On a night when the Colorado Rockies‘ offense was finally throttled, pitcher Jhoulys Chacin came to the rescue.
Chacin flashed his brilliance from the mound, Friday night, holding the Arizona Diamondbacks to three hits in 6 1/3 innings and helping the Rockies to a 3-1 victory.
The win improved his team’s home record to 7-0 this season. The Rockies remain the only team in the majors with a perfect record at home.
As good as Chacin was with his right arm, the one thing that impressed me the most about him on Friday was his trip to the plate in the fifth inning.
The Rockies were already clinging to a 2-0 lead, courtesy of Troy Tulowitzki‘s fourth inning home run when Chris Nelson led off the fifth with a triple.
Now, pitchers aren’t expected to be good hitters. That’s why they seem to be so overmatched when they come up to the plate, carrying a bat that usually looks too heavy to carry.
The 23,445 fans that braved the balmy 52-degree weather at Coors Field would have excused Chacin if he had struck out in that situation, or hit a weak grounder back to the pitcher. After all, Dexter Fowler and Josh Rutledge were up next and could have probably brought Nelson home.
But Chacin wouldn’t have forgiven himself.
He went up to the plate determined to bring Nelson home. He swung at the first two pitches from Arizona pitcher Ian Kennedy, fouling them off. He took ball one before hitting another ball foul. Ball two. Foul ball. Ball three. He hit Kennedy’s full-count pitch into center field, where A.J. Pollock caught it. The ball was hit far enough to score Nelson from third, giving the Rockies a 3-0 lead.
Chacin’s night ended when he developed tightness in his left oblique in the seventh inning but he had already thrown 100 pitches anyway.
Chacin’s third victory of the season probably means a lot to the pitcher from Venezuela but his ninth career RBI was pretty special as well.