More photos » Jack Dempsey - AP
Ubaldo is good at pitching.
Well, Ubaldo Jimenez didn't get win number nineteen and Carlos Gonzalez didn't make up any ground in the Triple Crown race from the bench, but otherwise it was a pretty successful day for the white-hot Rockies, who won their ninth straight game before a sell-out crowd and improved to fourteen games over .500. With the win Colorado stayed 2.5 games back in the West (1.5 behind San Francisco) and 3.5 back in the Wild Card.
My math has said that the Rockies will need to get to 92 wins to win the West, and with a 14-6 finishing kick they will get there. That's a whole lot more possible than the 30-10 finish they were faced with to reach that goal just a few weeks ago.
For a while it looked like Jimenez was going to get saddled with the loss despite only allowing a run on six hits over six innings while striking out eight. However, Colorado's offense finally came to life against Rodrigo Lopez (who pitched like the 2007 version this night) in the seventh. Three consecutive one-out hits by Messrs Mora, Spilborghs, and Olivo (the last of which was a RBI single), were enough to tie the game.
That was it for Lopez (5-14), and another former Rockie, the 121 million dollar man himself Mike Hampton, gave up Jonathan Herrera (excuse me, The Answer)'s sacrifice fly to score the go-ahead run. From there, Rafael Betancourt and Huston Street took care of matters (a little too dramatically for my taste, Huston, but you got the job done). Matt Reynolds, who had pitched a scoreless seventh, received his first major league victory (1-0), while Street recorded his 18th save.
78 - 64
We Salute: Jimenez (.226 WPA), Street (.182), Betancourt (.131)
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WP: Matt Guerrier LP: Justin Germano Save: Matt Capps Magic No.: 15!
Matt Capps walked into the visiting clubhouse Saturday afternoon with a smile on his face and a little bit more of a bounce in his step, which wasn't a minor deal for the portly reliever.
Matt Tolbert, sitting in front of a [...]
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Jim Thome hit his 587th homer, passing Hall of Famer Frank Robinson for eighth place on the career list, and lifting the Minnesota Twins to a 1-0 win over the Cleveland Indians in 12 innings Saturday night. Thome hit a 2-0 pitch from Justin Germano (0-2) into the Cleveland bullpen in center field, snapping the [...]
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More photos » Pat Sullivan - AP
about 4 hours ago: Houston Astros' Michael Bourn, right, is tagged out at third by Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake (23) in the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, in Houston. Bourn was trying to make it to third from first base on a Jeff Keppinger single. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Losses hurt. Most of them are understandable, though. Sometimes, a pitcher will just shut the Astros down. Other times, a guy will hit a good pitch for a home run.
Games like tonight, though? Those are the worst. It's almost as bad as losing to the Cardinals or the Cubs. Brandon Lyon committed his own error, which let two runs score. That was the difference, one bad play. This wasn't the Dodgers beating the Astros. This was the Astros beating themselves.
Sure, the offense could have been better. Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee both went 0-fer. Chris Johnson didn't even play in the game. MIchael Bourn at least picked up a triple and a walk while Angel Sanchez was 2 for 4 with a double.
The other galling thing is the Astros wasted a Brett Wallace home run. Sure, it was a solo shot and sure, it was only his second of the season. But, it shouldn't have been wasted.
That's the problem with errors late in the game. They make you think everything leading up to that point was a waste. I'm not convinced that the Dodgers wouldn't have scored in that inning if Lyon hadn't committed his error, but it certainly didn't help. The Astros still struggled to score runs, but teams just can't give runs away.
So, the Astros now have to win Sunday to split the series.
Maybe Jose Perdomo can parlay his GCL performance into a season like last year?s leader Adrian Salcedo put together in 2010We finish up the Gulf Coast League today with a look at the pitchers in our annual examination of Performance for each of eighteen[...]
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