It was the best two innings of pitching for the Rockies this year. It was the worst two innings of pitching for the Rockies this year. It was a good show of getting out of a jam with timely pitching and defense, it was a bad show of getting out of a jam with awful pitching and defense. It was also a tale of Snakes hitting the ball in the beginning and the Rockies hitting the ball at the end but an eighth inning rally came up just short. It is just the second spring training game of the year but the Rockies reminded us all of how they looked on Sundays in 2012...and 2011 for that matter.
Jeff Francis displayed an outstanding first inning, getting three outs on only nine pitches. While he ran into a little bit of trouble in the second, he was able to get the third out with runners on the corners. The offense was able to get their first hit in the second when Nolan Arenado beat out a throw on an infield single off the pitcher's glove but Kyle Parker followed that up with the first of five double plays that the Rockies hit into.
Juan Nicasio came in to start the third inning and while he wasn't sharp, he got the third out on a warning track shot from Aaron Hill. He was not as lucky in the fourth, when newcomer Reid Brignac threw away an out and his error cost the Rockies three unearned runs to go with the pair of earned runs given up by Nicasio and Frazier in the inning.
Miguel Batista followed in the fifth with an even worse outing, giving three runs to the Diamondbacks. The Rockies finally got on the board in the fifth when Corey Dickerson followed up a Ben Paulsen walk with a two run home run.
The Rockies scored again in the eighth when catcher Jose Gonzalez followed a single by Wheeler and a walk to Dickerson to make it 8-3. Matt McBride followed that up with an RBI double, scoring Dickerson and moving Gonzalez to third. A walk to Rafael Ortega loaded the bases and forced a pitching change by Arizona manager Kirk Gibson.
Kyle Parker greeted new pitcher, Seth Simmons, with a 2-rbi double over right fielder Mark Teahen's head. Simmons threw a four pitch walk to Tommy Manzella to load the bases before he gave way to Taylor Simons. He induced Christhian Adames into yet another inning ending double play and the Rockies rally fell just a tad short in the eighth.
The top of the ninth went quickly with Mike McClendon getting a fly out and a strikeout after Jose Gonzalez showed a nice arm by throwing out a snake trying to steal second. The Rockies tried to make the bottom of the ninth interesting but a fifth double play ended the game and continued the pain of Sunday baseball in Colorado.
We didn't come close to the record posting from yesterday's game thread, but thank you to all who joined me in getting to 500 posts today. The Rockies are warming up for the season and so are we.