Colorado Springs: L 0-5
Adam Eaton continues to pitch better than Eric Milton or Jason Schmidt did for the Dodgers Albuquerque affiliate and yet he remains a safe and tidy backup for us while they are forced to use their emergency fill-ins. It's good news that our pitching depth remains stronger, but it might not mean much until the NLCS with the lead they have.
Promotions for Jhoulys Chacin and Esmil Rogers have left Sammy Deduno as Tulsa's staff ace. Last winter, Deduno's addition to the Rockies 40 man roster hinted that he was going to have a strong bounceback after missing 2008 due to surgery, and he's proven that to be the case, particularly in his last five starts since returning from injury on June 29: 28 IP, 15 H, 8 BB, 22 K, 4 R (1.29 ERA). If you wonder how the Rockies can afford to give up somebody like Connor Graham, well, there you go.
Darin Holcomb had a pair of doubles and scored twice, Cole Garner doubled and drove in two.
Maybe Cory Riordan's making another point as to why the Rockies are able to deal Graham. He pitched a complete game with 10 strikeouts, one walk and eight hits allowed. Over his last ten starts, consisting of everything in June and July, he's 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA and a 56/15 K/BB rate. His FB movement and breaking pitches are a grade above many of our other control RHPs, potentially #4 worthy rather than #5, so if he's taking off, it's a very good sign as he'd be a pretty valuable innings eater. His 25 IP in his last three starts are a good indication of this. Maikol Gonzalez scored three of Modesto's eight runs and Charlie Blackmon and Jason Van Kooten each had a pair of RBI.
Kiel Roling has been stuck in Asheville, showing clear signs (three hits including a homerun and double yesterday) that he's ready for more challenging pitchers, but a push up the ladder for him means somebody else is going to have to find another avenue to pursue their dream, but it looks like the Rockies might not make that kind of move until the offseason. Could Roling follow Darin Holcomb's path and skip straight to Tulsa next season?
Maybe Josh Hungerman will be our new big Ohio connection (well besides Aaron Cook). The former Cleveland State pitcher started for just the second time this season and struck out seven in only three innings of work, and Craig Bennigson came on for three more to pick up the win. The big left hander from Berkley has had an impressive season thus far after pitching just under three innings for Casper last season in his professional debut.
Avery Barnes provided the big highlight for the Ghosts after leading off with a single in the fourth inning:
...Barnes swiped second, heisted third when catcher Griff Erickson's throw popped out of the glove of third baseman Brian Ruggiano and committed his most daring larceny yet by breaking for home when Magill decided to pitch from a wind-up. Magill's two-out, two-strike pitch was high and Barnes easily slid in under the tag.
According to the above quoted article, the Ghosts' bus broke down in Rawlins on their way to Ogden, delaying the start of the contest. Despite an abbreviated warm-up and the travel rust this may have caused, Chris Balcom-Miller pitched well over four innings, allowing just three runs and striking out six. I'm eager to see what he puts up in full season play in 2010.