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MLB Colorado RockiesSan Diego Padres

Colorado Rockies Sweep San Diego Padres Behind Jhoulys Chacin

Chris Humphreys USA Today Sports

Jhoulys Chacin turned in his second solid outing in as many starts this season and got plenty of support from his Colorado Rockies teammates, as they crushed the San Diego Padres Sunday 9-1.

For the second time this year Chacin pitched 6 2/3 innings, using his heavy sinker Sunday to induce Padre hitters into ground ball outs. 13 of the 20 outs Chacin recorded Sunday were via the ground ball. He only struck out two but scattered six hits allowed, in his 99 pitch outing versus San Diego.

This was the second solid outing for the right-hander in as many starts this season. On opening day, Chacin also pitched 6 2/3 innings of one run ball in a no decision against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Rockies are pleased with Chacin’s progress since his 2011. Chacin had a good year by all accounts in his third season but walked too many batters. He led the National League in walks that year with 87. Even with all the free passes allowed in 2011, Chacin still finished with an 11-14 record and a solid ERA of 3.62 in 31 starts.

In 2012, Chacin spent almost four months on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation in his pitching arm and did not return to the mound until late August. In the abbreviated season, Chacin started only 14 games going 3-5 with a 4.43 ERA.

Despite his limited innings and starts in 2012, Chacin got the nod as the opening day starter this year and has rewarded Rockies manager Walt Weiss with two solid outings to begin 2013.

The Rockies are off to a solid 5-1 record so far this season. It is only the second time in franchise history that the Rockies have started a season with as good a record to begin the year. The team and their lineup looks much better than analysts had predicted them to be in 2013. Although, early expectations may have to be tempered due to the fact they have won five of six games against the Brewers and Padres, two teams not expected to be in contention this year.

If the Rockies are to finish in the top half of the National League West this season, they will need Chacin to be healthy and continue to be the ace that Colorado feels he can be for many years to come.