If there was one player that had the biggest of hopes laid on him coming into the season, and answered it with the biggest of disappointments, it would be Dexter Fowler. Struggling at the plate would be putting it mildly for someone who seemed to have it figured out at the end of last season. The lack of hitting wasn’t the worst of it, as he struggled with his glove, something he never had issues with in the past, and then he had his tussle with the Marlins dugout steps that knocked him out of the game for several days.
Perhaps he should have tried spraining his ankle in Spring Training.
Post Sprain we’ve seen a whole new Dexter Fowler. It started on his second plate appearance after slowly working back into play. He had a pinch hit Home Run in Cincinnati, went 7-9 today and became the ultimate hero with a walk-off triple in the bottom of the 10th.
Oh, and his average went from .230 to .276 in 3 short days.
While there are those that will say he still isn’t worthy of the black glove he carries, or the looping swing he flaunts, today he showed he has LoDo magic in his bat and he can produce excitement like few can, when he is on a roll.
Some highlights from the combined games included going 7-9, with a key walk to load the bases for a Scutaro clearing double, crossing home plate five times, a lead-off home run. The lead-off home run was the first for the team this season and his seventh home run so far in 2012, matching his career high and putting him third on the team HR total. It was also his third home run in seven games. Shoot, he even bunted his way to a triple, with the help of a wild throw to first, showing speed everyone wants to see from him every time he is up.
His current line? .276/.373/.553 which is an OPS of 926.
The only issue he had today was with the rest of the team deciding that dumping the Gatorade on him BEFORE the pie in the face was the proper order of things, when everyone watching knew the other way around would have made much more sense.
Dexter wasn’t the only person that played well today.
Jordan Pacheco keeps earning his spot at third – with his bat. He was 2-5 in game one, and the second hit was a two run go ahead single that ended up bringing in the winning run. Take away Saturday nights oh-fer and he would have a 14 game hitting streak on his hands.
Both starting pitchers struggled, Nicasio giving up five earned in six innings of work and White was even worse, yielding six runs (four with two outs) and three home runs and 10 hits in five innings.
But, the bullpen was brilliant, going three innings with only one earned run in game one (earned being debatable), and five innings without giving up a single run in game two. This was the bullpen we hoped to have coming into the season, and the very bullpen we need if we are ever to have any hope of digging out of the hole we are in.
So while many Rockies fans are still too close to the pain of so many failed chances, and the cries for heads to roll are still echoing throughout the rocky mountains, it is nice to actually have the feeling of two very hard fought, and earned, wins to go along with the Memorial day festivities.