For the second straight game, the Rockies played a clean game to take the game (5-0 score) and series (3 of 4). The only errors of the game were Dex Fowler’s attempt to steal 3rd base with no outs and 3-0 count on CarGo, Josh Rutledge’s error in the 6th inning, and Jon Herrera’s throw that sailed into the seats on a grounder in the 8th inning. The series win snapped a string of series losses.
Juan Nicasio was staked to a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning on CarGo’s RBI single that scored EY who had singled, stole 2nd, and advanced to 3rd on wild pitch. The lead increased to 3-0 in the fifth inning when CarGo doubled in Fowler and was brought home on Jordan Pacheco’s single to right center.
Nicasio was in cruise control over the first five innings. He had a final exam in the 6th inning facing the lineup third time through. He gave up a single to Brandon Crawford sandwiched between a Torres strikeout and Panda’s fly out. A trick question showed up on the final exam when Rutledge booted Hunter Pence’s grounder. After a stolen base, the Giant runners were on second and third. Nicasio won the battle of two-out RISP situation striking out Brandon Belt on a full count. That was the most important pitch of the game and a HUGE boost to Nicasio’s confidence. He was rewarded with another two runs when Tulo drove in two more with a bases loaded single to increase the lead to 5-0 after six innings.
The Bee Men made quick work of the Giants over the final three innings. They struck out four and induced a double play. And only 36 pitches total by the Bee Men. Nicasio tossed 89 pitches over his six innings of work. The Rox hitters made Zito work overtime forcing him to toss 108 pitches over 5.2 innings including two walks.
With three straight wins over San Francisco and two straight clean games, the Rockies exorcised the demons of the Giants reducing them to the Dwarfs. Nicasio may have exorcised himself from lack of command aided by Yorvit Torrealba’s game calling. In addition, they reversed the annual free fall during May by working themselves back into the NL West picture. They are tied with the Dwarfs for second place, one game behind Arizona. And guess what? They won another Sunday game notching their fourth Sunday win of the young season.
The Coors Field swagger is coming back and the next big tests are the Sedona Red (Pitching) Machine over the next three days and a trip back to AT&T Park afterwards. The Rockies are starting to take on Walt Weiss’ personality – few words (“unacceptable”) and stay even emotionally. That may bode well for the men in purple going forward the rest of the year.