It was baseball in its simplest form; pitch and hit and a team should earn a “W”. Chad Bettis looked to prove that his last start vs. SF Giants was not a fluke. Tulo’s two solo homers off perennial Cy Young candidate Cole Hamels provided Bettis with a 2-0 lead. Bettis went out and shut down the Phillies over eight innings giving up two hits and ZERO walks. The first Philly hitter to get aboard was on a Tulo boot in the seventh inning. Bettis maintained a no-hitter through 7.1 innings when a ball was hit away from a shift for the first hit. Carlos Ruiz had a jammed bloop hit down the RF foul line for the second hit.
The score was 2-0 in favor of the Rockies with two on and two outs after the Ruiz lucky single. Walt Weiss popped out of the dugout and looked Bettis in the eyes. It was decided that he would pitch to the dangerous Darin Ruf. All that when everybody at the back end of the bullpen were fresh and ready when needed. Ruf struck out on a checked swing (looked like a good check to me) called by HPU Angel Hernandez. Bettis let out a scream, “Let’s GO.”
With this precarious lead of 2-0, Colorado looked to add some insurance runs. Vacuum had the same check swing as Ruf but it was called a ball. That got Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg tossed, but Vacuum lined into a double play afterwards. Then Ben Paulsen, a pleasant surprise this year (and last year), hit a two-run homer to left center for two insurance runs to hand John Axford a 4-0 lead.
Axford needed five outs to complete the game giving the Rockies a 4-1 victory. The leadoff hitter reached on a strikeout, wild pitch. After a ground out, Brandon Barnes misplayed a Chase Utley drive off the left center fence for an unearned run. Then Axford got the next two batters for a 4-1 final.
It was a good day for the Rockies all around other than the David Dahl misfortune. Rod Scahill (a fly ball pitcher which is why Rox dumped him) gave up a granny to take the loss against San Diego. Pedro Strop took the loss for the Cubs today. At least for today, the Rockies looked good in dumping those pitchers. Even Juan Nicasio gave up a run in the Dodgers’ loss tonight.
Since snapping a 11-game losing streak, Colorado has gone 9-7. In addition the Rox is 3-1 on the current road trip. Here’s to hoping that Bettis is in for the long run and not just a flash in the pan. Tomorrow Jorge De La Rosa goes on the mound in an attempt to prove EdtheUmp that he is not a wuss. He will be opposed by the surprising Aaron Harang. Jordan Lyles goes Sunday which means “Red Top” has the unfortunate task of facing the Dodgers again.