Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rock Solid Recap: Feel good Monday

After three weeks of lows, lowers and lowests, the Colorado Rockies achieved quite a high on Monday night by defeating Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants.

It's exactly what the doctor ordered. They beat the one man and the one team that might be able to help them instantly undo the disappointment and reverse their recent frustrations. Maybe we owe Mother Nature and the Chicago Cubs one after all. They're the ones who gave us the opportunity.

Rockies 7, Giants 4 (boxscore)

The Rockies have been waiting for a big swing to get them out of their recent funk. They received two on Monday.

Troy Tulowitzki delivered a two-out, two-run single in the fifth. (Watch)

After Tim Lincecum committed a throwing error, opening the door for Colorado in the sixth, Carlos Gonzalez blasted a monster three-run homer to straightaway center. (Watch)

That's why they paid those men the big bucks. They're the money players, they provided the money hits.

But they definitely had some help. Dexter Fowler (two singles, two walks) and Jonathan Herrera (two singles, one walk) not only set the table, but made Lincecum work his tail off all night. Don't think that didn't contribute to the two-time Cy Young winner hitting the wall in the sixth.

Seth Smith (solo home run) and Jose Lopez (single, double) rounded out the very impressive and relentless offensive attack. The Rockies offense definitely showed some confidence and guts here. We saw flashes of that over the weekend with San Diego, so hopefully we're on the verge of a complete and total breakthrough.

And maybe my favorite part is they made a winner out of Clayton Mortensen. Granted, Mortensen wasn't brilliant or even really good, but he battled. He made good pitches early, faltered later on, but kept the team in the game. And besides that, his work in previous outings was very much worthy of a W, so he should feel no shame accepting this one.

Is Jim Tracy losing confidence in Rafael Betancourt, or was he just extremely desperate to get this win? Whatever the case, he gave Raffy the hook here. Matt Lindstrom finished the inning punching out Pat Burrell, so it'll be interesting to see who's placed where in the coming days.

Huston Street; Nine pitches, nine strikes, perfect inning. Awesome.

The only downside Monday was Dexter Fowler's baserunning issues. That was seriously embarrassing for any baserunner, but for a guy with his speed and athletic ability to consistently look lost on the bases is sad.

You can't teach instincts, but you can at least fill a guy in on the basics and hope he connects the dots from there. The Rockies might be wise to bring in a guy like Larry Walker for a seminar that includes Fowler and several teammates. A lot of them need help, and Walker might be the best baserunner I've seen wearing any uniform.