Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Training Hits & Misses: Game 25 vs. Los Angeles


Drew Pomeranz

I was hoping Pomeranz would get to face the Angels projected opening day lineup. Thankfully, Mike Scioscia obliged with Pujols, Kendrick, Morales, Hunter, Wells, right on down the line to some guy named Iannetta. That's a big boy lineup, and it set up as a great test for the Rockies 23-year-old lefty.

How did he do?

Well, Pomeranz pretty much breezed through the first two innings, with the only challenge coming from Pujols. Pomeranz won that lengthy battle that included a broken bat, a long, loud foul ball, and ended with a weak popout to third base on a fastball in Albert's kitchen. Fun battle.

Pomeranz ran into some traffic in the third, which was actually perfect, because it forced him to bear down against the meat of their order with RISP. That's exactly what he did, striking out Howie Kendrick and getting Pujols out in front on a changeup to ground out to third. Another impressive sequence of pitching there.

The Angels did scratch across a run against him in the fourth. The good news there is that Brandon Wood won't (or shouldn't, God forbid) be seeing any time for at second base during the season, so the soft grounder up the middle that he couldn't handle will be an out nine times out of ten, not a run.

The only small downside is that Pomeranz reached his pitch limit (85) in the fourth inning, but all things considered — mainly the quality of opposition and the health of his backside — it was an excellent outing and an exciting afternoon for Rockies fans.

Test Grade: B+

Jason Giambi

How's the old man doing this spring?

Just fine thank you.

And his swing is as vicious as ever, as evidenced by his rocket two-run single to center field.


Jordan Pacheco

Back-to-back two base errors at the hot corner in the sixth. It kinda looked something like this...

His defense is still a work in progress (that may never change) but man can he hit (two more today).

Got Their Work In

The Bullpen

Edgmer Escalona, Matt Reynolds, Matt Belisle, Josh Outman (two innings) combined for five innings of one-run baseball (unearned run against Reynolds). All were very sharp, and it got me to trying to sort out the Rockies bullpen heading toward opening day. So as right now I'm thinking...

Locked in: Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle, Rex Brothers, Matt Reynolds

Close to locked in: Esmil Rogers and Josh Outman (third lefty a nice luxury).

Final spot: I think it's going to Alex White. I'm not all that excited about seeing White shifted to the bullpen — especially after the Rockies mismanaged and mangled Felipe Paulino's stint with a trip to the 'pen — but they are committed to it and he hasn't looked bad in his relief appearance so far. I'd rather this spot go to someone like Escalona initially, but who can blame the Rockies for wanting to keep White away from Colorado Springs.

Carlos Gonzalez

The ball absolutely exploded off his bat on a two-run double to deep center field. Overall things have been very positive for CarGo this spring, and today's at-bats would indicate his swing is opening day ready.

Tyler Colvin

Another two-hit game for Colvin, which is going through the motions for him at this point. If he wants to make it back on the hit list he'll have to get three hits or maybe hit a walk-off home run.

Marco Scutaro

Ignore the spring average. He's reaching base pretty consistently (three more walks today) and he's going to get the ball in play. He'll be just fine.

Oh, yeah, and the score in case you're wondering

Another crisp (aside from Pacheco's hiccups) nine innings from the Rockies leads to a 6-2 win over the World Series contending Angels. It's good to see, even if it doesn't count.

What's next

Another TV broadcast comes your way on Tuesday when the Rockies battle the Arizona Diamondbacks at 2:10 MT. The folks at Root Sports will actually be partnering up with Fox Sports Arizona for a joint telecast. So yes, you'll have to deal with Mark Grace and Darren Sutton for extended periods of time. I'm sorry.

More Rockies thoughts await you if you follow me on Twitter: @Townie813