The Colorado Rockies faced the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second game of a four-game set on Friday night. If I told you prior to the game the Dodgers were throwing Clayton Kershaw and the Rockies countered with Juan Nicasio, recently brought back to the big club from Triple-A Colorado Springs, chances are your money would be on Kershaw.
Then let me take that one step further. What if I told you one of the two starters pitched seven scoreless innings surrendering a mere three hits? It had to be Kershaw, right? It seems logical. During his last stint with the Rockies, Nicasio made a habit of pitching well early, only to be shelled and subsequently given the hook before reaching the sixth inning.
Apparently a dip in the Triple-A waters of Colorado Springs was just what the doctor ordered for Nicasio and the Rockies.
Nicasio mowed down the Dodgers juggernaut with impressive control and dominance. His timing was impeccable and he made an early statement to reclaim the current open spot in the Rockies rotation. Maybe even more important than Nicasio’s dominance on the mound was the swagger that he built in the Rockies’ defense as he ate innings with fluidity. The Rocks had Nicasio’s back, and it was evident.
To say this club looked different tonight compared to their last couple of outings would be an understatement. The difference was remarkable – it was night and day.
The same uniforms worn Thursday showed up on Friday, only they were wore by different men. This was not the same team that blundered the game away the previous night; this as the scrappy group we grew accustomed to watching earlier in the season.
For nine innings, the Rockies were back.
The stage for game three of the four-game series Saturday is set with Tyler Chatwood facing Zack Grienke. The last time Chatwood faced Grienke, the anticipated pitcher’s duel was replaced with a slugfest as neither lasted past the fifth inning surrendering a combined 11 runs.
Something tells me that won’t happen again, and I fully expect the pitcher’s duel that was advertised the first time the two faced each other.
Friday was different. It may have been subtle, and sure it was just one game, but any difference that is positive is a good thing and at this point, the Rockies need all the positives they can get.