Christian Friedrich’s Fantastic First Win

If starting pitching is the biggest concern for fan and team alike, then the past two days should ease that pain a bit. Yesterdays performance by Alex White was only upstaged in impressiveness by today’s major league debut of Christian Friedrich.

Friedrich, the Rockies 1st round draft pick (25th) took the mound and turned a page in his progression from troubled pitcher to potential long-term starter. His transformation in the game was almost as dramatic. Friedrich shook off the game jitters and a disappointing first inning that saw him give up a lead off single to Denorfia, a walk to Headley and then after getting Alonso to pop out, another single to Guzman that scored Denorfia. Once he struck out Hundley to end the inning, and left the field, it seemed like his first game jitters were past him. The second inning saw him get the first two of seven strikeouts for the day (a team season high), fanning Parrino and Bass back to back.

His final line was very impressive: Six innings, five hits and one earned. The seven strike out and only one walk issued were, perhaps, the most impressive part of all when compared to his struggles on the road to The Show.

I guess it’s a dream come true…I struggled the last two years. To come up here and have some success, I know it’s only one, but it feels great. It’s a weight lifted off my shoulders. Now I can go out and there and do my thing.

If Friedrich isn’t a part of the rotation going forward, it isn’t because of his work on the mound today.

Brothers, on the other hand, didn’t have a very successful outing at all.  His “truncated” day lasted only a 1/3 of an inning, being pulled after giving up a single to Parrino and walking Venable he was replaced by Matt Belisle.  Tracy wasn’t about to let things get out of hand while sitting back and watching the lead slip away.  He pointed to the pen and one Matt Belisle, the second of the three Killer B’s.

Belisle was masterful in bailing out Brothers.  Back to back ground-outs and he was ready to head to the dugout, possibly to remind Brothers that he owed him diner for the bailout.

Matt did get into a little bit of trouble in the 8th, but nothing he couldn’t handle.  After two one out singles he induced a fly from Hundley to center and then struck out a swinging Hudson.

Something sorely missing the past couple of games has been the offense.  Today, everyone but Tyler Colvin got into the fun.  Part of the excitement came with two VERY close doubles, each bouncing off the top of the padding in the outfield fence.  The first blast, by Giambi, was to dead center plating one.  Because the ball bounced straight back to Maybin and because of the perfect relay, Cuddyer was taken out at the plate.

The second blast that bounced off the wall was thanks to Wilin Rosario. This time the ball bounced past Guzman, but again went right to Maybin for the throw home.  Thankfully, Anthony Bass brain cramped and cutoff the throw allowing Giambi to slide in safely at home in what would have been a very close play at the plate.

Both hits were reviewed by the umpiring crew and both were, correctly, called doubles.  Giambi’s was a one run double, Rosario’s a two run double.

Before the game Tracy had a closed-door meeting with the players and encouraged them to take better, shorter swings and longer at bats.  Not sure if the shorter swing message came completely through with the two long doubles, but something woke up a lineup that previously seemed asleep.  Their season high 13 hits almost matched the previous two games 14 combined hits.  Chris Nelson seemed to take the message to heart, going 2-4 with 2 RBI’s.

Betancourt put in a perfect ninth, striking out Parrino and Venable and then a popup by Kotsay sealed the deal.  Game over, Rockies win!

 

 

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Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago

Great result, and great summary jaredean. Since I didn’t get to see this one (and only heard an inning or two on the radio), I appreciate the detailed game notes! Friedrich certainly seems like he has the tools to succeed. In fact, both White and Friedrich were very impressive. Pomeranz has been o.k., but he’s looking a lot more like a less polished Jeff Francis (not an insult — Francis was a good pitcher pre-injury) and less like a Madison… Read more »

Miketober
Miketober
8 years ago

CarGo seems to be taking some collateral damage along with the Tulo bashing, so I’ll remind everyone that he had yet another good game, 2-5 with 2 runs. He’s been carrying the team lately, but of course he can’t do it alone.

