If you happened to watch the Rockies game Thursday night, and can’t quite place the feeling you had after the final out, here is a hint: You haven’t felt it very much, at least in context of a Rockies game. You might be familiar with the emotion should you choose to root for the Miami Heat, LA Kings or perhaps Portugal.
That feeling is one of watching your team win.
Because it is a very rare occurrence these days, when your team happens to be the Colorado Rockies and this is only the second time in the last 14 you’ve felt it, it is nice to savor the emotion and keep it tucked deep away
should when the team decides to return to their all too familiar ways of losing.
Here are some pieces of pleasure to hold onto for the long road ahead:
HIT ‘N RUN
If Jeff Huson was to be believed, Jim Tracy “likes to put runners in motion”, something Huson said in the top of the ninth. Every single Rockies fan on the planet knows this is flat-out untrue, unless you are talking about the frustrating “go on contact” play at third, which was tried with the infield pulled in to a very predictable end: Dex getting punched in the face with an out.
The truth is that Tracy very rarely puts runners in motion, but after tonight he might want to wake up to that new-found strategy. The success of not one, but two hit-n-run plays was very refreshing for frustrated fans who have screamed for more small-ball types of managing from Tracy, the antithesis of a small ball manager.
Both hit ‘n run’s were executed to perfection, one with Colvin hitting and Pacheco going first to third, and the other with Fowler/Scutaro.
Nevermind that neither play produced a run, actually seeing both brought smiles to many a heart and hope that with all of the bad decisions by management lately (read: 4 man rotation), that possibly the straw grasping might bring more small ball.
Doubtful, but hope springs and all that…
All four Rockies runs were produced by two hits. A Chris Nelson two run jack in the fifth and a Wilin Rosario two-run shot in the ninth. Two hits to produce all of the offense. Sure, the team only had two hits through 6 1/3, but we are only focusing on the good stuff.
Like Nelson waking up his road hitting woes in a big way, and Rosario putting all other rookies on notice with his tiny plate appearances and big bat.
FRANKIE GOES TO TOWN
Another very strange feeling to go along with the win, and one that is even more rare, is to see a starting pitcher actually take the mound and work the hitters in such a way to make fans proud.
Tonight Jeff Francis was refreshing on the mound. His five innings of work came with little drama, even his one run given up was a simple bad pitch solo HR. He went 76 pitches deep, scattered six hits while striking out three and walking none. His stuff was good, bordering on great, and it made one believe that if all starters could pitch this well then the crazy idea of a 4-man rotation might just work.
The bullpen came in and again were excellent in their execution, combining for two hits, four punch-outs and no walks over four, Betancourt getting the save after blowing it last night. Sadly, with the 4-man experiment they can expect to have more work than they can handle in the next few weeks, economy be damned.
So, who did the best job of all: Tracy with the small ball, Wilin and Chris with their bats or Frankie on the mound?