Jhoulys Chacin's start against the Dodgers was a mixed bag. He started out well. Over the first two innings, Chacin's fastball was sitting at about 88-89 miles per hour (according to PITCHf/x), which is roughly where it was during his excellent 2013 season. With Howie Kendrick, who had singled, on first base in the first inning, Chacin elevated a fastball to Andre Ethier. Ethier proceeded to elevate that pitch up and over the right field fence. Still, things were going relatively well. Chacin was locating his fastball and slider. He struck out Jimmy Rollins twice with the latter pitch. Through two innings, 25 of Chacin's 32 pitches were strikes.
Chacin lost sight of the strike zone in the third inning though. He gave up two runs in the third; he began the fourth inning by giving up a single, throwing a wild pitch, and allowing a walk. Though Chacin was scheduled to pitch four innings, Walt Weiss removed him after he passed 60 pitches with two on and nobody out in the fourth. While Chacin doesn't appear to be injured, he also doesn't appear to be totally right. Still, there's no indication right now that he won't begin the season in the starting rotation.
Chad Bettis relieved Chacin and promptly induced a double play. Bettis, whose velocity was sitting around 94, pitched an excellent three innings. He gave up just one hit and a walk, and he struck out one. It would be quite a boon for the Rockies if Bettis can become quality major league depth. They will need it. Everyone needs it.
On the offensive side, Nick Hundley had a good day at the plate. He had a double and a single, scored a run, and hit two runners in. Hundley scored on a line drive triple to center field by Trevor Story, who is still swinging the bat really well this spring. In the bottom of the seventh, ultra-exciting prospect Raimel Tapia broke a 4-4 tie with a single to center field to score Story. Tapia eventually scored on a Jason Langfels fly sacrifice fly to cap off the 6-4 victory.
The starting pitching didn't fare any better in the game against Cleveland. David Hale, a possible candidate to be the first in line if a rotation spot needs to be filled, gave up five hits and four runs (one earned) in two and one third innings. He struck out two batters. Long shot depth candidate Brett Marshall gave up six hits, two of which were home runs, and five runs in two and one third innings. Both pitching lines will make you place more hope in Chad Bettis.
The highlight from the game against Cleveland: Charlie Blackmon hit his first home run of the spring. That's about it.
Tomorrow, the Rockies take on the Diamondbacks at 2:10 MT.