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago

Are we back to the bad old days at Coors Field? Park Factors measure the ratio of runs (or HRs, or doubles, or walks, or whatever offensive stat you’d like) at a home park vs. at a road park. In the last decade we’ve seen this for the Coors runs park factor: 2001-2005 (pre-humidor): 1.25-1.45 range 2006-2009: 1.13 to 1.15 2009: 1.25 2010-2011: 1.35 2012 so far: 1.90 (!) The trend is back toward Coors as an extreme, far outlier… Read more »

Bob in WV
Bob in WV
8 years ago

An issue I never hear discussed is that the humidor shouldn’t come into play until later in the season. Teams get fresh baseballs at the start of the season. The problem was that the Rockies stored their balls pre-humidor on shelving that allowed the balls to dry out, shrink slightly, and get slick…at least in comparison to the specs of the original manufacture. It seems to me that the balls this early in the season would be minimally affected by… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

It was a win, and I don’t necessarily want to nit pick every call Jim Tracy ever makes, but it seemed weird to me that Brothers relieved Friedrich. Didn’t think pitch count was that high, it was a lefty for a lefty, and aren’t we trying to rest the pen?

I would have let him pitch another inning or at least let him face the lefties that were up next.

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
8 years ago
Reply to  ProgMatinee

prog, his pitch count was up around 95 give or take. I’m sure that JT was worried about over extending him in his 1st outing. Pull him on a positive note and not wait and let him get into to trouble. Like I mentioned to Julian in the other thread. It was a great job by Friedrich but it was in Petco. Let’s see how he does in ATT against the Giants. Then we can worry about Coors. He certainly… Read more »

TJinPhoenix
TJinPhoenix
8 years ago

Bob in WV– “The biggest question is why am I up writing all this at 4am?” Classic!

If this team didn’t give us some sleepless nights, we wouldn’t be fans! God knows I’ve been kept up thinking about a tough loss more than a few times!!

Go Rockies!

Miketober
Miketober
8 years ago

Sorry I keep lamenting on the Tulo bashing, but another (unfair) reason for it may be the following. Consider what the 2-man wrecking crew of Kemp-Ethier did for the Dodgers in April. Now our very own CarGo is red-hot. It sure would be nice if Tulo heated up at the same time. That’s not Troy’s fault – a player cannot pick his hot streaks. But to some of us that seems like a wasted opportunity. I think that adds to… Read more »

jaredean
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Miketober

Yeah, it would be nice if they were both hot at the same time…my massive missives were only trying to point out the fact that he is cold, it sucks, but he is still an asset to this team and to call for his head on a plate is premature…apparently i am quite alone in that thought because there are several “plus” votes for getting Tulo’s head and negative votes for mine 🙂

jaredean
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

Unless you count the thumbs up I gave myself!

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
8 years ago

This is a copy from an older thread so I thought to move it here to the latest thread. I never understand the bashing of Tulo as a baseball player. It is the equivalent of the bashing of Albert Pujols now, but no one is bashing Pujols. He probably continues to get the bashing only because of the poor late-close stats LAST year. This year he has been doing a lot better but it has been under the radar because… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

Tulo is a top player in the league…but he’s no Albert Pujols. I suppose I disagree with most of what you said. (Personally, I think Pujols deserves a lot of criticism from Angels fans. He hasn’t done squat for them yet. They don’t owe him leway. If he resigned with the Cards and then struggled, I might agree about giving him some room. But halo fans have a right to be disappointed.) Tulo on the other hand, has still not… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
8 years ago

I watched most of the Rox game on the MLB.tv from the archives. I was looking to see how Friedrich pitched. He was pitching fast – no walking around the mound, rubbing his forehead, rubbing the balls, etc. Pitch, catch the return throw, and stand on the rubber ready to go again. No chance for negative thoughts. He did not have violent delivery. After running into a little traffic, his approach never changed – just challenge, challenge, challenge while repeating… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

Thanks for the analysis. Love those pitchers that don’t need to walk around the mound and do a lot of stupid things, writing in the dirt, kissing their gold chain, etc.

