Monday, June 20, 2011

Rock Solid Recap: It's not a beauty contest. It's American League baseball.

Call it ugly. Call in shaky. Call it whatever you like. That's just American League baseball. Pretty wins are few and far between in that league. So to go on the road and beat a first place team, as unlikely as it is that they'll hold the spot, is a feather in your cap. Especially when you're trotting out the No. 5 in your rotation (who's really a 7 or 8) against their opening day starter.

Know what I mean?

Rockies 8, Indians 7 (boxscore)

5th Inning: This is where the game took a turn for the better. After Ty Wigginton and Charlie Blackmon grounded out harmlessly to start, Chris Iannetta drew a two-out walk. Hey, I told you before the game he was going to turn the lineup over a lot tonight! I just had two no idea a two-out walk would turn into six-run outburst.
  • Iannetta walk
  • Gonzalez single
  • Chris Nelson walk
  • Todd Helton walks in one
That set the stage for the Rockies first big break of the game. The Troy Tulowitzki bouncer down the third base line that kicked off the bag and into foul territory for a two-run double.

Tulo's ball tied the game at four. The next batter was the designated hitter Jason Giambi...

Boom. 440 feet.

Hey, I don't like the DH myself, but if we're forced to use it, we might as well take advantage of it. They sure did in the first inning with Travis Hafner's three-run homer. He's having a nice year for them. It would be very interesting to see what kind of numbers Giambi would have right now DHing regularly for an AL team himself. Much better than Adam Dunn I assure you.

The second big break: Thanks to a silly Lou Marson throwing error attempting to pick Chris Iannetta off first, Charlie Blackmon was able to score from second with what eventually became the game-winning run. It's always nice to see the opposition doing something mind-numbingly stupid.

Carlos Gonzalez: Started the game off right with a single and stolen base, eventually scoring on Troy Tulowitzki's single. He would add two more singles and scored another run. Safe to say he will stay penciled into that leadoff spot for the foreseeable future, which means the Rockies chances of scoring in the first inning remain very high.

Juan Nicasio: Sometimes I wonder if he'll grow into more of a late inning power arm like the Rockies envisioned with Felipe Paulino. Obviously it's much too early for them to try that out because he needs a chance to develop at this level as a starter, but I think he has a chance to stick awhile in any number of roles.

For now, you just take the good with the bad and relish every victory you can get when he takes the hill.

Rex Brothers: Twitter was on fire for the Rex Brothers appearance. Should he have pitched one day after being spiked? Was it a good spot to use him regardless off the injury? Should Nicasio have had a chance to win the game? Is Brothers ready? What's his future after two rough outings?

The first three were valid questions. The final two were tweeted by enough people that I threw my two cents out there. He may not be as ready as you'd ideally like him to be, but just about everyone wanted to see Morales gone and Paulino gone. Some people were angry at Matt Reynolds for his bad stretch, and people were calling Matt Lindstrom garbage through is bad stretch. Matt Daley got hurt. Esmil Rogers is hurt.

Brothers had to come up. There really are no other sensible options, and getting him big league experience isn't the worst thing either. You just have to understand he's 23 and he's going to have rough moments. We have to accept those. I know it's not easy. I know we're all guilty of overreacting. Just try to view him with a little more perspective of his situation.

He's going to be a big part of the Rockies future. There's absolutely no doubt about that in my mind.

Huston Street: Alright, so we all thought the Grady Sizemore ball was going to land in Canada. But it didn't. I don't mind a well hit ball as much as I detest those maddening walks. He didn't walk anyone tonight, and he held the one-run lead, which means it's a beautiful day on Huston Street.

Overall: A win is a win is a win. Don't complain about it. Just take it. With Chacin on the mound tomorrow, the Rockies have a really good chance to secure a series win and position themselves to be greedy on Wednesday. But one game at a time. One game at a time.