The weather was perfect yesterday as it was an overcast day and temperature in the low 70s with no wind if any. The sun screen lotion dispensors were left untouched. Walking down the Rockies path from the parking lot to the stadium, there were a few players wearing the t-shirts that had Micheal Cuddyear’s message. It said, (in a G-rated version) “Beat them, but not your own.”
Forty-five minutes before the game began, the players began coming out from the right field corner where the team facility is located. Todd Helton came out for the first time this spring and his body language said, “I’m walking down the Hall of Shame.” When the crowd saw him, they let out a huge cheer in support of him. He look a peek at the fans along the first base foul line and broke a smile. Afterwards, his body language changed for the better as if he’s walking down the Hall of Fame carpet. Shortly before the game started, he took the time to sign several autographs.
The fans were lined up along the fence hoping to collect a few autographs. I personally got a few and I noticed one thing has changed. All of the autographs had the work of elegant penmanship. Cuddyer was a major influence in how the autographs are done. He once did them so quick that you can’t read them and go by the uniform number to identify the player. He was scolded by a famous player (Killebrew?) and instructed to autograph them as if it is personal. So he passed the lesson on to the Rockies team.
The Rockies were in a Sunday mood today as they gifted a 7-2 victory to the A’s. Five of the seven runs scored by the visitors were put on the donation platter passed around pitcher’s mound. Three runs were forced in via bases loaded HBP. Another run was pushed across on a bases loaded walk. A wild pitch by Josh Outman moved up an A’s runner into scoring position preceding a run scoring single.
There was not a lot to write home regarding the “Blake Street Bullies.” Eric Young, Jr had the good day at the plate. He had a two-strike single to left center, hit a laser out to center field, and hit a deep fly to center. Nolan Arenado crushed the ball halfway up the berm in left center field for a solo home run and grounded out to bring home Cuddyer for the Rockies’ only offense of the day.
Defense looked good and the fundamentals were present. Nearly all of the A’s hits were singles and no runners were able to go station to station. All of the hits were aggresively charged by the outfielders and immediately thrown back in hitting the cutoff men. Wilin Rosario had a busy day behind the plate and he handled the pitches well. None of the pitches got past him except for a wild pitch by Josh Outman.
The pitchers were working overtime to find their slots and rhythms. Jorge DeLaRosa was able to start off most batters with a 0-2 or 1-2 counts, but he couldn’t finish off the hitters spraying his pitches. Tyler Chatwood had a bad first inning and then settled down to retire the last seven hitters. He was rushing his deliveries in the first inning. When he slowed down his delivery, he gained good command of his pitches. Josh Outman was inconsistent. When he was at the bottom of the zone, he was effective. The pitch was up on the home run he allowed.