Eric Young Jr led-off for the Colorado Rockies and lofted a short single to right-field on St Louis Cardinals’ rookie right-hander Shelby Miller’s (5-2, 1.58) 5th pitch. Young stole 2nd on Miller’s 11th pitch, while he was in the middle of dispatching Dexter Fowler, and 102 pitches later Miller had retired 27 consecutive Rockies, leading the Cardinals to a 3-0 victory over Colorado Friday night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. At one point RoOT Sports’ play-by-play man Drew Goodman tasked researcher Doug Marino to check into who was the last person to accomplish the feat, but no report was forthcoming. The question now becomes has this ever been done before?
Jon Garland (3-3, 4.83) once again delivered exactly what Rockies fans were begging for all of 2012, 5 innings of sufficiently competent pitching to keep the team close enough for the offense to exert its will. Unfortunately since manager Walt Weiss rolled-out the A-team lineup last Sunday, the Blake Street Bullies have turned disturbingly passive, managing only 5 runs in 4 games since Monday’s off-day. Miller struck-out 13 Colorado batters, 9 looking. Only 3 Rockies’ batters managed to drive the ball into the outfield. Miller was awesome— what can you say about a 29:84 ball-to-strike ratio, yet you hate to give the dreaded “tip of the cap” after such a meek performance by your side.
Recent talk has centered on Colorado’s conservative approach to its early-season bangs and bruises. Dex has missed time, so’s Troy Tulowitzski, Todd Helton and now Michael Cuddyer. Not to mention today’s starter Jhoulys Chacin’s (3-1, 2.56) stint on the DL. The caution seems to have taken the starch out of a squad that started the season on a 3 out-of 4 pace and is now sinking like a stone, managing only 1 out-of 3 over the past 18 games (6-12).
Chacin is being asked to be a Stopper today, what you need from your “ace.” The test won’t be easy because the Cards are rolling-out theirs as well. Adam Wainwright (4-2, 2.72) has been a horse for St Louis since 2007, logging 84 wins against 50 losses, including a 2011 season lost to injury. He got banged-around a bit a week ago at Milwaukee, giving-up 5 runs and 11 hits in 5-1/3 innings of a St Louis win over the Brewers. Chacin pitched Sunday, returning from a tweaked lower-back to take the loss as the Rockies fell to Tampa Bay 8-3. He surrendered 6 runs, 5 earned, but lasted 7, allowing 8 hits.
Cuddyer is out again this afternoon, bound to invite speculation about the severity of his sore neck. Weiss will play the Torrealba card, perhaps hoping Yorvit will direct some of his screaming and intensity toward the rest of the Rockies’ offense. EYJ will be in right again, and RWO favorite Reid Brignac will spell Josh Rutledge at 2nd-base. Carlos Beltan gets the day-off for St Louis, with Matt Adams on at 1st-base and Allan Craig moving to right-field for Cards’ manager Mike Matheny.
It’s going to be windy in St Louis under mostly cloudy skies. It’ll be a cross-wind at 18-20 MPH, gusting from left-to right. Despite the 12:15 MDT Saturday afternoon start there are no demoralizing blackouts. If I’ve got the RoOT road rotation right, it’s Jenny with the Cowboy on the postgame, Marc Stout prowling the stands and Drew and George in the booth. Jerry and Jack will be on radio KOA 850 am.
IN GAME CHAT
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