It's officially good to be a Rockies fan again. At least for now. Colorado bludgeoned St. Louis for the second straight day Saturday night, easily taking the W with a 10-1 win over Todd Wellemeyer (5-6, 5.32).
The story coming in was on Carlos Gonzalez first start in a Rockies uniform. He went 0-4 with a FO, GO (would have been an IF 1B if not for Albert Pujols), and 2 K's. Instead, another talented young lefty masher took center stage.
When Troy Tulowitzki got hurt June 2, Jim Tracy took it as an opportunity to put Ian Stewart in the lineup. Despite Tulowitzki being cleared to play, Tracy went with the hot-hitting Stewart again, and it paid off in a big way. Stewart smacked a 3-run 2-out HR in the 4th to give Colorado a commanding lead in a game that Aaron Cook's sinker was working. In his next at-bat, he roped a 2-run 2-out HR following a Brad Hawpe double. Both home runs came on breaking pitches, and the second was a display of pure strength by deposited the soft toss deep in the left-center field seats.
He also doubled down the left field line and turned a similar batted ball into an out with a highlight reel backhand and jump throw. After his ninth inning double, he scored from third base on a grounder to third when the throw bounced off his helmet. Practically everything the 2003 1st round pick did tonight was golden. I kid you not - the commentator during SportsCenter said called Stew "the best player in the world." The label is obviously in jest, but it will be tough for any player to top his game tonight.
In the four games since Tulowitzki's injury, Stewart has gone 10-for-17 with 4 HR and 12 RBIs in raising his batting average 57 points from .177 to .231.
23 - 32
Pyth W-L: 27-28
Last Year: 20-35
Nearly lost in the offensive explosion was the whale of a ballgame pitched by Aaron Cook (4-3, 4.50), who went eight innings and allowed just four hits and a walk. The only run he allowed was a solo home run by Rick Ankiel that Carlos Gonzalez might have caught if not for a fan's grubby fingers. He faced 28 batters, got 15 ground balls and only allowed 5 batted balls to leave the ground. He has now gotten his ERA to a season low 4.50 and has allowed one or less runs in 4 of his last 7 starts.
Some juicy notes on the game:
- The win gave Colorado its first three game win streak since Jason Marquis pitched the Rockies to a 3-1 record in the Home Opener. Ironically, Saturday's attendance was the largest to see a Rockies game since that home opener April 10.
- The Rox scored 10+ runs for the third straight game. However, they failed to reach 10 hits in the last two games. Coming into the series, the Cardinals' staff had the best ERA in MLB. It's all Coors Field! Or not.
- The last time the Rockies scored 10+ runs in three straight games was ironically also on the road, at Petco Park, April 7-9, 2006.
- Eight of the 10 runs scored with two out.
- Albert Pujols had his MLB record tying streak of reaching base 2+ times in a game broken Friday night. He did not reach base Saturday at all.
- The Rockies hit three home runs for the second straight game. Two of them were three-run home runs. Colorado had zero 3-run HR the first two months of the season.
- Colorado has outscored their opponents 31-8 in the last three days, giving them a perfectly even run differential on the season.
- We are now on pace for 192 team HR. That's the most since 2004, the year Todd Helton, Vinny Castilla and Jeromy Burnitz combined for 104.
- Ian Stewart is on pace to hit 34 HR and get 98 RBI despite not reaching 400 ABs. With a .221 average.
Aaron Cook (.254) - 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 4 K, 1 BB; 0-for-3, 1 K
Ian Stewart (.280) - 3-for-4, 2 HR, 2B, 5 RBI, 3 R
Seth Smith (.029) - 2-for-4, BB, 2 R
Brad Hawpe (-.052) - 1-for-4, 2B, 2 R
Edwin Bellorin (-.033), 1-for-4
You know it was a good game when your worst two players by WPA each got a hit and one scored twice.
Matt Daley made his first appearance since being activated off of the disabled list in the ninth inning. As he toed the rubber, directly in front of him manning the third base was umpire Tim Welke, the same ump that sent Daley to the DL his last time on the field by throwing the bat under his foot. Daley retired all three men he faced on just eight pitches.
Rowbot Roll Call
biondino, WolfMarauder, Silverblood, Rockie4Ever, mkorpal, befizzle, Poseidon's Fist, djmbluemoon, Narcoleptico, OrangeTorpedo, Teekalong, ALrockies, oo_nrb, nodakroxfan, BroJB, walkoff59, coolopotamous, and RockiesMagicNumber witnessed the extraordinary game.
WolfMarauder was the only centurion again, but barely this time.