Saturday, May 23, 2009
Colorado Rockies Do Little Things Right, Win 4-3 In Detroit
In the offseason Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd was criticized by fans and the media for not going after a big name free agent to help the starting rotation. When O'Dowd pulled off a trade of embattled reliever Luis Vizcaino to the Cubs for Jason Marquis, many believed that it was not enough, as Marquis was simply another re-tred trying to extend his career in Colorado.
At this point, O'Dowd looks like a genius.
Marquis has been nothing short of brilliant for Colorado in 2009. On Saturday he went 7-2/3 innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits. He walked only one while striking out four in the Rockies 4-3 win. With the win he ran his record to 6-3. He is well on his way to his sixth consecutive season with wins in the double digits.
Marquis used his sinker to induce 13 ground ball outs. However, his performance was only part of the reason for the clubs 17th win. Saturday night was the definition of a team win.
In the first inning, leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler drilled a pitch deep off of the right field wall. With his speed he was at third base with a triple. The next hitter, Troy Tulowitzki quickly hit a ball in the air to right field, and despite a great throw by Tiger outfielder Clete Thomas, Fowler was able to barely beat the throw to the plate to give the Rockies a quick lead.
Most will point to Todd Helton's sixth inning go ahead home run as the highlight of his night. However, as Clint Hurdle preached in Spring Training, it is the little things that win baseball games.
In the third inning with Colorado up 2-1. Helton came to the plate with runners on second and third with one out. Instead of trying to do too much, Helton found a pitch that he could ground to first base. With Fowler on third base, there was no chance for a play at the plate. In the boxscore that goes down as a ground out, but in reality it was the most important out of the night for the visiting club.
In the ninth inning, closer Huston Street dealt with some traffic, but used his slider, which had exceptional movement, to get Brandon Inge and Gerald Laird, who had been feasting on Rockies pitching throughout the two first games of the series, to strike out.
Street earned his sixth save of the season, but it was a huge one for him personally as it was his 100th save in a Major League uniform. That is a huge number considering that Street is just 25 years old.
The win was what the Rockies had envisioned when they put the team together. It was a hard fought game in which Colorado had many contributors, from the beginning of the game to the end.
More games like Saturday's may help Colorado get a little bit of confidence and mount a comeback. Although climbing out of the hole that they have dug for themselves may require help. At the conclusion of the game the Rockies sat 11-1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West.
The Rockies go for their first road series win since they took two of three from Arizona in the season's opening series on Sunday at 11:05 AM Mountain time.