Rusin Demolishes Padres 5-0

Today the Colorado Rockies gave the fans a rare game that they can enjoy without pulling their hair out.  Chris Rusin and Ian Kennedy of San Diego were in a fast paced pitching duel through six innings.  CarGo had a big fly into the rock garden to give Rusin a 1-0 lead.  The Christmas gift receiving season started for Colorado in the top  of sixth.  After two outs, Rusin gave up two singles and his only free pass to load up the bases for Jedd Gyorko, the most overpaid position player in baseball.  “Balk!” screamed the second base umpire to force in the tying run.  Rusin asked what was the balk for and the umpires quickly had a conference and it was overturned by the crew chief.  Padres’ manager Pat Murphy got ejected despite the fact that the umpire crew did a noble job of making a correction.

The drama allowed Rusin to stay in the game and keep pitching otherwise the bullpen game between San Diego and Colorado pretty much guarantees loss for the Rockies.  After a quick 1-2-3 six-pitch inning in the top of seventh by Rusin, Colorado took advantage of a once-in-a-decade drop of a pop up by first baseman Derek Norris.  No sun, no wind, no running but just plain drop with two outs on a NoDo pop up.  Ben Paulsen decided to go first-pitch swinging to eliminate falling behind in count and hit a double to put men on second and third.  San Diego decided they wanted nothing to do with a leading NL hitter with good RISP numbers in D.J. LeMahieu and put him on with first base open.  @theFortMcKenry liked Paulsen’s idea of swing at the first pitch and hit a bases-clearing double to give Rusin massive insurance runs.

On the play, Colorado received a third Christmas gift (the first two were balk reversal and dropped pop up).  Home plate umpire C.B. Buckner called LeMahieu safe at the plate on a bang bang play.  The Padres asked for a review but the call stood up even though it appeared that the shoe lace tag was made before D.J. touched home plate.  The 4-0 lead gave Rusin plenty of cushion to continue on.

Rusin decided that he was going to finish the game on his own terms.  He retired the final ten batters over the last three and a third innings after escaping the two-out bases loaded jam with balk reversal call.  Rusin continued his dominance over the Padres contributing to a fifth run with his own bat.  He led off the eighth with a single.  Rusin not only showed that he can pitch and hit, but he can run the bases very smartly.  He read Charlie Blackmon’s bloop perfectly and got to third without any hesitation.  He came home on a Jose Reyes single to make the score 5-0.  His hitting and running skills are impressive that the Rockies should consider using Rusin as a pinch hitter and/or pinch runner instead of going to the crappy bench.

Rusin definitely put himself in the 2016 plans with his quick pitches, efficiency, bat, base running, and very low BB/9 ratio.  That was after he pitched well at New York against the Mets giving up just a run over six innings.  He’s had several quality starts to his credit.  So it was the first complete game shutout by a Rockies pitcher since Tyler Matzek last September.  His demeanor on the mound says a million words about him.  We have to give Jeff Bridich credit for picking up Rusin off the waivers.  Now only if he can do some magic with the bullpen.

Thank you Rusin for covering up the team’s extreme weaknesses that are the bullpen and short outings by starting pitchers.  Good results happen when you go complete game on just 106 pitches.  And my favorite stat – just one BB over nine innings!  Way to go, RUUUUSINNN!!!

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Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Well that was refreshing. Now I’m not gonna get all carried away with Rusin, but I will note this: he’s been very solid. There’s nothing in his component stats that shouts “fluke” — in fact, he’s been kind of unlucky on the BABIP front (.336) and his FIP (4.29) is right in line with his standard ERA (4.43). And here’s what I like best: better home stats than away. I think the idea of pitchers being intimidated by Coors is… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Actually Rusin is at 3.99 standard ERA after today’s gem, 4.12 FIP. Very nice for a Rockies starter of late.

Gary
Gary
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Said same thing after his Mets start Ag.May be fifth starter but solid professional fast worker with alot of ground ball outs.Plus he can swing the bat well enough to actually offer an emergency PHer off the bench.

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Ag – he throws strikes, he works quickly (2:31 game time yesterday), and he’s a good athlete. FWIW – he threw a no-hitter in the minors. I’ve been the first to criticize Rockies pitching development (or lack thereof). But one thing I think I’m seeing with Bettis and Rusin is a concerted, orchestrated effort to work quickly, and I’m a fan of this. Small sample size, and maybe I’m misinterpreting it……but again, I like it. Did anyone see Ventura quick… Read more »

Bob in Indy
Bob in Indy
5 years ago

I missed the game and was at a meeting. I looked up the score and told my friend “My phone is broken.” He asked what was wrong with it and I said “It’s telling me the Rockies won.” After reading it for a couple of minutes I told him it was definitely toast, “It even says they got a complete game.” Gotta find morsels of humor in this season.

