A Postgame/Pregame post all in one! What a deal!
Position: 2nd NL West
Games Back: 1.0
Elimination Number: 124
The Colorado Rockies were EXACTLY what Andy Pettitte wanted to see.
Pettitte struck out 7 in his complete game 3-hit shutout. Pettitte, before last night, had posted an ERA of 5.55.
Quoting Houston Manager Phil Garner, "I think this was the Andy Pettitte of old." The Rockies woefully agree.
Jeff Francis had a good outing, despite the result, pitching a solid 7 innings, giving up 3 runs (2 on solo homers) on 6 hits while walking only 2 and striking out 5. David Cortes pitched a scoreless, hitless 8th.
Lance Berkman contributed one of the homers, in his typical batting-well-against-the-Rockies form. And continuing to spite Rockies pitchers was Morgan Ensberg, who enjoyed his slow trot around the bases.
Matt Holliday's hitting streak was snapped at 8 games, and the Rockies' 3 hits came from Brad Hawpe, Choo Freeman, and Luis Gonzalez. I'd start to rant about the LOB problem again, seeing how 100% of our runners were stranded...but it was a 3-hitter. I'd credit Pettitte more than fault the Rockies.
"He was awesome," Francis said. "It was my first time to see him. We have a pretty good offense and for him to shut us down today like he did shows a lot."
The Rockies loss, along with SD's recent tear, has resulted in the Rockies yielding the division lead, falling to 2nd in the NL West (1.0 Games Behind), with Arizona nipping at the Rockies' heels in 3rd, only 1.5 GB.
Tonight, Josh Fogg (2-2, 4.50) will square off against Brett Tomko (4-1, 2.93). Fogg has been roughed up 3 of his last 4 starts, excluding the most recent start against St. Louis, where Fogg went 7.0 IP, allowing only 1 run. Tomko, however, has been all but perfect, having not allowed a run in his past 13 IP, striking out 12 and walking only 5 in that stretch. This will be a big game for the Rockies, whose road trip was less than successful, and they hope to turn it around back on Planet Coors.
A big goal for the Rockies tonight is to capitalize on baserunning. Several players are still sitting on healthy .300+ averages, and with numbers like that, the Rocks should be scoring more than 4 runs in a series. Especially when Jeff Kent has a history of roughing up Josh Fogg, Nomar Garciaparra is putting up NL Player of the Week numbers, and JD Drew and Rafael Furcal all have excellent career numbers against Colorado.
So here's to the pitching staff, may they be merciless and unforgiving. Here's to the bats, may they be refreshed and angry. Here's to the Rockies, may they sweep the Dodgers at home!
So for now, Good evening, Good Luck, and GO ROCKIES!!!
[All quotes from KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer]