fact, we only scored 15 runs against the Stros, 5 in each game, which was just enough as our staff was able to keep the Stros under the 5 run tally. But the point of this 4th reason is that the Colorado Rockies are turning heads in the NL. We're not a joke of a team, trying to match bats and hurlers with the Big Boys, we're outright competitors! The Rockies do NOT suck! (Try saying it out loud. Your mouth fumbles with it a little, but it'll start rolling off of your tongue, I promise
Anyhow, I'm gonna call it a night. I have a final tomorrow, and I can't stop thinking about Helton bombing it into the bullpen. Good night, Good luck, and GO ROCKIES!!!