Today’s Rockies victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers provided tangible proof of the power of RWO. Despite its 12:45 posting time White clearly took note of the wisdom imparted in today’s pre-game summary and shut the Dogs down on two hits over 6 2/3 innings. Wilin Rosario, however, did not catch the post. White did walk five, and one of the hits was an AJ Ellis home-run that drove in one of the walks, but he delivered the type of concise, economical pitching effort that has typically eluded the Colorado starting five.
White retired the first six batters he faced, then ran into some flack in the third. He sandwiched walks to Ellis and pitcher Nathan Eovaldi around a Tony Gwinn Jr ground-out, then Dee Gordon flew-out to Fowler for the second-out. With Elian Herrera at the plate, an event never before recorded in major league history occurred when Colorado catcher Rosario actually dozed-off during a 94 mph fast-ball. The runners moved-up on the passed-ball. White argued the pitch, a strike, had to have been tipped, but plate-umpire Alphonso Marquez shooed White back to the mound, instructing “this guy’s going to get one of us killed,” in defense of his fellow umps.
The Rockies got an early run when Dexter Fowler singled leading-off the game. Fowler subsequently stole second and moved to third on a passed-ball by LA catcher Ellis. Fowler scored on a ground-out to third by shortstop Marco Scutaro. The run held-up for 6 innings, with Colorado adding two in the sixth when Fowler led-off with a walk, Carlos Gonzalez and Todd Helton singled, and Jordan Pacheco doubled.
LA came right-back in the top of the seventh on the Ellis homer, which drove-in James Loney. After a Gwinn grounder back to White for the second-out, the right-hander walked Adam Kennedy and gave way to lefty Rex Brothers. Gordon singled-off Brothers, and Matt Belisle came-on to retire pinch hitter Alex Castellanos to preserve the lead.
Belisle retired the Dodgers in-order in the eighth, and Raphael Betancourt pitched the ninth for the save, tossing in a little drama when Ellis lofted a long-drive to right that Cargo corraled-in on the warning track.
Colorado heads-out to Phoenix tonight for three with the Diamondbacks, having picked-up five games on the Division leading Dodgers in just a week, then return to Denver for a day-off Thursday before some inter-league action with the Angels and Athletics. Christian Friedrich (3-1, 5.59) goes for the Rockies tomorrow night at Arizona, facing Joe Saunders (3-3, 3.61) in a battle of left-handers. Game-time is 7:40 pm MDT; TV on Root, radio KOA.
Colorado Seeks Series Over LA
Starters, Defense Need to Tighten it Up
The Colorado Rockies look to get back on the winning track this afternoon against the Dodgers at Coors Field. Alex White (1-3, 6.28) will face Los Angeles’ rookie Nathan Eovaldi (0-1, 2.57) in a battle of right-handers. White is coming-off the worst start of his career Monday, and exemplifies the more unyielding effort Rockies’ starting pitchers need to deliver if the team plans to continue to progress.
Despite winning five of their last six, the Rockies have continued to deal with excess traffic on the base-paths, along with the elevated pitch-counts and extended time-on-defense that characterizes their performances. Over the last six Colorado has surrendered 5.33 runs and 11.5 hits per games. Until yesterday bases-on-balls at least had been down, and to be fair, while Josh Roenicke walked three there were only two among the other four who took the mound. The defense as well can stand to tighten-up their act, having committed errors in four of the six games. DJ Le Mahieu kicked an easy one by the lead-off hitter Saturday, and it certainly got into Juan Nicasio’s head as he went-on slog-through a 46 pitch, 5-out appearqance until he twisted his knee and had to depart.
Today’s lineups are a variation on the themes run-out by Don Mattingly and Jim Tracy yesterday, with Mattingly swapping Dee Gordon and Tony Gwinn Jr in the order and using Jerry Hairston at second instead of Adam Kennedy. Jordan Pacheco and Wilin Rosario return to the starting nine for Tracy, adding a bit of pop. RWO denizens cannot whine about the “Sunday” lineup today:
|SS Dee Gordon
3B Elian Herrera
LF Bobby Abreu
RF Andre Ethier
2B Jerry Hairston Jr
1B James Loney
C AJ Ellis
CF Tony Gwynn Jr
P Nathan Eovaldi
|CF Dexter Fowler
SS Marco Scutaro
LF Carlos Gonzalez
RF Michael Cuddyer
1B Todd Helton
3B Jordan Pacheco
C Wilin Rosario
2B DJ LeMahieu
P Alex White