You have probably seen the video clip by now of Tulo hitting a line drive homer to right field. Baby Bull followed him with a single and that was it in terms of hits until the ninth inning. You read that right, zero hits from the first inning until the ninth inning when the Rockies rallied to win 4-1. Kyle Seager had a solo home run off Christian Bergman that caused a 1-1 tie until the ninth inning.
Christian Adames and Ryan Casteel were the keys with their defense and bats. Twice Adames with the infield drawn in charged at the grounders and threw bullets to Casteel at the home plate to preserve a 1-1 tie. In the 8th inning, Zero gave up a lead off triple due to center fielder Rosell Hererra running a “L” route chasing a gapper. But I wasn’t sitting at the edge of my seat because I knew Zero has the capability to strike out batters when needed. He did throw almost a wild pitch but Casteel saved a run when the ball only dribbled halfway to the backstop. Baby Bull started the game at catcher. It was horrible watching Rosario letting too many balls get past him. Good thing Casteel was in the game for the second half. Anyhow, Zero did get two strikeouts sandwiched around Adames nailing the runner at the plate.
Briefly, the ninth inning was helped by Seattle’s bad defense. Tauchman (who was he?) hit a routine grounder to 2B but the throw was wide but the first baseman appeared to tag him out. The ump called him safe (there’s no review in ST). Then Tauchman was picked off first on an attempted steal but beat the throw to 2B from 1B. That set up a practice scenario for the Rox to manufacture a run. Adames laid down a beautiful bunt to put the runner on 3B with one out. Casteel came to the plate looking to get the run in and he hit the ball right on the button to deep left center field for the GW RBI. Then the Rox added two more runs, helped by a Kyle Parker double.
Bergman did his blue collar work with 2.2 innings of one run allowed (Seager HR). A lot of fly balls given up but all but one stayed in the park. Kraig Sitton looked good in his 1.2 inning. David Hale 3 Ks in his two innings while giving up one hit. Boone Logan had the bases loaded up at one point, but he used his veteran experience to squash any rally. He was definitely helped by Adames great play at the plate from a drawn in infield. Zero as described earlier had his usual inning of work. Then Jairo Diaz finished off the Mariners, picking up his save. He really can bring the heat, but that was against the minor leaguers and they managed to get a hit and a couple of hard hit balls right at the mitt. Diaz can bring the heat but that won’t work at the top level until he can locate his FBs at the bottom of the zone in the corner quadrants. He did throw a couple of curves that got in for strikes when it weren’t expected. But the curves were belt high. The ball will find the seats in the major league.
I forgot to mention in last night’s write up: EdtheUmp had a chat with Charlie Montfort (he does look much more happier and healthier with his back straight instead of hunched over. Charlie talked about Darren Holmes and how he worked with Rex Brothers. In a nutshell, Holmes told Brothers you’re going to throw as I teach you, else I can’t let you pitch until you change. Brothers took Holmes seriously and went right to work correcting his mechanics and mental toughness. I’ve been watching Holmes and he has been eyeballing all the pitchers from his seat next to Walt Weiss. That was a sharp contrast to Bo McLaughlin who looked like a Bozo. The Rockies may have had a quiet off season, but the change to Holmes and Steve Foster seem to be paying off big time.
Final note: I just happened to buy a seat that was three rows back and five seats over from Jeff Bridich. I’ve already fallen in love with Bridich. Why? He was watching the game. I mean every pitch with his stopwatch in his hand. That tells me he’s all in on sabermetrics and evaluating talent from the second row. I don’t recall seeing DOD studying his team. DOD had some good business skills but he didn’t know much about baseball talent (read clubhouse culture). Bridich doesn’t care about clubhouse. That’s why he went out and collected a bunch of flame throwers during the off season.
Bridich already made one great move – Axford. In hindsight, I understand why Axford was signed to a minor league contract. Teams cannot move players to the 60-day DL during the off-season. So it looked liked Axford was promised a spot but had to wait until Tyler Chatwood was moved to the 60-day DL before Axford could be put on the 40-man roster. I think another great underrated move that’s gone unnoticed outside of Colorado is Darren Holmes. He has been sitting by WW every game. I don’t recall McLaughlin anywhere within sight of the dugout. Holmes carries a confident demeanor and every pitcher listens to him.