What a whacky Wednesday night in the Mile High City, where you watching?
The Rockies faced division foe San Francisco, who’s ageless Barry Zito blanked Colorado 7-0 Monday night at the Coors Field opener, and with ace Tim Lincecum on the mound, the Rox chances looked bleak.
But the men in purple pinstripes came out on fire; Carlos Gonzalez’s first triple of the night sent Marco Scutaro home and Troy Tulowitzki’s grounder pushed CarGo across the plate.
2-0 Rockies after one.
In the second, Michael Cuddyer knocked a double to left field and eventually scored to make it 3-0 Colorado after two.
The third inning brought only more fireworks; with Dexter Fowler doubling deep to right, CarGo hitting another triple to send Dex home and a wild pitch from Lincecum allowed an alert Gonzalez’s to scamper home after Timmy was slow to cover the plate.
It was too good to be true—the Rockies, who couldn’t muster more than five runs this season—were up 6-0 over the Giants.
Better yet, Lincecum was the one Colorado was battering and he was pulled in aver 2 1/3 innings—his shortest outing as a professional pitcher—giving up eight hits and six earned runs for a 12.91 ERA.
Colorado was riding a Rocky Mountain High, but that all came crashing down in the fourth.
Rockies “ace” Jeremy Guthrie cruised through the first three innings, giving up only four hits. But in the fourth, the wheels inexplicably fell off as he started the inning giving up back-to-back homeruns to Nate Schierholtz and Brandon Crawford.
With runners on the corners, Guthrie gave up a single to Melky Cabrera that scored one and Pablo Sandoval’s double scored another.
6-4 Rockies with runners on first and second, one out in the fourth.
And that was it for Guthrie, 3 1/3 innings giving up nine hits and eventually six earned runs as both Cabrera and Sandoval scored.
The Rox lost the lead with as Shierholtz, who led off the inning with a homer, scored Gregor Blanco on a sac fly.
Somehow, some way, the Rockies found themselves down 7-6 after a furiously fought fourth by the Giants.
That was all the fight San Fran had in them though, and the Rox rallied, taking the lead back in the bottom of the fourth at 9-7 and pouring on a demoralizing seven more runs in the fifth to put the Giants away.
In the end, Colorado won the game 17-8, lighting up Lincecum and the rival Giants along the way.
But troubling was Guthrie, who will be vastly important to the Rockies rotation going forward. In his first start he gave up only four hits, three earned runs and three walks, leading the team to victory and doing his job well. Wednesday night he crumbled after playing great through three innings.
Colorado needs him to be an inning-eater and an efficient veteran pitcher going forward and it will be interesting to see how Guthrie performs as the season unfolds.
Silly-good stats from Wednesday’s win
The Rockies as a team hit 22-45 Wednesday night, a combined .488 average.
Their 17 runs on the night were more than they scored in the four previous games totaled together (10). In fact, their runs per game average was a mere 2.5 before the blowout win against San Francisco.
The Minnesota Twins have scored 12 runs all season (six in Wednesday’s game) and the Rockies scored more than 12 runs by the end of the fifth inning.
Carlos Gonzalez was out of his mind in the game, going 3-5 with two triples, four RBI and four runs scored.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being a contributor to Blake Street Bulletin, Kurtzman is the Denver Nuggets Featured Columnist for Bleacherreport.com, the Denver Broncos and CSU Rams Examiner and Kurtzman also writes for Stadium Journey, and Mile High Hoops.
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