Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Colorado Rockies break losing streak, avoid sweep in Miami

Alex White kept his team in the game with a 6 inning performance.
On Wednesday night in Miami, the Colorado Rockies won 8-4, giving them their first win in three months.

So, it wasn't three months, but that is what it seems like. In reality, the win is just their fourth since embarking on a west coast road trip that was eight games long. That trip made the Rockies go from within striking distance, to fans looking for something to strike.

Wednesday night was one of those games that makes the people who follow this team so frustrated. It was so easy. It went too well. The starting pitching performed. Alex White gave up four runs in six innings of work. He struck out three and walked one while giving up eight hits.

From an outsider's perspective, a starting pitcher going six innings while giving up four runs doesn't seem like a great night. However, based on the way the pitching situation has gone for the Rockies over the past couple of weeks, it was a phenomenal start simply because White made it six innings.

Again, White showed significant improvement from his short debut in 2011. The 23-year-old has done a good job of maturing on the job. The team has to be happy with one number in particular. One walk. That means White is attacking the strike zone and forcing the opposition to swing the bat. Over the course of May, when the Rockies have seemingly dropped game after game after game after game, the main stat that jumps out is the number of walks the club has given up. White has stayed away from that mold in his last two outings, pounding the strike zone and challenging batters.

The pitching was good, but it coupled with an offense that didn't quit.

The Rockies offense tagged Marlins starter Carlos Zambrano for seven runs on five hits in five innings. The scoring was highlighted by Troy Tulowitzki, the subject of many fans ire, launching a three run homer in the 5th inning. Tulo finished the night with two hits and four RBIs.

Carlos Gonzalez also contributed with two hits of his own, one coming in the form of his third triple of the season. Gonzalez drove in two runs on the night.

With the win in the books, Tulowitzki was smiling from ear-to-ear. It looked as if the weight of the world had been lifted off of his shoulders.

As much as the Rockies have struggled, as much as this 2012 season has turned into a disaster before Memorial Day, this club has a chance to improve. Much like he said in the offseason, Tulowitzki needs to learn how to turn the page on failure. For the majority of his month-long slump, ironically coinciding with the team's slump, Tulo has been trying to do too much. He isn't keeping his weight back and he is trying to pull every pitch into left field. When Tulowitzki is hitting well, he is hitting to right-center field.

The win is the lone bright spot on a miserable day for Rockies fans. With owner Dick Monfort's statements still leaving a bad taste in the mouth's of those who watch the club, the team needed a win. However, the fact remains that it seems that status quo is going to be just fine for these Rockies. It seems clear that change isn't on the horizon and that this team is content to ride out the season with the personnel that they have in place.

Rockies fans would love to be proven wrong. They would love to eat crow in regards to all of the statements that they have made over the past few weeks about the general manager, the manager, or any of the coaches. Fans would love to see this team show fight and claw their way back into respectability.

The road to recovery is going to be a long one, but for now, the team can celebrate a win. They don't have to think about another loss, or another bad outing from a pitcher. Instead, they can be content that for just one day, they are a game closer to at least being respectable.

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