Colorado came into Los Angeles with hopes of getting at least one win out of the three-game series especially with Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching today (Sunday). The Rockies had to play basically perfect in all three phases (pitch, catch, and hit) in order to have hopes of moving the mountain to win the series in the rubber game. Four hurdles to start the game: 1) Jorge De La Rosa has a poor career record pitching in Los Angeles. 2) All of Ryu’s starts this year have been quality starts not to mention that he is a top shelf left handed starting pitcher. 3) The Rockies went to a Sunday lineup with Brandon Barnes, Josh Rutledge, and Jordan Pacheco taking the places of the regulars. 4) The Dodgers scored a run first which is usually bad omen as the Rockies were a miserable 3-38 in 2013 away from home.
Hitting, pitching, and catching were rock solid in Colorado’s 6-1 victory over the Dodgers. Barnes had a two-out, two-run single in the second inning to give them their first lead that they would not relinquish. In the fifth inning, Barnes again was the key in scoring a third run off Ryu. Nazty started with a double and Barnes tried to bunt him over, but reached on an error by Ryu when he fumbled the ball trying to pick it up. Barnes, according to Walt Weiss in the post game interview, did a delayed steal on his own to help get Nazty home. He made SS Justin Turner run him back all the way to near first base which allowed Nazty to cross home plate in plenty of time. Rut then took his turn to ruin Ryu’s string of quality starts with a three run blast to make the score a 6-1 final.
JDLR gave up a lead off bunt single to speedy Dee Gordon in the first inning. He was bunted over to 2nd by Yaisel Puig and later stole third base. JDLR almost got out of the inning with no damage, but Adrian Gonzalez hit a run scoring single. Then JDLR settled down giving up only four hits over seven innings with two walks. In the eighth inning, Zero gave up a hit and the first walk of the season, but came away with no further damage. With a huge five run lead and the bottom of the Dodgers’ batting order due up in the 9th, the Rockies called upon Chris Martin again. He did allow the bases to get loaded, but two were on cheap hits (swinging bunt and a reach out over the other batter’s box and tap it into the outfield). But he came away with no harm done. In just the two games, he pitched he’s already shown he’s an upgrade over Chad Bettis. But we need a much bigger sample size before he’s declared an upgrade.
NoDo made the pitchers have an easier day with an assortment of ESPN highlight reel plays today. The most spectacular one was when Scott Van Slyke was thinking he had a double on a hot shot down the line and started to make his curved path on the way to second base. Boom, the ball was in Justin Morneau’s glove before Van Slyke got to first base. He was shell shocked wondering how did that happen?
The Rockies improved to 14-12 tied with the Dodgers for second place while winning a road series for the first time this season. They remain 1 1/2 games behind the Giants who has started to heat up with a four-game win-streak. Tomorrow Colorado begin a three-game series in Arizona and Wade Miley is the toughest pitcher of the series. If they can knock off Miley, they will have a great chance for another series win.