Tuesday, April 30, 2013

When Colorado Rockies offense gets it going, they are tough to beat

The Rockies offense slugged, but Tyler Chatwood was impressive.
The Colorado Rockies are built to score runs. They proved that on Monday night in Los Angeles.

Taking on Ted Lilly, who has owned the Rockies, going 7-1 in his last eight starts against the purple pinstripes. Lilly lasted three innings, getting battered around for five runs, four earned, on eight hits. Dexter Fowler started the scoring with a long home run to left-center field, then Wilin Rosario capped the first inning scoring with a home run of his own, this one to the opposite field.

The Rockies scored four in the 1st inning, then one more in the 3rd and made a joke of the game by putting up five runs to make it 10-0. After years of watching the Rockies struggle at Dodger Stadium, many Rockies fans were probably wondering if the team had scored 12 runs in an entire season in LA, let alone one game.

In the win, Nolan Arenado notched his first, second and third Major League hits. The second hit of the night was also a first for Arenado. The third baseman launched a home run deep to center field off of Josh Wall. In a touching moment, the cameras panned to Arenado's friends and family, who were celebrating the first career homer for the prospect that has an extremely high ceiling.

Losers of six of their last eight games, the Rockies were in need of a statement win on Monday night. They had a chance to win all four games in Arizona, but only pulled off one victory. After a fast start, the Rox had hit their first rough patch of the year and heading into LA that rough patch could easily set them back.

Instead, the Rockies put together a great game, racking up 19 hits, a club record at Dodger Stadium, and looked like the potent lineup everyone knows they have.

Lost in the blowout will be the start that Tyler Chatwood had for the Rockies. This is a team that has question marks surrounding nearly every starter. The five starters had questions, and the prospects in the minor leagues had not lived up to the hype that surrounded several of them.

With the injury to Jhoulys Chacin, Chatwood was asked to step up and fill the gap that was left. On Monday night, Chatwood showed that he is absolutely capable of being a guy who this team will get some contribution. The native Southern Californian threw six innings and didn't give up a run and only surrendered five hits. He struck out five, and maybe most importantly, walked none.

It could be argued that Chatwood had an easy outing with the run support he received. However, for a young starter, sometimes the big leads make things more difficult. It almost puts pressure on the pitcher to not allow the opposition to creep back into a game. Chatwood settled in, threw strikes and didn't let the Dodgers chip away at the lead.

Not only did Chatwood shutdown the Dodgers on the mound, he delivered with his bat as well. The righty stepped to the plate and threw out three hits, and two RBIs. The three hits weren't cheap either. All three were shots right back up the middle.

With all of the criticism of the Rockies rotation, they have done enough to keep their offense in the ballgame long enough to win most games. During their mini-slide, the problem wasn't pitching, it was hitting. Throughout the struggles, the starting pitchers were limiting the opposing offenses to usually less than four runs. With all of the chances available, the offense couldn't get the job done and the Rockies lost several games they were capable of winning.

Monday night showed what the Rockies can do when they go out and play the game that they are capable of playing. It doesn't matter if they are at Coors Field, where the ball flies, or in Los Angeles, where the night air seems to put a parachute on fly balls. It doesn't matter where they are, this team can hit.

Everyone knew they were going to hit. However, what they are showing people is that their pitching staff isn't anywhere close to as bad as everyone thought they would be. In fact, they might not even be bad at all. There is room for growth, but this pitching staff has been surprisingly good through the first month of the season.

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  1. Bring Uncle Bob back

  2. Pinch me! I think I am dreaming. Tomorrow is May 1st and if you told me we would be in first place a month ago I would have called you a liar. Go Rockies! Nice to go to bed a little later then normal due to west coast trip and not go to sleep mad due to poor play out there.

  3. ScoMan @MLBColoRockiesApril 30, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Like Michael, I didn't even have a dream the Rockies would be NL West leaders this close to May. I just hope they don't have an atrocious May like they seem to have the last few years.

    A few comments about last nights game -
    CarGo's swing looked much improved over his last game played.

    Chatwood is making a strong case to say in the rotation, but with JC looking to come off the DL before his next start I don't see that happening. Do they keep him up in the rotation, and send Jeff down, or do they move Tyler to the pen and a distance reliever, or do they move Jeff to the pen as a distance reliever, sending Adam or Josh down? There are good and bad with all the options, but I do think Tyler made a strong case to say in Denver.

    Congrats Nolan on your stellar game.

    I hope the Rox didn't use the offence up in one game!

    It was nice to watch, and lets have an encore tonight!