Tyler Chatwood brought an MLB-leading 0.46 road-ERA into Wednesday afternoon’s game against the San Diego Padres – and then he threw eighth shutout innings, dropping that mark to 0.33 and leading the Colorado Rockies to a 2-0 win.
Chatwood’s final line was the most impressive from a Rockie all season: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 7 K. He threw 99 pitches, 61 for strikes and lowered his ERA on the season to 2.15.
The only danger he experienced Wednesday was a jam in the seventh with a two-out double from Brett Wallace and an ensuing walk. Be he worked out of it and had this been a game in a different era, he might have been given the shot at a commplete game shutout.
But you don’t trade Corey Dickerson for Jake McGee to watch him sit on the bench, and the Rockies new closer secured his seventh Save (only one blown) of the season.
Cristhian Adames put the Rockies ahead 1-0 with a fielders choice in the top of the fifth, scoring Tony Wolters who had walked and moved to third on a successful slug-bunt from Chatwood. As it turned out that was all the Rockies really needed, which is an unusual thing to say of a road game against a divisional opponent.
The Rockies did get an insurance run on a sac bunt from DJ LeMahieu in the top of the ninth, scoring Mark Reynolds. It was only the ninth run the Padres bullpen has allowed.
With two outs in the seventh inning, Chatwood allowed two baserunners for the only time all day but induced a ground-ball out from Alexi Ramerez. This has been the spot where Rockies pitchers have faltered despite mostly looking good lately. Chatwood came through in the high-leverage situation. The more Rockies pitchers win those types of situations — starters or relievers — the more they will start to turn the corner from afterthought to contender.
The Rockies won a road game without offensive contributions from Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez. (Though to be fair to Arenado, he was robbed of a three-run home run by Jon Jay over the center-field wall.)
In fact, they only got one extra-base hit off the bat of Charlie Blackmon and it did not factor into the scoring. Obiously, when there is a big goose-egg on the run coluumn for the opposition, the majority of the credit goes to the two pitchers responsible. But props to the role-players — Wolters, Reynolds, and LeMahieu — for getting the job done even if it needed to be ugly.
Off to San Fransisco to face the Giants for a four game set beginning with Chris Rusin against Matt Cain. More West coast baseball means more late start-times: 8:10 MST.