|The Rockies used their BP jerseys to bring some luck on Saturday.|
Baseball is a weird game, played by very unique people. No greater example of that can be seen than the superstitious beliefs that players hold.
On Saturday, with the Rockies mired in a five game losing streak that has seen them dive to fourth place in the National League West, starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin made an interesting decision.
In an effort to change the team's luck, Chacin decided that the Rockies would wear their batting practice jerseys in the game, instead of their traditional road grays or their purple tops in an effort to shake their bad luck at the plate and score a bunch of runs. Of course, as luck would have it, the Rockies offense scored three runs before Chacin took the mound.
The Rockies had scored just eight runs in their previous five games. On Saturday, the scored seven runs, in route to a 7-1 win over the Washington Nationals.
While the jerseys may have shifted the luck, it didn't hurt that Chacin took the mound and continued right where he left off on Sunday. The right-hander who had struggled through the month of May, looked like the dominant pitcher that was so highly touted as Chacin came up through the system.
He nearly twirled a complete game on Sunday, then followed it up with almost as impressive of an outing. On Saturday he went seven shutout innings, giving up just five hits and one walk. He struck out three. Chacin threw 59 of his 94 pitches for strikes, right where he needs to be to dominate.
The Rockies need Chacin to step up and be the pitcher that he can be. He doesn't have to be as good as he has been in his past two starts, but they need him to pitch with the command that he showed on Saturday. They need him to be willing to throw the changeup on the inner-half of the plate to right-handers. That pitch seems to be the key for Chacin. When that pitch is on, the opposing batters are in trouble.
However, when Chacin starts to shy away from the inside change up, and starts to nibble at the strike zone, he gets himself into trouble. The inside change up sets him up for the sinking fastball that gets batters to hit the ball on the ground.
The Rockies got a great performance from Chacin, but another memorable moment took place in Washington on Saturday.
Rockies prospect Corey Dickerson, with his family in the stands, made his Major League debut, starting in right field. In his first at-bat in the top of the 1st inning, Dickerson drilled a cut-fastball from Dan Haren down the right field line for an RBI double, scoring an all-important extra run.
In the 4th inning, Dickerson smacked the first pitch he saw from Haren, another cut-fastball, to right field for another double, pushing Wilin Rosario to third base and setting the Rockies up for another big inning.
Dickerson is the latest example of the Rockies having plenty of depth on the offensive side of the ball. The outfielder was hitting nearly .400 in Colorado Springs before getting the call-up. Hitting from the left hand side, Dickerson could provide a big offensive boost if he can continue his hot streak at the big league level. The Rockies need someone to step up in Troy Tulowitzki's absence, and if Dickerson can fill that role for a few days, the Rockies will be better for it.
With a road trip already in disarray, the Rockies need to find a way to win a couple more games before they head back to Coors Field. Saturday was a good start. A win on Sunday would set them up to win one of two in Boston and come home without dismantling everything they worked hard for in the early part of the season.
As bad as things have been in the last week, there are sings of good things for the team. Chacin has been dominant in his last two starts, Jorge De La Rosa has shown that he has the ability to be an ace for this team, and the acquisition of Roy Oswalt could prove to be a game-changer for the Rockies.
With things looking very bad early in the week, there has actually been some signs of hope for a team that has the talent to win baseball games, even with Tulowitzki on the disabled list.
The Rockies talent won them the game on Saturday, but don't be surprised to see them try and squeeze a little more luck out of their batting practice jerseys in the next few days.
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