|Wilin Rosario broke out in a big way for the Rockies.|
Apparently it worked. The club came out and looked more relaxed at the plate. The Rockies had 10 runs before the start of the 4th inning. The scoring was highlighted by Wilin Rosario, who busted out with a two run double in the bottom of the 1st inning to score the second and third runs of the game.
Rosario returned to the plate in the 2nd inning and launched a home run into the left field seats with two outs.
The double was a welcomed sight for Rosario not just because of the result, but also because of where the ball went. Rosario lined the pitch from Francisco Liriano down the right field line. For the past six weeks, the catcher has been struggling with hitting the ball the other way. He has been waving at pitches on the outside half of the plate, opening his hips and trying to pull the ball.
Rosario finished the night a triple shy of the cycle, driving in four runs and helping the Rockies forget a miserable road trip.
Todd Helton also notched two hits and an RBI, as his swing continues to look better with more consistent playing time.
The game was a laugher, and gave Jorge De La Rosa what looked like a free win. After the way he has pitched over the course of the season, and the lack of run support he has received, he deserved a free-bee.
Although, it would be easy to forget that the game could have been much different. De La Rosa gave up four straight base hits to start the game. He was able to pick off Starling Marte, who led off the game with a single, then he gave up three straight hits. With one out and the bases loaded, De La Rosa was in trouble. However, a pitcher isn't defined by how he pitches with the bases empty, a pitcher is defined by how he deals with adversity. The Rockies lefty showed why he is a true ace.
Instead of allowing the inning to get out of control, De La Rosa went to work. He didn't panic, he used seven pitches to strike out the dangerous Pedro Alvarez, getting him to swing over an 84 MPH splitter that ducked right under his bat. He then got Gaby Sanchez to ground to second base on an 0-2 count.
Early in his career, De La Rosa may have let that inning get out of control. As his career has progressed, however, he has become so good in those type of situations that it is almost expected that he is going to find a way to wiggle out of it. However, getting out of the inning without even giving up one run is pretty impressive.
What De La Rosa did was allow his offense to go win him the game. The game could have swayed the other way, but the Rockies ace kept the Pirates off of the scoreboard and made the Rockies big inning a big lead instead of digging out of a hole.
If the Rockies don't know what they have with Jorge De La Rosa, it is a real shame. The lefty has been phenomenal in his return and an extremely valuable member of the club. If the team doesn't offer him an extension in the off-season, they are making a big mistake.
The Rockies had a team meeting before the game. Sometimes team meetings in baseball can be overrated, as they were when the club seemed to have one every Sunday in 2012. However, every now and then, it allows a manager to get everyone on the same page. It creates an opportunity to hit the reset button and start fresh. Undoubtedly, the idea of being contenders was most likely removed from the Rockies shoulders and the idea of finishing strong was probably promoted. That is pure speculation, but it would seem to make sense.
The idea of contending is long gone. The reality is, this team probably wasn't good enough to contend from the beginning. They are a talented team, and they have been performing far below the level that they should be competing at, but to think that this team should have come from the season they had a year ago and be better than the Dodgers was probably more than they should have had to shoulder.
However, that doesn't excuse poor play. That doesn't excuse sloppy baseball consisting of terrible at-bats, and lifeless defense. This team should be in a far better place than they are as they enter the middle of August. The Rockies have seven weeks left in their season to prove that 2013 is a far better year than 2012. It is a chance for them to show that they aren't going to quit. They have to prove to fans that they still have the desire to get better and be in a good place for the 2014 campaign.
The Rockies have seven more weeks to progress. They have to start making up ground because their is certainly a talent gap between them and the Dodgers. They have until the start of 2014 to get better and bridge that gap as much as possible.
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