Chacin, Rockies shut down Dodgers

April 5, 2011 | 10:02 pm | 11  

Jhoulys Chacin pitched seven scoreless innings, retiring 13 of the final 15 batters he faced, and allowed three runners to reach second base. And after his performance Tuesday helped the Rockies beat the Dodgers 3-0, manager Jim Tracy understandably had praise for the 23-year-old right-hander as well as a glimpse of sharper outings.

“Jhoulys Chacin was good tonight, but I think you’ll see him better as we go on through the course of the season,” Tracy said.

Chacin threw 97 pitches but just 59 strikes. He gave up five hits and only walked two, one intentionally, and struck out four. And he made pitches when he had to. For instance, in the third, he gave up a two-out double to Tony Gwynn Jr., got to 3-1 on Andre Ethier and put him on and got Matt Kemp to fly to center.

With one out and a runner on second in the fifth, Chacin got Rafael Furcal and Gwynn to ground out, the latter retired on a nice play by third baseman Ty Wigginton. And after walking Ethier to open the sixth, Chacin got James Loney to tap back to him, moving Ethier to second. Juan Uribe did the same thing, grounding to Chacin to end the inning.

“I know you’ll see games where he’ll be better because his fastball command will be better,” Tracy said. “It was good tonight, but it will be better.”

The Rockies scored all their runs with two out. Troy Tulowitzki, who started the season 0-for-9, homered to center in the fourth. Chris Iannetta homered in the fifth, driving Clayton Kershaw’s 3-1 pitch into the left-field stands.

“He took advantage of a hitter’s count,” Tracy said, “and he didn’t foul it back or pop it up.”

After Tulowitzki was intentionally walked in the sixth, Jose Lopez singled home Dexter Fowler, who opened the inning with his third double of the season.

Rafael Betancourt needed nine pitches, eight strikes, to retire the side in order in the eighth. Huston Street did the same thing in the ninth, throwing eight of his 10 pitches for strikes, a sharp contrast to his 32-pitch save Saturday against the Diamondbacks.

The Dodgers went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, leaving Rockies opponents 4-for-30 (.133) in those situations this season.

The Rockies have allowed one run in the past 18 innings while winning two straight games. Starters Jorge De La Rosa and Chacin have combined to pitched 12 1/3 scoreless innings in those victories.

11 Comments »

  • Brett | April 5, 2011 | 10:13 pm

    GREAT win in a game that looked real tough on paper beforehand. Terrific defense and once Chacin got going, he was obviously outstanding. Betancourt, Street were perfect. 1-of-5 with RISP could be better, but against a guy like Kershaw not too disappointing. Still nervous to see how they play on the road but definitely playing good ball to start the year.

  • Swede | April 5, 2011 | 10:28 pm

    Wow. That was fun! Really enjoyed being at the park tonight.

    Great baseball all around. Fast pace. Great plays. Good timely hitting. A couple of homers. End result a Rockies win!

    I thought Helton trying to stretch a single to a double was the only ‘error’ in the game but when I got home and saw the replay it was the right move. You could tell Gwynn was not going to get to the ball so you go for second. The ball bounced perfectly back to Gwynn off the wall; he bare handed it and made a great throw. All in one motion! You have to tip your hat to Gwynn for making the play. That simple. 99 timed out if 100 the ball is not going to bounce off the wall at the angle it did. The risk / reward ratio says go for second!

    It was a great night. Chacin pitched well. The defense behind him was even better. Seven innings. Then the Big B and the Little S took care of the 8th and 9th. Gotta love it!

    One happy Rockies fan here!

  • Al | April 5, 2011 | 10:33 pm

    Awesome win, and great work from lots of contributors. First, Chacin who took a few hits but settled in nicely and made pitches when he needed to, with Betancourt and Street doing what they do best. (Especially glad to see Street bounce back from his shaky outing Saturday.) Tulo finally connecting, and Iannetta continuing to show that he is ready to step up like we all knew he could. Finally, great defense behind Chacin. With Kershaw pitching like he did in the first two innings, I thought this wouldn’t be a good night for the Rockies, but they did what they needed to against a division opponent. Hope they keep this up!

  • Bill | April 5, 2011 | 10:41 pm

    A great well played game. Quickly played. Through 3 games, 2 starters have pitched shutout ball. The one who hasn’t is their best. As long as he stays healthy, we will be ok.

