April 20, 2011
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Jorge De La Rosa picked up right where Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez left off.
With the Rockies desperate to avoid a sweep in a three-game series that is as important as one gets in April, De La Rosa delivered an absolute gem for the home team.
After allowing a first-pitch double to Aaron Rowand, it looked like it was happening all over again to the Rockies. On Monday, Esmil Rogers gave up five runs in the first inning. On Tuesday, Ubaldo Jimenez allowed four runs before the Rockies had a chance to swing the bats.
Instead, De La Rosa fought back allowing just one run in the first inning, getting help from Carlos Gonzalez, who threw out Aubrey Huff trying to go first-to-third on a base hit to left.
In all, De La Rosa went seven strong innings, giving up a total of two runs on four hits. He struck out six and walked just two.
On top of De La Rosa's strong performance, the Rockies offense showed up again. Matt Cain had to pay the price after two Giants pitchers dominated Colorado in back-to-back nights.
Ty Wigginton delivered the big blow, knocking a three-run homer to left field in the second inning, giving the Rockies a 4-0 lead. Ryan Spilborghs, a night after looking as bad as he ever has at the plate, deposited a three-run pinch-hit shot of his own, deep into the Rockies bullpen.
There is no such thing as a must-win game in April. There is too much baseball to be played to be too concerned over a small losing streak, especially with the way the Rockies have come out of the gates.
However, with the Rockies playing just three out of their next 15 games at Coors Field, it was a good way to leave home.
A sweep at the hands of the Giants, a team that the Rockies have made no bones about gunning for, had the potential of becoming a mental hurdle. No matter how well the team continues to perform, the thought in the back of their heads may have become one of wondering if they were good enough to get past the Giants.
Now, the Rockies can head out onto the road knowing that they are able to beat the Giants, even defeating a pitcher like Matt Cain.
The Rockies can continue to prove that they are a better team on the road, starting on Friday evening in Florida. A year ago, they were only able to win 31 games on the road.
So far in 2011, they already have eight wins. If the Rockies can continue to play confident baseball on the road, they should be able to continue notching wins, regardless of the opponent.
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