One pitch can be all that it takes between winning and losing in the bigs, and Jorge De La Rosa was reminded of that harsh fact the hard way on Thursday.
It was only five days prior that the Colorado Rockies hurler last took the mound against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he earned a victory then by being near-perfect though six inning of work. In the rematch, De La Rosa wasn’t quite as flawless, and ended up leaving as the tough-luck loser of a 3-2 contest.
The main difference? This time, the Diamondbacks made his mistakes count.
Well, at least Paul Goldschmidt did, when he absolutely destroyed an ill-placed 1-2 fastball off the top of the foul pole for a two-run home run in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. It was a mistake that De La Rosa knew right away, and the lefty could only put his head down in exasperation as what wound up to be the winning run came around the plate.
That said, you couldn’t exactly call his start a disappointment, as he was actually quite effective through most of the game, scattering a total of seven hits and three walks while allowing two earned runs (three total).
The lone strikeout doesn’t look particularly impressive, but when you consider that he had his ground ball inducing skills working on this night (9-3 GO-AO) and that he was successful in escaping trouble by coaxing three double-plays when he needed, there are plenty of positives to take from this.
In fact, it might end up being the grounders that really end up determining how much success the 32-year old will have for the Rockies in 2013. Though it’s only a 28.1 IP sample right now, it’s fairly safe to say that his surprising 2.86/1.16 ERA/WHIP isn’t going to last, not while he’s pairing a 5.72 K/9 to a 3.49 BB/9 and giving up line drives at a 24.1 percent rate.
On the other hand, his 1.61 GB/FB ratio is something that the Rockies have been trying to get out of their pitchers (thanks, Coors Field) , and that definitely bodes well for De La Rosa’s effectiveness (and winning ways) going forward.
Well, you know, as long as his Colorado offense can provide him with more than a pair of runs in support, anyway.