Maybe it was only a four game losing streak, but tally up the misery of Friday night’s blown lead, the agony of the weekend games, and the frustration of Monday night and, well, let’s just say it felt much longer. And when Franklin Morales walked off the mound before his third inning of work with an arm injury, and Glendon Rusch promptly gave back a 3-2 lead in a three-batter span, you could just feel that fifth straight loss coming. By the time it had gotten to 6-3… um, I had watched last night’s episode of 24 and was looking for something else on my DVR.
I wish I could say I went back to the game out of a strong faith in the Rox, but really I went back because I just happened to see Omar Quintanilla’s double in the sixth that set the Rockies up for what would eventually be the four-run inning that put them ahead for good. Yes, 12 games in and I’m already in ‘gotta see it to believe it’ territory with this team.
Well, I saw enough tonight to believe in. I saw Todd Helton get three hits, including a two-run BOMB off Jon Rauch that provided much-welcomed insurance in the 8th.
(When my dad and I discuss the Rockies, invariably we talk about Helton – long story short, I think he’s all set to hook up to the Juvenation Machine (TM Bill Simmons), and my dad thinks he’s toast. ‘His bat is sooo slowwww,” my dad will say. I plan on asking him how quick Todd’s stick looked on that homer – looked pretty damn quick to me. Anyway, in his last six games he’s 9-for-24 with two doubles and that homer. Spring training wasn’t a fluke. No way he doesn’t hit .300 this year.)
I saw Huston Street and Manny Corpas look like they haven’t collectively looked since the second game of this season. All Street did was move to the opposite side of the rubber, and it made him look unhittable. Corpas worked a fairly smooth ninth, with a two-out single by Mark Reynolds the lone blemish, and picked up his first save of the season.
Again – we Rockies fans KNOW this team’s talent level, or at least we like to think we do. But after stumbling out of the gates so bad, I’m back to the point where I need some proof. I did, after all, curl up into a ball when Alan Embree’s first pitch to Tony Clark went to the back stop and moved two runners into scoring position with one out in the 8th. Literally. I’m not kidding.
But Embree struck out Clark, got out of the jam without ceding any of the three-run lead. He did his job – the same job he’s done hundreds of times in his big league career, the same kind of steady work Corpas can do, that Street can do, that even Matt Belisle can do with his D-III caliber stuff.
And as soon as they re-prove to us those capabilities, we as fans will go back to wondering why they can’t do that every time out.
My Colorado Rockies Franken-pitcher (one attribute per pitcher):
1. Aaron Cook’s fastball
2. Jason Grilli’s slider
3. Ubaldo Jimenez’s changeup
4. Franklin Morales’s curve
5. Jason Marquis’ bat
6. Glendon Rusch’s disturbing lack of facial hair (some people NEED goatees. Rusch is one of them)
No TV tomorrow. This will drive me nuts.