Jhoulys Chacin was the Colorado Rockies‘ best pitcher during the first month of the season. He was dominant with a 3-0 record and an ERA under two.
The righty then suffered a back injury on April 19 against the Arizona Diamondbacks which sent him to the disabled list. Chacin made his return to the mound on Sunday, May 5 against the Tampa Bay Rays and did not quite look like the ace he was before.
Chacin pitched seven innings and only threw 86 pitches in the 8-3 loss at Coors Field. He struggled with command at times by walking three and was really hit hard for the first time this season as the Rays scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back.
The Rockies don’t need to panic as it was just his first game back, but Chacin returning to his form from April is key if Colorado wants to stay on top in the National League West.
The Rockies, who suffered their first series loss at Coors Field on Sunday, will be patient with the righty. He is by far their best pitcher and will only get better with each start.
The real concern for the Rockies is their lack of hitting with runners in scoring position where they went 0-for-9. Chacin’s fate may have been better if Colorado would have come up with some clutch hits or if second baseman Josh Rutledge comes up with a routine line drive that costs the Rockies three runs in the sixth inning.
Sunday’s start was just a blip on the radar for Chacin. He will be back dominating hitters sooner than later.