While nobody can argue the 5-1 Rockies have played stellar teams to open the season, with both the Brewers and Padres sporting the antithesis of the Rox record, it can’t be denied that they are playing stellar baseball top to bottom so far in 2013 (Brignac’s defense notwithstanding).
Picked the most likely to make a second run at 100 losses by most in the press, Colorado has stunned even their most faithful purple glasses wearing fans with excellent defense, timely hitting and, most of all, pitching that almost looks like it could compete all season.
Everything started off on the wrong foot as the lineup was posted sporting a true “Sunday Lineup” that has been the bane of the past three years. Tracy and his “losing Sunday ways” has been well documented on this site (see one of my “better” post-game articles that covered the matter as Tracy decided to put in a Sunday lineup to “rest” the boys on the third game of the season), as well as a source of many an angry tweet.
Weiss explained the lineup to the press, and the sitting of his starters, by saying that they not only need rest but the other guys need to play. While it is the same logic that Tracy tried to use, it still baffles that it all culminates on a Sunday and so many are sat at the same time.
What a drag for those paying to see the team sans starters.
Thankfully, the lineup was just as potent, or at least they were advantage-takers when it came to weak Padres pitching, as we’ve come to expect from this team.
The true all-stars of the day were as follows:
JHOULYS CHACIN: Chacin pitched masterfully, showing that when he can command his pitches he can be a threat well into the game. While the Padres aren’t the best hitting team in the bigs, they really showed a lack of being able to figure out the Chacin riddle. It also looked like the Spring Training String Theory was in full effect as Chacin induced 14 ground-ball outs. Compare that to only 2 fly-ball outs and we have ourselves a very capable Coors pitcher ladies and gentlemen. His final line: 6 2/3, 6H, 1R, 0W, 2K’s on 99 pitches (62 thrown for strikes).
DEXTER FOWLER: While Tulo may think Fowler is showing too much power and not enough gap hitting, the truth is the guy is hot. He hit another HR Sunday, a two-run shot in the first, making it four on the season. Add to that his stolen-base in the second, double in the seventh and his .414 OBP and you have yourself a guy that is in a really good place right now.
WILIN ROSARIO: Three run shot in the seventh. Amen.
JOHNNY “SPARKPLUG” HERRERA: While it is no secret that Herrera has the heart of a champion, his game isn’t starter worthy. But, when he comes in and plays his scrappy ball like today, it makes any lineup with his name scratched in just as good as without, and sometimes even better. Today was one of those days. His first at bat was almost a bloop-single to left, but was caught with great effort by Denorfia. Not to be deterred, Herrera went to the well in the fourth and the sixth, hitting to the exact same location – bloop shot to left – but with better results each time. Then he “unleashed” his full power, ripping an RBI triple down the line to score Nelson. He finished the day 3-4 with 2-RBI’s.
With the true test(s) yet to come, it sure has been fun so far watching this team play well above expectations thus far.