Friday, April 22, 2011

Colorado Rockies narrowly escape a no-hitter in Florida

For the second time in five days, the Rockies were fighting not for a victory, but for a single hit.

Anibal Sanchez, who threw a no-hitter in his rookie season of 2006, took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before Dexter Fowler slid a ground ball into right field to break up the no-hit bid.

Ironically, after the top half of the 1st inning, the Rockies held the lead. Fowler led off with a walk, then moved up to second base on a past ball, then to third base on Jonathan Herrera, and scored when first baseman Gaby Sanchez dropped a perfect throw from third base on Troy Tulowitzki's grounder.

The Rockies were in a similar boat on Monday, when Tim Lincecum was given a five run lead in the first inning and was able to relax and dominate the Rockies offense.

Jhoulys Chacin started on the mound for the Rockies, and showed his age. The 23-year old has been impressive so far in 2011, however, at his age, he still is going to have tough outings. Without his best stuff, Chacin was able to grind through five innings. He struggled to find the strike zone, throwing just 55 strikes out of his 95 total pitches. For the game, Chacin gave up four runs on seven hits in five innings. He walked three and stuck out four.

Outings like that are going to happen for Chacin. It is going to be tough for Rockies fans to understand, because he has shown such promise. He is going to win his fair share of games, and he is going to be dominant and continue to grow up and learn how to pitch, but there will be a learning curve along the way. He will have to find out how to adjust from pitching at Coors Field to pitching on the road.

The game was certainly not how the Rockies were looking to start out their six-game road trip. After a dominant 7-1 road trip to begin the season, the club was looking to build on that and show that they can win on the road. With just one hit on Friday night, and the prospect of facing Marlins ace Josh Johnson on Sunday, the Rockies are already in a tough spot.

As early as it still is, it will be telling to see how the Rockies bounce back from a tough loss in which they struggled to score on Saturday night. In 2010, this loss would snowball and get into the hitter's heads. During the first road trip, one bad day at the plate wouldn't set the tone for the next few games.

The Rockies have shown maturity and promise so far in this young season, but they haven't had such a poor performance on the road yet. If the Rockies can turn the page and hit well on Saturday, and at least put runs on the board and play the game the way that they have been, it will show that they have the maturity to play well one day to the next, despite their struggles the previous day.

For more on the Rockies visit RockiesReview.com

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