After three weeks of scuffling at the plate, the Colorado Rockies finally broke through. On Friday night the Rockies scored 11 runs while collecting 16 hits. Both of those numbers are season highs for the club.
Perhaps the best news was that both of the Rockies sluggers, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, had good nights at the plate. Gonzalez only went 1-for-4, but the hit was a triple on a breaking ball that Gonzalez waited on, and smacked into the right-center gap. He also collected another walk, showing better plate discipline.
Tulowitzki broke out in a big way. He went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.
When those two hitters are swinging hot bats, the Rockies are going to be a tough team to beat. They are the key to the rest of the lineup seeing good pitches, and having runners in front of them to drive in. On Friday, the Rockies got hits from every spot in the lineup with the exception of Chris Iannetta, who went 0-for-4.
Despite a loss on Thursday, there were hints of life from the offense. They scored five runs, which isn't a huge amount, but seemed like they were breaking free from the thous of maxing out at two or three runs per game.
With the Giants retaking control of the National League West, the Rockies need to get the bats going, even though it is only May. As the club has found out in recent years, digging a huge hole is the toughest way to get into the playoffs. They did a good job of staying out of a hole in April, but they have nearly used every bit of leverage that they bought themselves early in the year before the middle of May has arrived.
The Rockies have needed their offense. The reasons are obvious, but Friday's pitching performance shows exactly how important it is to put a big number up on the board. Jorge De La Rosa did not have his best stuff. Despite getting an early lead, the lefty allowed the Padres to stay in the game. He gave up five runs in 5-2/3 innings. The Padres smacked nine hits in those innings, including a Cameron Maybin home run. De La Rosa only struck out three, while walking three.
Over the past three weeks, this game would have been a blowout. Instead, when the offense shows up, the club is able to pick up a win for the both De La Rosa and the Rockies. The pitchers are not going to be able to be perfect all year long. They are going to have rough outings, and knowing that the offense is going to find a way to get something going behind them gives them the best chance to pitch without the pressure of having to walk a fine line.
The Rockies come back with a rare day game on Saturday, first pitch is at 1:10 with Jhoulys Chacin taking the hill on the Colorado side, going against Aaron Harang of the Padres. The Rockies should have the edge in this one, which would go a long way in erasing the memories of a bad offensive stretch for the club.