Following two rough starts, Sunday posed as important of an opportunity for improvement for Jeremy Guthrie as is possible this early in a season. Guts responded big time, as with the help of some luck, he went seven innings and allowed just a run on three hits as the Rockies took down the Brewers 4-1 and won their third consecutive series in the process.
Guthrie didn't miss a ton of bats, but he moved his pitches around enough to keep the Milwaukee hitters honest, and was able to stay down in the zone for a good portion of the afternoon as evidenced by his 7 to 5 GB/FB ratio. Guthrie walked three batters and struck out just two, but the defense was solid behind him, plus he was able to bounce back nicely when facing adversity. A very promising outing from the Rockies' de facto ace, indeed.
Offensively, the Rockies were led by Marco Scutaro and Troy Tulowitzki, who both had two hits on the afternoon. But, as usual, the hero was none other than Michael Cuddyer, who once again came up with a huge hit in a late-game situation. Following a one-out infield single from Tulo and a walk by Jason Giambi in the eighth inning, Cuddy smacked a first-pitch fastball out of the hand of Francisco Rodriguez into the left-center field gap for a two run double, giving the Rox a 2-run lead. Carlos Gonzalez would tack on an insurance run in the ninth with a single that drove in Dexter Fowler.
Matt Belisle was the clutch performer of the game on the pitching side of things, as he inherited a no-out, two-on situation in the bottom of the eighth after Rex Brothers struggled to throw strikes. Belisle promptly retired Ryan Braun on a pop-up and Aramis Ramirez on a line out, then struck out Corey Hart to end the inning. Unbelievable stuff from Belisle, who has been absolutely nails thus far in 2012; opposing batters are now just 1-for-24 on the season against Matty. Rafael Betancourt worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save of the season. Just a super-gratifying day, and weekend, for the Rockies.
8 - 7
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