    Dodgers must have been shocked. When they played the Giants, SF kicked the ball around like they were playing soccer. Tonight, lots of great plays. Great pitching, great defense and timely hitting. I’ll take that every night.

    I was one who was skeptical about Jose Lopez. So far he’s been much better than I expected.

    Helton did not make a bad play. The ball he hit was a double if Todd runs out of the box and doesn’t hesitate at first because he’s slower than mud. The only way he’s out is if the left-fielder makes a super grab of the ball and a perfect throw. Can’t blame Todd for going.

  • GARY | April 6, 2011 | 2:33 am

    Both teams actually played great defense,and was as well played an April as I’ve seen in years.Missed on Helton double by many was how close it came to going out!About two feet below HR,and only because hit on such a rope.If he is going to be constantly hitting to left[which has been about 65% so far]it would be nice to see that kind of power.Think he had one Sat.over G.Parra’s head that he somehow made a circus catch on.Still would like to see some to the right side.Will he rest today-short turnaround-or the opener in Pitt.?

  • Robb | April 6, 2011 | 4:55 am

    Gotta feel good after a game like this. Hammel going today and I think he is underrated. Very good #4 starter. I would be surprised to see Todd sit today after having 2 days off. But Giambi will start a game this weekend. Bummed about Spillys night, but those things happen.

  • steve c | April 6, 2011 | 5:38 am

    Wasn’t at the game…..so I had the benefit of instant replay at home. With that benefit (seeing the play a couple of times) – you really can’t fault Helton for trying to “stretch” his single into a double. Gywnn Lite was VERY fortunate the ball bounced right into his throwing hand. He had really misplayed the ball a bit and had gotten too close to the wall. 9 times out of 10, that ball bounces past Gywnn back into the field of play – resulting in an easy double for Helton, and a triple for someone like Fowler.

  • Wayne | April 6, 2011 | 7:57 am

    Greta game, very tight and well played. Defensively this may be the deepest the Rox have ever been. I’m not sure that they ever have had the ability to insert players based on pitching opponent and not have any drop off in defense.

    Helton is a HOF 1B just on his defense and the way he picks balls. I’ve been watching baseball for a long, long time and can’t think of anyone who has ever done it better or more consistently. And his swing, timing and back seem fine right now.

    Nice to see Chris I start off like this. He does seem to be more relaxed and confident. On the called third strike he didn’t seem defeated, he had a look of determination like “that won’t happen again”.

    Too soon to say, but it seems like 2 parts of FISSH are off to good starts.

    GO ROX!!!!

  • Miketober | April 6, 2011 | 8:02 am

    You guys said it all already. As far as Spilly goes, at least he helped Kershaw donate $300 to charity. Betancourt was a stud. After strike 1 to Ethier I said to my wife, that was a perfect pitch, if you could make that same pitch over and over you would be unhittable. Betancourt then put the next 2 pitches in exactly the same spot for strikes 2 and 3. Ethier couldn’t believe it.

    I saw the game on ROOT sports. I like the new Rockies commercials, especially the cross examination of the fan who started the wave “when the game was on the line” and the young couple who named their kids Tulo and Tracy.

  • Rocky Mountain High | April 6, 2011 | 8:40 am

    I was at the game last night. A couple of my personal great moments; 1) Tulo was up and I said to my wife that he hasn’t had a hit this year yet and I think it’s time to get one and why not start it off with a bang? The next thing I know the ball is in the bleachers! 2) Ianetta up and had a 3-1 count and I said to myself, “you know that Kershaw is going have to throw a fastball, so you gotta swing and get all of the ball.” You can guess what happened next!

    The only thing that I didn’t like was that Spilly whiffed three times facing Kershaw out of the two hole.

    Jose Lopez continues to be consistent with the bat hitting in two-out RISP situations.

    In the past, the Dodgers have always hurt us by manufacturing most of their runs with two outs. Jhoulys Chacin was the one making two-out pitches. Kudos for him to turn the tables back on the Dodgers.

  • Cisco Kid | April 6, 2011 | 8:50 am

    I wouldn’t push it with Helton so early in the season. I would expect to see Giambi in the lineup this afternoon along with Herrera and Morales making their first start. Giambi needs to get some ABs. He only has one AB so far.