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News » Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-05-12


Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-05-12


Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-05-12
The Rockies' rotation appears to be finally coming together.

Right-hander Greg Reynolds made the quickest rise through the minor leagues in franchise history by starting what became a 6-1 loss to the Padres at Petco Park on Sunday afternoon, showing plenty of promise with his poise and ability to pound the strike zone in a game that got out of hand late.

That came on the heels of en encouraging effort from Ubaldo Jimenez in a 3-2 loss on Saturday when he struck out 11, the most by a Rockies pitcher in a game since John Thomson back on Oct. 7, 2001. Then there was Jorge De La Rosa's strong-arming of St. Louis on Thursday, his second start since joining the team. Jeff Francis, a 17-game winner last year, is winless he goes into Tuesday's series opener at Arizona with five consecutive efforts that have ranged from excellent to solid, even if he only has an 0-1 record to show for them. And of course there is Aaron Cook, who has won his last six starts, compiling a 1.90 ERA in the process.

"We are not out of the woods yet, but I think I do feel good about the direction we are headed," said manager Clint Hurdle. "I feel a lot better than where we were."

That doesn't obscure the fact the Rockies are 15-23, eight games back of NL West-leading Arizona, and just a game-better than San Diego (14-24). The only other big-league team with a worse record is Seattle (15-24).

There is, however, reason to feel that the rotation that sidetracked the Rockies early is being repaired. Both Franklin Morales and Redman have been dispatched to Colorado Springs in the last two weeks, replaced by De La Rosa and Reynolds.

Reynolds, less than two months shy of his 22nd birthday, moved into the rotation in place of veteran lefty Redman, and for five innings he was in command. He threw only 60 pitches, 41 for strikes, walking one batter and giving up a pair of two-out singles in addition to a Jerry Hairston home run to lead off the fifth. In the sixth, however, Tadahito Iguchi led off with a bunt single, and by the time Reynolds walked Hairston and gave way to reliever Ryan Speier, he also had given up an RBI-double to Adrian Gonzalez and two-run home run to Khalil Greene.

"The first few innings I felt I stayed on top of my pitches real well and kept them down," said Reynolds. "The last couple innings I got lackadaisical mentally, left the ball up and got hit."

Reynolds' next test comes on Saturday night, against Minnesota, at Coors Field.

In the meantime, the Rockies will be watching for continued progress from Francis, who after giving up 12 runs in 11 1/3 innings his first two starts of the season, has allowed 13 in his last 31 1/3, and De La Rosa, who rebounded from giving up nine runs in four innings in his Rockies debut to allow two runs in 5 2/3 innings Thursday.

"We'll know more after we watch each of them a few more times," said Hurdle, "but we feel good about what is happening."

PADRES 6, ROCKIES 1: RHP Greg Reynolds, the Rockies first-round pick in 2006 and second player taken overall that year, made his big-league debut with five strong innings. He limited the Padres to a leadoff home run by Jerry Hairston in the fifth. He, however, gave up three more runs in the sixth. Reynolds pitched only two innings in each of his two previous starts -- a rain-shortened effort for Class AAA Colorado Springs at Memphis on May 1, and then a start cut short on Wednesday so he would be rested for the debut in San Diego. "I have been preparing for this my whole life," he said. "I had enough adrenaline (that) I could have thrown all night if I had to. To have this realization come about is a great moment."


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 12, 2008

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