Chad Bettis gave the Rockies just what they needed on Sunday. In the first two games of the Rockies' first home stand of 2016—a "couple of ugly ones," according to Walt Weiss—the team allowed 29 runs and used seven relief pitchers. While the Rockies have an off day cushion on Monday, they still needed a solid starting performance to give the bullpen some rest, and the team something positive to look upon. Bettis provided seven innings of work, in which he allowed two runs on six hits. He didn't walk a batter and struck out six. Sixty-four of Bettis's 99 pitches went for strikes.
It's early in the season, but that doesn't mean the Rockies aren't investing significance into every game. In his postgame press conference, Weiss stated that it was "important to bounce back" and "turn the page" on the rough way the Rockies began their 2016 season at Coors Field.
Bettis echoed Weiss. He described the game as a "huge bounceback" and a "total team effort." His battery mate, Tony Wolters, who was making his first career start, had a lot to do with that effort. Bettis credited their pre-game preparation with the efficiency with which he worked. Wolters said that Bettis "made his job easy," but in reality, their combined effort made it all look easy. Wolters also added his first career hit, scored a run, and threw out a would-be base-stealer.
Bettis only struggled in one inning, the third. It was the only inning in which he exceeded 20 pitches, his second highest total was 16, and it was also the only one in which he threw under 60 percent of his pitches for strikes.
Aside from some scuffling from Boone Logan, the bullpen held did it's job to support Bettis. In particular, Miguel Castro protected a two run lead in the eighth inning. He entered with a runner on second and one out. Notably, Weiss said that Castro "was the guy he wanted to go to against their big right handed hitters," Matt Kemp and Wil Myers. In other words, Castro is already a go-to option, and the Rockies have to like what they've seen so far.
Five solo home runs and a fifth inning run scored on a fielder's choice gave Bettis and the Rockies all of the runs they needed for a victory. Carlos González hit two home runs, Ryan Raburn hit is second of the season, Nolan Arenado hit one 471 feet, and Trevor Story hit his seventh (!!) home run in his sixth game of the season and his career.
In all, this game checked about every box of what a Rockies fan wants from a game. If Dinger unintentionally fell over for all to see, it might have been the perfect game.