Rockies Magic Number

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Finally, back above .500!

Date: 6/14/2006
Position: 4th NL West
Games Back: 2.5
Elimination Number: 96

14-8, Another bombfest from the boys! Every player in the lineup had a hit, except for Clint Barmes. BH Kim singled in the 3rd, beat out a Fielder's Choice to third, and then scored on the ensuing Todd Helton sac fly.

Garrett Atkins, Jamey Carroll, and Todd Helton homered. Carroll through Hawpe had a combined 15 hits. Carroll scored 4 runs. Helton went 3-3 with 3 runs, 3 RBIs, and a solo shot in the 9th.

Basically, our batters ran away with the game. There was no good pitching from any of the starters though. Armas lasted 3.0 innings with 7ER, and Kim went a grand 3.1 IP with 8 runs scored, only 5 earned.

2 errors though. One, from a fine toss from Cory Sullivan that completely beat the runner going to home, but Torrealba didn't catch the easy toss. Ostensibly, he was fearing a collision at the plate. The 2nd error came with the bases loaded, 2 outs, and Kim drew a grounder to Barmes, who threw the ball low to Helton, which skipped past him and allowed 2 runs to cross, giving the Nats a temporary lead in the 4th. The Rox came right back though, resulting in a 8-8 tie in the 5th inning.

And then the Rockies Bullpen came through yet again. Tom Martin pitched a solid 3.0 innings, allowing only 1 hit and striking out and walking 2, while not surrendering a single run. Ramon Ramirez came in in his perfect style, pitching 1.2 innings, striking out 3, walking 0 and not allowing a single hit. David Cortes finished the game with a 6-run lead, allowing only 1 hit and striking out 2.

So to summarize, the Rockies bullpen again proves to be a solid source of late-game dependability. The Nats' bullpen, however, surrendered 7 runs, 5 from rookie Bill Bray, who was roughed up in his 7th relief appearance for the Nats.

I don't want to get overly excited, but the Rockies have scored 65 runs in their last 8 games. I think this could be a sign that the Rockies' bats have returned. All we need now is Todd Helton to pull above .300, and that'll make all of our 3-6 hitters all batting above .300. Add Jamey Carroll's .335, and I'd say we have a lethal lineup in there.

A couple interesting notes from the game: Cory Sullivan had 4 sac bunts in the game, and he became the 8th player in history to do so, and the first non-pitcher to do so since 1919.

Sullivan's had an interestingly historical season. You may recall back in Petco, when the Rox leveled the Padres in a 3 game series, and Sullivan did something that hadn't been done since the '50s: tripled twice in the same inning.

Another note: Garrett Atkins has a .550 average with an 0-2 count. That's downright scary. FOR OPPOSING PITCHERS!

As a gripe, I'd really like to see more of JD Closser. Despite Torrealba's recent batting success, he's been less than impressive as a defensive catcher. He's missing throwouts of basestealers, he's not making key plays at the plate, he's passing balls, and he's certainly not playing the way a #1 catcher should be. I'm not saying I love Closser that much, but he's showing that he wants it more than Torrealba does. Closser's batting .250 (to Torrealba's .174 - and Danny Ardoin's .191). I suppose this is why I'm not an MLB manager, but I guess Hurdle must have some convoluted faith in the man who's been nothing but a letdown so far this season, all over stupid mistakes. The only plus I can note is that Torrealba has already notched 7 RBIs for the Rox.

Aside from that gripe, I really couldn't be more pleased with the Rockies' play these last 5 games. 3 wins against the Nats, a win and a near-miss against the Dodgers, and we're looking to sweep the Nats tomorrow.

Speaking of Tomorrow, Jason Jennings(4-6, 4.73) is looking to regain dominance of the mound tomorrow against Liván Hernández (5-6, 5.06). History is siding with Hernández, who has a career ERA of 4.95 against the Rox, as compared to JJ's 6.75 against the former Expos. I predict a win for Jennings.

Wrapping things up, things are improving for the Coors Field crew. Let's hope we can take some of this power into StL this weekend, and show the Cards that we're a true force to be reckoned with.

So until next time, Rockies fans, Good night, Good Luck, and GO ROCKIES!!!


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