Hoo-rah Jeff Francis!
Position: 1st NL West
Games Back: --
Magic Number: 134
Andrew, signing on.
Great victory at home for the Rox, 3-0 over the NL-best Cincinnati Reds.
Francis pitched a strong 7 innings of shutout, 4 hit ball, tacking on 5K and only 1BB. Downright impressive. The Purple Glove entered in the 8th, giving up no hits, no walks, no runs, no questions, no answers, no problems, no guff, no backtalk, and no shortage of purple-glove-awesomeness. His season ERA is now 0.55 . Fuentes came in the 9th then, walked one, gave up no runs, but strangely enough, didn't strike anyone out, and earned a SV.
On the Offensive, Matt Holliday was the big hero. I've been pretty down on him, purely because of the fact that whenever I watch him, he seems to ground out 6-4-3 with bases loaded and 1 out. Basically, he would strand everyone everywhere. Kind of like Royce Clayton back in 2003. However, Holliday went 3-4 with 2RBI. The 3rd RBI came from our sub-Mendoza catcher, Danny Ardoin, who knocked Choo Freeman in in the bottom of the 5th inning.
It was an interesting lineup tonight. With Barmes and Helton gone, we had an infield of Marrero at 1st, Gonzo at 2nd, Carroll at SS, Atkins at 3rd. The outfield consisted of Holliday (obviously), Freeman in CF, and Spilborghs at RF. The thing I noticed is that they fielded the wheels today. Spilborghs, Freeman, Carroll, all lightning fast, and it seemingly paid off, as Freeman stole a base and ended up scoring on Ardoin's single. Holliday also got himself a stolen second. Interesting that Sullivan, who leads the team with 3SB, sat tonight, but he's been doing a lot of playing lately anyhow. Guess he's been tired. I mean, he's batting .311, Hurdle can't be putting him in timeout again, can he? Did I miss something in ATL?
Speaking of SB, there seemed to be a lack of flow b/w Francis and Ardoin tonight, as the Reds stole 3 bags off of us. Managers usually don't send runners with Ardoin behind the plate. Well, it proved to all be for nothing, as we took the game in the 5th.
Francis should feel good about this start. 7 strong innings where he took command of the game and felt comfortable with the pitches he can throw.
Tomorrow, Josh Fogg (2-1, 4.72) will match up against Aaron Harang (4-1, 4.35) in a 6:35 PM matchup at Coors Field. Harang had some early season troubles, but is starting to tack it down. Harang has notched 33 punchouts this year, so certain members of the Rox staff should definitely be on their guard. Fogg is looking to rebound from a couple of rough outings in Florida and Philly.
Good game boys, let's sweep 'em at home!
Andrew, calling it a night.