Gary
Gary
5 years ago
Reply to  Bob in Indy

Understand your confusion Bob.A Rockies Coors complete game shutout is as rare as a SD player hitting for the cycle!

RocketMan
RocketMan
5 years ago

Best game they’ve played all season.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Nats series:

Tuesday – Zimmerman vs. Hale (he’s back? is there no one else?)
Weds – Strasburg vs. DLR
Thurs – Scherzer vs. Flande

Nats are getting into must win territory here. These are the matchups (and team) they want right now. Rockies – time to step it up and hand a playoff bid to the Mets …

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Because this dead horse needs just a bit more flogging:

McKenry, yesterday’s hero (in addition to Rusin) –

2014 career year: .315/.398/.512, 141 RC+ in just 192 plate appearances. .381 BABIP

2015 “slump” year: .206/.331/.405, 89 RC+ in just 151 PA. .268 BABIP

Add ’em together and divide by 2, you’ve got a decent approximation of the true talent of Michael McKenry. Beware the small sample size! Double Beware the unusually high or low BABIP!!

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

“Beware the unusually high or low BABIP”

Translation – sell high, but low.

Ag has pointed out numerous times (I willing to bet 10 times minimum) that DJ’s BABIP is not sustainable. Hundley – maybe not quite as extreme, but similar.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
5 years ago

My opinions have been stated repeatedly. Long story short – we’re not good, we needs lots and lots of help, everyone is tradable. That being said, DJ is actually my biggest personal quandary. He currently has a WAR of 3.1 – 5th among all 2nd basemen. He’s 27. He becomes arbitration eligible this offseason, and he’ll be a FA (and 31 years old) in 2019 (and 31 years old) when our best case contention window opens (and that’s only if… Read more »

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

Carp, we’re bad enough that we need to listen to trade offers for all of our players. But I wouldn’t be quick to trade DJ unless we received a good offer for him. He’s a solid 2B, both offensively and defensively, and not overpriced. I guess the one question that I would ask is are either Story or Adames (or someone else but I can’t think who) ready to take over the position at a minimum MLB salary for not… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Not only do we need more young players … we also need to be aware that some of our current players are about to get expensive. DJ, Blackmon, and Arenado are all arbitration eligible in the offseason, and all are coming off excellent years. So they all jump from minimum salary to (a pure guess) … $5 million, $7 million, $8 million next year? Remember, the Rockies didn’t save salary in 2016-17 in the Tulo deal because they had to… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Help on the farm? Rex Brothers (I shudder to type it) – 2.0 IP, 1 BB, 4 K, gets the win. Jairo Diaz, 1 IP, 1 K, 0 BB, gets the save. Simon Castro (the other Castro), 2.2 IP, 1 BB, 4 K (oh, and gives up a couple runs … his ERA started moving up fast as soon as I tagged him as potential late 2015 help) David Dahl: now up to .275. Came back very slow after having… Read more »

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

I agree with you regarding Story. The Rutledge comparison is fair. I see him (at best) as a useful super-utility type. I’d like to see him play more 2nd base – and get some occasional time at 3rd also, while in ABQ. You also make a good point regarding 16/17 salary. Even if/when we deal Reyes, we’ll eat a chunk of that salary. The big Tulo $$$ savings aren’t realized until 18/19. However, if Cargo keeps plugging (knock on wood),… Read more »

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

Agbayani, we’ll save money from not paying Stubbs, Morneau, and Kendrick, so that will help pay for the pay increases for Arenado, Blackman, and DJ, although I agree that trading away from salary (CarGo, hopefully Reyes) would be helpful.

Gary
Gary
5 years ago
Reply to  Julian

and “Hawks”,Betty’s and hopefully Logan’s.

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

That should have been “some” salary, not “from” salary.

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago

Bobby Parnell – former Mets Closer (2013) before undergoing TJ surgery in early 2014 goes to DL with shoulder tendonitis. Essentially same time frame for surgery, recovery, rehad, and comeback as Jose Fernandez. Now essentially same time frame for DL with shoulder tendonitis.

Coincidence? I think not. These guys are being rushed back.

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