Tyler Colvin stands-in for Carlos Gonzalez, who has a case of strep throat, for tonight’s middle contest in Colorado’s 3 game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona rolls-out right-hander Josh Collmenter to face the Rockies’ Jhoulys Chacin, making his second start of the 2012 season. Chacin went four innings in Monday’s home-opener against San Francisco, and along with Gonzalez, who dropped an easy fly ball in left field, played the goat in the lackadaisical 7-0 loss, an effort that stirred the anger of the RWO faithful, prompting psychological angst and intellectual brilliance never before posted on a baseball website. Chacin threw 90 pitches, allowing 4 runs on 4 hits and 5 walks, taking the loss before giving way to 3 relievers. His ERA sits at an even 9.0, with a WHIP of 2.25.
Collmenter is 0-0 with a 15.0 ERA following a three inning start in Arizona’s 7-6 victory over the Giants. All 6 of the San Francisco runs were charged to Collmenter, 5 of them earned. The righty went 2-1 against Colorado in 2011, compiling a 2.81 ERA and recording 12 strike-outs.
Troy Tulowitzski, Todd Helton, and Michael Cuddyer move up a spot in tonight’s order for Jim Tracy to make room for Colvin, who will bat 6th. The lineups:
3B Ryan Roberts
LF Gerardo Parra
RF Justin Upton
C Miguel Montero
CF Chris Young
1B Lyle Overbay
2B Aaron Hill
SS John McDonald
RHP Josh Collmenter
2B Marco Scutaro
CF Dexter Fowler
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Todd Helton
RF Michael Cuddyer
LF Tyler Colvin
C Ramon Hernandez
3B Jordan Pacheco
RHP Jhoulys Chacin
COLORADO DEFEATS ARIZONA 7-6 IN FRIDAY NIGHT CONTEST AT COORS
The Colorado Rockies recovered from an early game deficit Friday evening, rallying in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks before a crowd of 30,642 at Coors Field. Rockies starter Juan Nicasio, making his first start at Coors since the August 5, 2011 head and neck injury that ended his rookie season, looked sharp out of the gate, only to queerly falter after retiring the first two Diamondbacks’ hitters.
After disposing of Willie Bloomquist and Jason Kubel, Nicasio proceeded to walk Justin Upton on 5 pitches, Miguel Montero on 10 pitches and Chris Young on another 6, loading the bases and running his pitch count to 31. After a visit to the mound by Colorado pitching coach Bob Apodaca, D’backs 1st-baseman Paul Goldschmidt worked Nicasio for another 8 pitches, singling to center to score Upton and Montero. Nicasio finally retired Geoff Blum to cap-off a 44 pitch inning.
Colorado got one back in the bottom of the first on center-fielder Dexter Fowler’s first home run of 2012. Nicasio recovered nicely, dispatching Arizona on 12 pitches to start the second. The Rockies then tied it-up on Ramon Hernandez’ gigantic blast over the center field wall in the bottom of the inning.
Nicasio’s respite, however, proved short-lived. Montero homered to right field, scoring Upton, who had bunted for a single in front of 3rd-baseman Chris Nelson with the Rockies infield playing deep. Nicasio then issued his career-high 4th walk to Young. Goldschmidt singled to center, pushing Young to third base, where he scored on a sacrifice fly by Arizona 3rd-sacker Blum. Ryan Roberts then doubled to right, scoring Goldschmidt and ending the night for the erstwhile Nicasio. Esmil Rogers relieved and retired Bloomquist to end the inning.
The Rockies stormed right back, Hernandez driving in Troy Tulowitzski, who had singled, and Michael Cuddyer to make the score 6-4 Arizona after three. Rogers was impressive in the fourth, retiring the Diamondbacks in order after Kubel led-off with a single and Upton doubled him to third. Then the Rockies tied the game for a second time with two more runs in the bottom of the inning. After Fowler had grounded into a double play, erasing Mario Scutaro who had singled, Carlos Gonzalez and Tulowitzski followed with singles, and Rockies mainstay Todd Helton drove them both home on a ground-single to left-field.
The contest suddenly turned defensive with the score tied. Matt Belisle relieved Rogers in the sixth, and delivered a clutch performance of his own in the top of the seventh, setting down three Arizona batters after Michael Cuddyer became the third Colorado starting outfielder to blow an easy fly-ball catch, waving good-bye as Montero’s lead-off line-drive headed for the wall. Rex Brothers set the Diamondbacks down in the top of the eighth with an assist from Hernandez, who caught Ryan Roberts trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt that skittered away from the Rockies’ catcher.
Colorado pulled ahead in the bottom of the eighth. With one out Gonzalez singled to left, and advanced to third on a pick-off throw that eluded Arizona 1st-baseman Goldschmidt. After Tulowitzski fanned, Helton plated Gonzalez with a double down the left-field line. Rafael Betancourt allowed the D’backs one base runner on a Miguel Montero single to center in the ninth for his second save of 2012. Betancourt has yet to allow a run in the new season.
The teams pick it up again Saturday evening at 6:10 pm. Jhoulys Chacin will take the hill for Colorado against Arizona’s Josh Collmenter. Root Sports will have the TV coverage, am 850 KOA the radio broadcast.