As Bryan Kilpatrick wrote in his Game Wrap from yesterday, the Rockies accomplished something for the first time since 1995 - winning their first two series of the season. Today they can, with a win, post their best April start ever (the 1995 club started 7-1 but their sixth game was on May 1st).
Their fourth win of the year also happened to be their fourth quality start from the rotation, this time from John Garland, and Michael Cuddyer ensured that it was their fifth straight game with a home run so most of the news this morning is centered on the two of them. Since Jordan Freemyer focused on Garland in the Saturday Rockpile, I am going to share my early season thoughts on Michael Cuddyer.
Michael Cuddyer has been on the verge of otherworldly to start the season. It is just five games into the season, and he will certainly regress towards his career averages, but in his 20 plate appearances this year, Cuddyer is hitting .450/.450/.850 with one triple, two home runs, and seven RBIs. He has been given the enviable position of hitting behind Cargo and Tulo, making nearly half his at bats with runners on the bases.
He has excelled in this opportunity, hitting .556 with a runner on base and .600 with someone in scoring position. Again, he will regress (he started out 2012 fast as well), but having his bat in the lineup has eased the early season struggles of Todd Helton. If they happen to alternate hot streaks, the team becomes very dangerous.
Until last night though, Cuddyer's defense had overshadowed his offense with his outstanding plays to start the season in Milwaukee. My euphoria over his play got to the point where I joked that he was our best off-season acquisition during the game thread because he doesn't even resemble the player I remember from last season. He may have even been feeling too excited for his own good, as his aggressive, maybe excessive, decision to dive at a late inning blooper made him roll over on his wrist. Hopefully, we will find out this afternoon that it feels better from a night's rest and he takes it a little easier in the field.
On the Game:
Cuddyer, Garland lead Rockies to series win - from MLB.com
Ross keeps Padres in a game that gets away - from Chris Jenkins at the San Diego Tribune
Jon Garland impressive in first start for Colorado Rockies - Patrick Saunders gives his take on Jon's impressive 6 inning, 75 pitch, 2 run performance.
On Aaron Harang-Ramon Hernandez Trade:
Dodgers trade Aaron Harang to Colorado for Ramon Hernandez - The Rockies were able to get something instead of nothing for Ramon Hernandez. With the Dodgers giving the Rockies $4.25M to help cover Harang's contract, they actually saved $500,000 (the price for John Garland) on this trade.
Rockies will look to move newly-acquired Harang - Thomas Harding at MLB.com reports that Harang should be looking to rent, not buy in Denver.
Ken Woolums of Beyond the Boxscore says that this is the perfect trade.
Rockies' later Sunday starts designed to have well-rested players - Patrick Saunders gives the method behind the madness of changing the start time for Sunday's game. To all who are going to the game, make sure you know the new start time. Could this be the change that brings wins on Sunday?