Baseball is back.
Troy Tulowitzki is back.
The Colorado Rockies are back!
In an impressive offensive display, the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-2 in the first Spring Training game of the season. Even without hearing the sounds of cracking bats and shouting umps (for me anyway), even though most Rockies fans gathered around a computer screen or radio (or both) to take in the action, that tingling feeling creeps through the veins of diehards everywhere tonight. Baseball is back.
Both teams shot out of the gate offensively, the Rockies put up 2 runs in the first 2 innings, largely on the strength of the 9-1-2 combo of Chris Nelson, Dexter Fowler, and Josh Rutledge. Nelson went 2-3 with 2 RBIs in an attempt to grab some attention at the seemingly wide open 3B spot, but it’s his glove not his bat that makes him far from a lock at the position. Dexter Fowler had a nice day going 1-2 with 2 runs scored and drew the Rockies only walk of the day. But the day would belong to the young guns who brought their bats to Scottsdale, beginning with last year’s breakout youngster; Josh Rutledge.
Spring Training Day 1 Overreaction: Josh Rutledge is the new king of Colorado
3-3 with 2 runs scored and 4 RBIs, including a 2 run double that would be one of only 3 XBHs the Rockies would have on the day. He delivered nicely in all three ABs and seeing him do it in a lineup that now includes Troy Tulowitzki makes the mind race wildly in anticipation of what a lineup can do if this kid remains productive. It’s obviously too early to make any conclusions, but it’s certainly better to see him rake immediately now that he has some expectations.
As soon as it seemed Rutlegde and company were content to single Arizona to death (and AZ helped out with 2 early errors) Tim Wheeler stepped in and finally gave the game a power surge with a solo home run in his first AB of 2013. He would add another base-hit to give himself a perfect day at the plate. Charlie Blackmon would also be a perfect 2-2 in the game, but it should be noted that much of late inning hitting came against the deep bullpen of the Diamondbacks (really AAA guys.) All told; 11 runs on 18 hits and 14 LOB.
On the other side of the ledger, Drew Pomeranz looked a little shaky early, but managed to minimize the damage giving up 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB in 2 IP. After that the Rockies pitching staff blanked the Snakes for the rest of the game beginning with two very solid innings from Tyler Chatwood and including Edgmer Escalona striking out the side around a single in the 7th. Rex Brothers gave up a double, but got two strikeouts in his lone inning of work.
Without watching the game it was tough to tell anything about the defense, although radio play-by-play suggests that Tim Wheeler made a nice catch and Wilin Rosario blocked a ball in the dirt!
But really, what does an 11-2 win on February 23rd mean? Not much. But today we got to see Yorvit Torrealba wearing a Rockies uniform again. We got to see a healthy Troy Tulowitzki who would go 1-2 and drive in a run. We got to see a look at a potentially very bright future for some of the young studs in the Rockies organization. Ok, maybe we didn’t get to see any of these things. But they happened! What does it mean? Nothing is for certain except for this; baseball is back.