DENVER -- Nolan Arenado's RBI single (his first hit in 18 ABs), combined with a throwing error by CF Junior Lake, brought in two runs to break a 2-2 tie in the 6th inning - giving the Rockies a lead they would not relinquish to win a home series from the Cubs in front of 43,108 sun-drenched fans at Coors Field this afternoon. Colorado was efficient in the game offensively, scoring their four runs on only five hits and leaving only three men on base.
"Huge hit by Nolan", Manager Walt Weiss said after the game. "Nolan doesn't shy away from those high pressure at-bats". He later added that "We had some timely hits...you pitch well and get a timely hit or two and win the game".
Said Arenado: "I've been struggling a little bit, hitting the ball hard but lining out, so it was nice for the ball to drop. I was able to hit the ball hard and luckily I got one up the middle".
With runners on first and second and two outs in the sixth, Arenado lined a single up the middle. Carlos Gonzalezhustled home as Lake's throw was too tall for catcher Wellington Castillo, then the ball caromed out of the field of play, allowing Michael Cuddyer to score as well. Strangely, the umpires ruled that Arenado had to remain at second even though MLB rules state that a two base error is awarded when a ball goes out of play - which might have meant that Arenado should have scored on the play. Fortunately it didn't affect the game's outcome.
According to Weiss, the umpires thought that Arenado hadn't quite reached first base when the ball left Lake's hand - I'd have to go back to the tape to review that. Said Arenado about the explanation he was given: "I really have no idea what the rule is - I just ran...they told me to go back and I just went back
Gonzalez started off the scoring for Colorado with a RBI single in the 1st, followed by a RBI double by Cuddyer to give the Rockies the early 2-0 lead. Both hits came with two outs, a welcome change from recent history. In the game, Gonzalez was 2-3 with two steals. His second steal was his 100th in a Rockies uniform, tying Juan Pierre for 5th in franchise history.
When asked about his steals, CarGo said that "When your legs feel good, you try to do anything just to get to 2nd".
Making his first career start against the Cubs, Tyler Chatwood fed Chicago a steady diet of fastballs that lead to groundballs in the first five innings, all scoreless frames. Unfortunately, the first flyball he allowed was an Anthony Rizzosolo HR in the 6th. Chatwood also added a throwing error on a pickoff attempt at 2nd later in the inning, which ultimately led to an unearned run on a sac fly that tied the contest at 2-2.
"He's battled through some tough spots...whenever he gets some traffic, he seems to get a ground ball to get out of it or find a way to minimize damage", said Weiss about his starting pitcher.
In the game, Chatwood lasted six innings, allowing seven hits and two runs (one earned, but the unearned run came on his own error) while walking four and striking out two with a 12:1 GB/FB combination to get the win (6-3).
"That was big", said Chatwood, "One of the biggest things I try to work on is getting groundballs...if you keep the ball on the ground you're going to have more success than if you let the ball fly".
After Josh Outman ran into trouble in the top of the 7th with a first and second, one out situation, Edgmer Escalona was able to induce a pop-up and fly-out in relief. Matt Belisle got out of a two-runner jam in the 8th, while Rex Brothersallowed a run in the 9th on a double and two groundouts (and a scary near-fair homer by PH Cody Ransom), but was able to record his 5th save of the year.
The win brings the Rockies to 48-51 on the year (3.5 games back in the NL West). and moves them to 2-1 on this crucial 10 game homestand against some of the bottom teams in the NL.
Said Weiss: "The goal of the second half is to put away series...and we found a way to win the next two".
We Salute: Arenado (.182 WPA), Chatwood (.162), Escalona (.146), Gonzalez (.145), Brothers (.103)
We Are Disappointed In: Nobody really
|Roll Call Info|
|Commenter list||BigSkyBirdDog, BrandonHawpe, CentralCaliRox, ES46NE10, Jeff Aberle, Junction Rox, MissR, Nephelimdream, Northsider1964, Paleface Destro, PurpleToPurple, Rox the Casbah, Roxman4ever, SDcat09, Shoemaker, WanderingRoxFan, Yokel, chickenfoof, holly96, papality, rockiesfan4ever|
Panda Rating: Happy Panda
More from Purple Row:
- MLB Scores: Helton, offense comes to life in 9-3 win over Cubs
- Tyler Chatwood's growth creates potent top 3 for Rockies
- Cubs visit Coors Field to begin critical homestand for Rockies
- Rafael Betancourt injury: Rockies place closer on DL, promote Mitchell Boggs from Double-A
- Sunday Pebble Report: Sam Moll throws a combined no-hitter for Tri-City