While a guy like Betancourt takes a long time on the mound, at least he is right there and focused.

Bob in WV
Bob in WV
8 years ago

That description reminds me of Steve Carlton. He wasted no time on the mound. I once saw him pitch a complete game in 1:45. Of course, the other pitcher had to have been equally quick to the plate. I don’t remember at all, but it was probably a 1-0 or 2-1 type game. You don’t see that anymore.

GARY
GARY
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob in WV

Just had one yesterday.2-1,Cubs/Braves I think right at 2 hrs.Greg Maddax used to be amazing in his prime.8/9 innings-85-95 pitches,complete game,under 2 hours.

sam
sam
8 years ago

Tulo will find his swing he typically starts off cold and hots up toward the end, here is a great stat for you he’s hitting over .400 on outside pitches, he’s hit safely in 15 of the last 17 games he will get it going there is no question about that, lets not forget he’s the arguably the most talented SS since Jeter

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
8 years ago

Jeremy Guthrie line today in Modesto: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. He is in line to start Tuesday in SF to be followed by Friedrich on Wednesday. That’s what it looks like on paper, but no official confirmation from Rockies. I hope Moyer’s start on Friday will be his last before moving to long relief out of the bullpen. I cringe every time Moyer starts. He’s good for a few batters, then gives up a… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
8 years ago

Seems like wrist injuries is the latest fad. Chris Ianetta is the latest victim – will have surgery and be out six to eight weeks. On a related note, Jason Hammel has a minor knee injury that will cause him to miss his next start at minimum.

Bob in WV
Bob in WV
8 years ago

Regarding Tulo, he’ll be fine. There is no other shortstop I’d rather have on my team. However, his Alexander Haig style of “I’m in charge here” may not sit well with everyone on the team. I sometimes think he’s trying too hard to be the leader as he knows the team needs one. It may end up being a distraction for him. Cargo has been off his game in one aspect all season long. Last year at this time he… Read more »

Miketober
Miketober
8 years ago

Hi Ed, I have a rules question for you. Sorry about posting it here but I don’t think we have an “Ask Ed” section. A batter/runner (with EYJ speed) hustles down the first base line trying to beat out an infield single. He reaches the bag just ahead of the throw, which sails over the 1B-man’s head and down the RF line. The batter/runner is a good 10-15 feet past 1B when he sees that the throw was bad, turns… Read more »

TJinPhoenix
TJinPhoenix
8 years ago
Reply to  Miketober

I second an “Ask Ed” segment….at least a couple times when watching a game (ANY game, not even our own Rockies) I think…wow…was IS that rule?

Miketober
Miketober
8 years ago
Reply to  Miketober

I just read this. Ed can you please confirm?

The “base path” refers to the runners chosen path to the next base. They can be deemed “out of the path” only when a tag is immenent. Until a play is being made on that runner, there is no reason they can’t wander.

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
8 years ago

Jim Bowden of ESPN has an article on 5 players to stop dreaming on. Dexter Fowler is one of those players:

http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/the-gms-office/post?id=4019

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
8 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

-Colorado’s own Luke Hochevar (KC)
– Cubs Giovanny Soto
-Seattle’s Justin Smoak (traded for Cliff Lee)
-Orioles Brian Matusz (drafted ahead of Buster Posey)

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
8 years ago

In case some of you aren’t ESPN insiders, here’s what Bowden had to say about Fowler: “Fowler is an elite athlete with tremendous speed who can run down fly balls in the gap and flash some special leather. However, that speed does not translate well into stolen bases, as he does not get good reads or jumps. Further, many scouts thought he would eventually develop into a .300 hitter with 20 triples and 40 stolen bases annually. Instead he’s been… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
rockymountainhigh
8 years ago
Reply to  Cisco Kid

Fowler is a Scott Boras client. In a way that benefits the Rockies’ management if Fowler doesn’t break through they can let him go to another team that will overpay him. And take away Rox’ ultra long leash they love to use and get TJ Wheeler up.

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