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Rocks and Snakes Play Long Ball on Opening Day
Posted By Denni Secline On Apr 7 2009 @ 4:42 am In Colorado Rockies | 2 Comments
Colorado loses a tough one to Arizona 9-8 in a game that featured 8 home runs and a new Major League Baseball record.
All eyes were on Arizona's Chase Field this afternoon expecting a pitcher's duel – the result, however, was anything but “Pitching, Pitching, Pitching…” as Aaron Cook of the Colorado Rockies was shelled off the mound after an ignominious 2.1 innings and Brandon Webb soon followed after throwing just 4 innings.
By game's end a new Major League record was set when Felipe Lopez and Tony Clark each slammed 2 home runs – 1 from each side of the plate. A record so rare it may stick in the record books for fifty years.
Lead off batter, Felipe Lopez homered off Cook in the bottom of the first starting the rampage on Cook's ERA that soared to 23.14 after just 2.1 innings. Cook faced 15 batters on his way to surrendering 7 hits, 1 walk, 6 earned runs and 2 Home Runs. Webb didn't fare much better giving up 6 earned runs on 6 hits, 2 walks as well as 2 home runs. This afternoon, both Cook and Webb seemed to be plagued with the same sinker ball that just didn't wuite work.
Breaking down the Rockies' play however, does not spell doom and gloom – there were 3 bright spots that bear discussion. Colorado's lineup is one that most teams around the league can eye with fear and envy. Hurdle has, not only a power lineup 1 through 8 but also a roster matching the power in its depth. Back to back homers were registered by Tulowitski and Iannetta in the 4th; a 3 for 4 day with back to back doubles by Brad Hawpe, and a 7th inning jack by Seth Smith.
Second, Hurdle threw in 2 surprise starters in today's lineup that, not only didn't disappoint, but were bright spots on the day – Ian Stewart opened the season at 2nd base, a position he has only played for an amazing 15 games – those in spring training and Seth Smith in Left Field – a position recently anchored by the departed Matt Holliday.
Third, we witnessed solid play by Stewart at 2nd and incredible situational smarts by Smith. With 1 out in the 4th and a man on 3rd, Smith came through with a sacrifice grounder to the right side of the field scoring the Rockies' 1st run of the game – the return of Don Baylor and his work on the thought process of hitting rather than simply mechanics is already showing on the field.
Back to my rant – pitching, pitching pitching…It's unfortunate that Hurdle had to stress his bullpen so early in the game and the first game in the Arizona series – more pressure for the starters in games 2 & 3 in Arizona. Perhaps tomorrow we'll get the pitcher's duel we didn't get today when Ubaldo Jiminez (172 Ks and 12-12 in 2008) goes up against Dan Haren (196 Ks and 16-8 in 2008).
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