Denver - The hot-as-the-sun San Fransisco Giants faced the-hot-as-the-Earth Colorado Rockies on Friday night. The Rockies eclipsed the Giants 5-2. San Fransisco came into the night leading the Rockies by six-and-a-half games in the NL West but for tonight, Colorado shrank the Giants down to size and kept within their orbit.
The Rockies were able to stabilize their eccentric trajectory as they hope to use this home-stand to get towards the perihelion in the NL West. For Colorado it's simple, start winning at home, tonight was a huge step towards consistency in that against a very solid club in the Giants.
Tyler Chatwood started for the home nine and really shut the Giants down, allowing only one earned run which occurred in the third inning after DJ LeMahieu's first error of the year. The Rockies answered quickly as they got two back in the third after Matt Cain left the hill with an injury. Colorado came right back at it in the fourth recording another run, holding a three to one lead that would last until the eighth when the Rockies tacked on two runs on singles from Carlos Gonzalez , Mark Reynolds, Trevor Story, and Tony Wolters, giving themselves a late cushion and extending the game beyond the point at which it would need to be "saved."
But another error in the ninth, this time on Miguel Castro, combined with a misplayed triple by Charlie Blackmon gave the Giants one in the ninth. So closer Jake McGee came into the game with two outs in the ninth and a three-run lead to notch perhaps the easiest save of his career.
"We're in a tough stretch of our schedule," Walt Weiss said. "I'm really proud of the way we showed up tonight, it all starts on the mound at Chatty (Chatwood) did a great job it all starts on the mound.... This part of the schedule has teeth on it, we're handling it well, very difficult road trip going back east for ten days but we are rising to the occasion."
Chatwood, who had command of his cutter and avoided barrels nicely with it didn't punch many out. For a guy that is in his second month of pitching after two years off, the gems he has pitched are even more outstanding when considering the circumstances.
"We talked to Chatty about keeping his expectations realistic in spring training," Weiss told. "He's such a competitor and perfectionist... he hadn't pitched in two years and he's gone above and beyond, so far. You can't realistically expect him to do what he's doing after missing two years, but he's a pretty special kid."
"I felt like when I got hurt, I was the best I had been in my career," Chatwood told. "So I was able to reflect on that for a while and watch a lot of video... Right now I'm just trying to go as deep into games as I can."
Mostly do to an injury to Cain but the Giants were forced to use five pitchers, not an ideal situation to start a series. Weiss said of the Giants strained 'pen, "we like to get into the opposing team's bullpen, especially first game of a series here."
After Cain exited, right-hander Albert Suarez entered the game, the Rockies proceed to get five doubles in the next 10 plate appearances, scoring thrice. Suarez eventually settled setting the next ten down in order but the damage was done and all the Rockies needed was the three.
PLAYER OF THE GAME:
He joined rare company tonight while dropping his ERA to a slick 2.69
He only struck out three but he didn't walk anybody. The righty allowed only four hits in his seven innings pitched and continues to be a huge bright spot for the Rockies.
BY THE NUMBERS:
0 - The Rockies walked zero tonight
5 - Five doubles did all the damage that was needed tonight.
15 - Nolan Arenado has 15 RBI in his eight games against the Giants this year.
63.2 - In ten starts (63.2 innings) Chatwood has allowed only 19 earned runs.
The Rockies continue their home stretch with three straight day games for Memorial Day Weekend, two of which are against the Giants. Eddie Butler gets the ball tomorrow and will face Madison Bumgarner, first pitch is at 2:10 MDT.