For Openers Rox 3-0

The Colorado Rockies gutted it-out through 9 nerve-wracking innings of west coast baseball and ran their road record to 4-0 with a 2-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day at AT&T Park in the City by the Bay.  Eddie Butler (1-0, 1.64) stumbled through 5-1/3 innings and the bullpen handled the balance, with Rafael Betancourt nailing down the win with a 1-2-3 9th.  Betancourt stood-in for nominal closer LaTroy Hawkins, the sole ‘pen performer to-date to be ineffective.

The Rockies got the winning run in the 4th.  Charlie Blackmon singled and moved-up on a dribbled ground ball to 1st by Carlos Gonzalez.  Troy Tulowitzki continued his clutch hitting with a line-single to left, Blackmon scoring from 2nd.  They logged their second run in the 7th when catcher Nick Hundley, who’s hitting .333, doubled with 2 out.  DJ LeMahieu, who had another 3 for 4 outing to raise his batting average to .517, singled Hundley to 3rd, and then, with Rafael Ynoa pinch-hitting, Giants starter Chris Heston (1-1, 0.69) uncorked a wild pitch.  Hundley broke for home, and appeared to be clearly out, however Heston had dropped Buster Posey’s throw on the tag, and after a replay review, the run counted.

Butler, meanwhile, despite himself wended his way into the 6th.  He worked out of bases-loaded situations in the 1st and 2nd, dealt with 2-on in the 3rd, and walked 6 hitters, 2 in the 2nd and one each in the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th.  Brooks Brown shut-down the Giants with that walk aboard in the 6th, then Christian Friedrich was perfect in the 7th, Boone Logan worked around an HBP in the 8th, and Betancourt closed it-out in the 9th, striking-out Nori Aoki and Joe Panik and getting a fly ball to left from Angel Pagan.

Game 2 of the 3-game set is tonight at AT&T.  Christian Bergman stands-in for Colorado while Jorge De La Rosa takes one more rehab start in AAA.  Veteran Tim Hudson gets the ball for SF.  It’s back to night baseball; game time is 8:15 MDT.

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Pooter
Pooter
5 years ago

That was a real big win yesterday!! After a heart breaking loss and then go on the road, in a tough ballpark, against the World Series Champs, in their home opener! Huge!

Betancourt for closer!!! Keep Latroy around for leadership and 5th and 6th inning duties.

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  Pooter

Guys – I’ve been beating the “LaTroy is not a Closer” drum for a long time. But I’m not suggesting he has no place on the team. In fact, I think he’s still a very useful ML relief pitcher for virtually any team – us included. He just has to be used in the correct situation. I still think Ottavino is best suited for Closing among the guys we have on the roster.

RocketMan
RocketMan
5 years ago

Well, that was weird. Watched the evening replay after hearing on the radio driving home the Rocks won 2-0. Oddly effective performance by Butler, more great work by the rapidly realigned bullpen. Giants definitely missing something here early, they seemed pretty flat for a home opener where they got to hoist another championship flag. 4-0 on the road. Now THAT”S weird.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
5 years ago

Boone Logan as usual is doing his stuff. Note that he’s going full innings, not just LOOGY. So I believe I’m winning the gentlemen’s bet on relief pitching with Logan. Be prepared to pay up, Agbayani 🙂

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Not so fast RMH. Betty’s line so far: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 6 K. And 1-1 in save ops.

I’m hoping this battle goes into September. By the way, Dr. C’s fave, Brooks Brown, has been no slouch either. And a few of us have championed Friedrich, so there’ll be no clear winner if he emerges as king of the new pen.

Doctor_Christopher
Admin
Doctor_Christopher
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

And if they had been smart enough to have Hawkins provided with a net on Sunday, they would have had Brown come in by Fowler’s AB because it was clear that Hawkins was missing his spots. And boy did he miss that one. Brown was even up several times in that game! But isn’t it nice to have so many quality options right now? Now, if we can get some full 6 inning games (or dare I say it, 7),… Read more »

DonnyDinger
Admin
DonnyDinger
5 years ago

Giants are batting an anemic .213 w runners on, .191 w RISP through first 8 games. Had that outing been against almost anyone else, Butler would have an L. No Panda, no Pence spells trouble no matter how good their pitching is up there.

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  DonnyDinger

Agree DD. Most of us are conditioned to assume that the Giants (and Yankees) will be good every year. Neither are good this year.

Doctor_Christopher
Admin
Doctor_Christopher
5 years ago
Reply to  DonnyDinger

Agree as well, but in these early portions of the season you also have to take into account who the team has faced and where. The Giants have been facing some pretty good pitching (even in Arizona they got some decent starters against them). They then went to SD, faced good pitching, but had a lot of balls that just died on them. It is like I said about the Cubs. They had faced one of the best rotations in… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
5 years ago

It goes back to my comment last week or so that I rather have Butler pitching than a scrap heap pitcher like a Paul Maholm that you suggested. He’s doing better than scrap heap replacement level.

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