|Despite a no-decision, Jhoulys Chacin was good on Monday.|
Jonathan Lucroy sent the festive crowd home happy, sending an Adam Ottavino pitch deep enough to center field to score Rickie Weeks from third base, giving the Brewers their first win of the season in exciting fashion.
The result was a loss, something this franchise has become so accustomed to. There were plenty of mistakes to go around, starting with Chris Nelson not picking up his third base coach as he ran through a stop sign and got caught between second and third base when Wilin Rosario was held at third base on Dexter Fowler's 4th inning single.
Walt Weiss made his first questionable decision, removing Matt Belisle after he threw one pitch to get out of the 7th inning and going to Wilton Lopez, who gave up a game-tying double to Aramis Ramirez, in the 8th inning.
Despite the bad, there were positives in the game that should be encouraging for Rockies fans.
Jhoulys Chacin, who caused questions about his trajectory when he turned in a below-average spring, was the same pitcher who was nearly an All-Star in 2011. He went 6-2/3 innings, giving up one run on three hits. He struck out six and walked three. After walking Norichika Aoki to start the game, Chacin settled in and threw strikes. The only smudge on Chacin came in the 3rd inning, when he gave up a home run to Aoki on a pitch low in the zone that was golfed out to right field.
On Monday the bullpen blew the game, but the biggest question mark on this team is the starting rotation. Chacin needs to be a guy who the team can depend on every fifth day. If he can stay healthy and prove that 2012 was an aberration, he could be a breath of fresh air for the Rockies. Getting just one of the five starters to turn the corner and be better than they were a year ago, the Rockies will be a much better team. Chacin gave that thought some hope on Monday.
The other positive sign for the Rockies was what they missed from May 30th on in 2012. Troy Tulowitzki didn't waste any time showing fans what they were missing. He singled in the 1st inning with Dexter Fowler on base, then hit a two-run opposite field home run in the 3rd inning to plate the first two runs of the season for the Rockies.
In the 5th inning, Carlos Gonzalez hit a bullet to right field off of Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo. Gonzalez is a very good player, no one would deny that, but with the presence of Tulowitzki in the lineup, the Rockies lineup becomes that much better. Instead of having to rely on Gonzalez alone, the Rockies find themselves in a much better spot. Gonzalez will see better pitches because of Tulo and Tulo will see better pitches because of CarGo.
The game ended in a loss. The Rockies are 0-1. The bullpen blew their first opportunity of the season. However, there were positives. Maybe this is the season where Rockies fans look for anything positive, but the fact is, this team has more potential than most analysts are giving them credit for. They might not be a contender, but this is a crucial year for some of their younger players to get better and take the next step so that they can be ready to make a run in 2014.
The Rockies get another glimpse into what the 2013 season might look like when Jorge De La Rosa takes the mound. If the Rockies want to surprise teams in 2013, De La Rosa needs to be dependable.
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