You hear it over and over throughout Spring Training, “These games don’t matter. The score doesn’t matter. It doesn’t count.” But to look beyond the box score and the players lines would be counter to what true fans are wired to do. We enjoy checking stats and headlines, even if the slate is erased at the end of Spring, because it is in those digits that we can see a picture forming, even at three games in.
So far, the picture the Rockies are portraying is significantly better than the one developed at season’s end. With the “Race to 100” behind them, as well as a very silent winter, the only truisms this spring contain the words “pitching” and “health”, with a smattering of slugfest thrown in.
PITCHING: Three games in is hardly enough of a sample. Shoot, two of the five likely starters in Chacin and De La Rosa have yet to take the mound, but so far the signs are very encouraging:
- Chris Volstad looked pretty good in his Rockies spring debut today. He pitched two innings of scoreless ball in his battle for the fifth starters spot. While he did give up two hits, he also showed his work to keep the ball down in the zone is paying off with two double-play inducing pitches.
- Wilton Lopez, one of the very slim offseason pickups, pitched a three up, three down third in todays win.
- Scahill, Harris, Manship and Rosenbaum combined for five scoreless innings between them, the lone hit coming from a Rosenbaum offering.
- Jeff Francis looked good in Sunday’s start, going two innings of two hit, no run ball.
Sure, Manny Corpas gave up the only Rangers run in the 9-1 shellacking of the Tigers, but even he could take solace in the fact that it was only one run. History, especially Rockies history, has shown that Corpas is very capable of issuing batting practice pitches when he isn’t on his game. Even Pomeranz’ rough first outing wasn’t too bad compared to how he pitched last season. His start on Saturday yielded three hits, two runs and two walks, but he ball came off the bat low to the ground for the most part. If he can keep it down, like his counterpart Volstad, he should get his confidence back. Nicasio was one of the few pitchers that has really been hit hard so far, four runs in 1 2/3 an inning was tough to take and perhaps the biggest, “it’s early” moment so far.
Yes, the Rockies outscored their opponents 26-11 over the first three games, but it doesn’t matter. The final score is insignificant, except that deep down it does feel good to come out and flash a little bit of what was missing last season, and that would be pretty dang decent pitching. It isn’t the final score, but the little moments that really matter this early.