It may have been an inauspicious debut. It may not be noticed by many in the national media, and maybe it shouldn't. But for a ballclub that had historically terrible pitching last season, Jon Garland's first 6 innings as a Colorado Rockie are an encouraging sign and are well worthy of a little springtime overreaction. A spirited conversation broke out during the Game Thread and was perhaps preordained by RhosdIslandRoxfan in the Monday Rockpile, where he noted that Garland could be anything from last year's version of Jeremy Guthrie, to a 2009 version of Jason Marguis. In other words (ST overreaction #658) the Rockies may have found a rock for their rotation. Garland needed only 72 pitches, 48 of which were strikes, to get through his 6 innings, but even more promising is the fact that he induced 13 ground ball out to only 4 in the air.
It's just one outing, but the Rockies need pitchers who can throw the Jon Garland did tonight.
In other news, the Rockies won a fake baseball game today.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Aaron Harang walked the first three batters of the game then promptly gave up a grand slam home run to Michael Cuddyer. Things settled down dramatically after that. Garland's one run came amidst some shaky defense from Eric Young Jr. who continues to get on base and produce offense going 1-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and two runs scored. His defense continues to be an adventure. Tyler Colvin's rough spring continues with an 0-4 outing and strike outs in his first two at-bats.
Manny Corpas, hoping to lockup a bullpen spot, gave up a three-run home run to Tim Federowicz (easy for you to say) but the story of the game was the poise of Jon Garland. Go here for a full box score.
Garland is 33, pitched in over 190 innings from 2002-2010 and in 2010 put together a season that would have been arguably the 2nd best pitched season in Rockies franchise history. He didn't put those numbers up at Coors Field. He didn't put those numbers up after missing the better part of two seasons. But if Jon Garland can reclaim most of his old self, at $500K base salary, the Rockies may have found their diamond in the rough.