Is there a direct correlation between Rockies hitting and the erratic spring weather in Colorado? Or is the correlary between the Rockies' bullpen and home field attendance? Either way, we're starting to see the annual home fans’ enthusiasm wilt – 51,000 to 35,000 to 21,000 as the Rocks drop another one to Philadelphia Easter Sunday, 7-5.
Easter Sunday – Game Time - 42 degrees and threatening snow – 21,000 freezing fans on hand as Chan Ho Park throws 48 pitches in the top of the first inning giving Rockies batters a chance to get out in front of the Phils 5-0 by the end of the 2nd inning.
Fowler smacked his 2nd home run of the season while, once again, Hawpe, Barmes, and Atklins spread the ball around.
Once in command with a comfortable 5-0 lead, Rockies’ batters listlessly thought of Easter eggs and candy for the next 5-2/3 innings as the Phils served up a total of 5 pitchers – this after a wounded Park was aksed to give up the game ball after just 3.1 innings and 96 pitches. Durbin, Eyre, Condrey, Madson, and Lidge collectively gave up just 2 hits and a walk through the end of the 9th.
After an abysmal start on opening day in Arizona, Colorado starter Aaron Cook pitched 6 complete innings this afternoon giving up just 3 runs, 7 hits, 1 walk, and 2 strike outs. A marked improvement over his last start.
Skip to the top of the 7th and enter the Rockies relievers – Grilli and the 39 year old Embree combined to take down the Phils leaving the score 5-3 going into the top of the 8th.
Just 2 innings to go and it shouldn’t be a problem since this year the Rocks have 2 closers – set up man Manny Corpas (last year’s closer) and newly acquired Houston Street this year’s spring training winner of the closer’s job).
Remember, Rocks bats have been silent since the 3rd – no need to worry, though, they’re still up 5-3.
Enter Manny Corpas – set up man. Three hits later, one of which is a 2 run home run and we have a tie game going into the bottom of the 8th.
Bottom of the 8th – still nothing from Colorado's bats.
Top of the 9th – tie game 5-5. Out walks Houston Street and slowing swinging a bat in the on deck circle – Matt Stairs – Stairs' lifetime against Street, 7 career at bats, 3 home runs.
First batter up – single. Man on first – Street retires the 2nd batter – game tied 5-5, No problem the Easter ham is on the table – 1 out – 2 to go.
Apadaca, the Rocks' pitching coach calls time out and walks to the mound with catcher, Torrealba. I guess they needed to remind Street that Stairs has 3 dingers off him in just 7 career at bats. I can’t think of anything else they may have been talking about. I doubt they were asking what Street was going to have with his ham.
First pitch low and away, ball 1. Second pitch – fat and lazy – right down the middle. Stairs didn’t even have to grunt as he he put the ball out of the park. Score – Philadelphia 7, Rockies 5.
I thought I was in a time warp for a minute and was watching the 2008 Rockies let their early inning lead get chipped away by opposing batters. And then I woke up and realized I was watching the all new 2009 Rockies’ bullpen.
Throw him the heat Ricky!
What's wrong with this picture? RHP Ubaldo Jimenez and LHP Franklin Morales, the starting and winning pitchers in the final two games at Arizona, combined to allow one run and eight hits in 13 innings with four walks and 14 strikeouts. Morales was immediately optioned to Colorado Springs to make room for newly acquired Jason Hammels. Ubaldo set to pitch in Cubs' Home Opener tomorrow.
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Written by Denni Secline