Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Colorado Rockies notch first win of 2013 behind dynamic duo

Troy Tulowitzki homered for the 2nd time in as many days.
The Colorado Rockies picked up their first win of 2013 with an 8-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

The win came in the fashion that the Rockies are going to have to make routine in order for the season to be successful. Despite struggles from Jorge De La Rosa, the Rockies lineup continued to hit, piling up runs and giving the pitchers enough cushion to work with.

Tuesday night gave the Rockies a glimpse of what they were missing from May 30th on in 2012. For the second consecutive day, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez both deposited home runs deep into the seats. Tulowitzki's home run came in the 3rd inning, with Gonzalez's coming in the 5th inning.

Tulowitzki's home run came after the Brewers had scratched across their second run of the game, giving them the lead. Gonzalez's home run answered a Ryan Braun home run to give Milwaukee a 4-2 lead that tied the game up.

Despite Tulo's home run, his best at-bat came in the 7th inning. With the game tied, the Rockies were able to load the bases with no one out. Tulowitzki came to the plate with a chance to give the Rockies the lead. Those who have watched Tulowitzki over his career know that in these types of situations, he has been prone to try and do too much. On Tuesday, he took a seven-pitch at-bat. Those seven pitches were a steady diet of sinkers and sliders, two very difficult pitches to drive to the outfield.

On the seventh pitch, Tulowitzki hit a long fly ball to center field, scoring the run from third base. The at-bat brought Michael Cuddyer to the plate, who used a swinging bunt to bring in another run. Todd Helton then slapped a single to center field to score a third run.

The at-bat from Tulowitzki shows maturity. In years past, the shortstop would have expanded his strike zone and swung at pitches that he couldn't get into the air. If Tulowitzki can continue to trust the batters behind him in the lineup, it will serve the Rockies well.

What the Rockies got from the mound is probably what they are going to have to get used to as the season progresses. Jorge De La Rosa, making his fourth start since May of 2011, gave up four earned runs in 4-1/3 innings. He gave up five hits while walking three and striking out three. It was good enough to keep the Rockies in the game, but it certainly wasn't dominant. The outing by De La Rosa very well may be what the Rockies and their fans will have to deal with all season long from the starters on the mound.

The difference from Monday to Tuesday was the job the bullpen did. Matt Belisle led the way with two scoreless innings. Rafael Betancourt came in to get the final out in the 9th inning after Wilton Lopez and Rex Brothers had given up hits in frame. Edgmer Escalona picked up his first career victory with his 1-2/3 innings relieving De La Rosa.

Two games is far too small of a sample size to make an accurate assessment of this Rockies team. However,  there have been good signs in both games. The lineup has hit as advertised, and the team seems to be playing with a higher energy level. Of course, that judgment will be made after 50 games, not two. For Rockies fans, however, they can cling to any type of positive sign for the time being.

The Rockies go for the series victory on Wednesday night. They send Juan Nicasio to the mound to face Wily Peralta. A series win on the road could serve as a big confidence boost for the Rockies heading home for their home opener on Friday.

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1 comment:

  1. Back to back games with solo shots by each.. can they do it again tonight? My fantasy baseball team sure hopes so.