Helton’s first two-homer game since ’07 lifts Rockies

April 26, 2011 | 9:21 pm | 17  

The Colorado Rockies gave Carlos Gonzalez and Seth Smith the night off Tuesday and stacked right-handed hitters against Chicago Cubs left-hander James Russell, who entered his start Tuesday having held lefties to a .111 average while righties were hitting .469 against him. Yet it was Todd Helton, one of two left-handed hitters left in the lineup (the other was pitcher Jorge De La Rosa) who did most of the damage in the Rockies’ 4-3 win, slugging two solo home runs against Russell.

Helton’s first home run put the Rockies up 1-0 in the first inning. After the Rockies fell behind 2-1 in the bottom of the inning, they added single runs in the third and fourth on a Troy Tulowtizki RBI double and a solo home run by Ty Wigginton to retake the lead. Helton capped the Rockies’ scoring in the fifth inning with his second home run, which chased Russell from the game.

It was Helton’s first multihomer game since Aug. 7, 2007, when he hit two home runs against the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field, and his first multihomer game on the road since May 10, 2002, when he hit two against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium. With the two-hit night, Helton is now hitting .317 with three home runs and 10 RBI.

In all, the Rockies produced nine hits, the most in any game on their current road trip. In addition to Helton’s two home runs, Wigginton added three hits, including a his solo run home run and a double; Tulowtizki had two hits, including his RBI double; and Jonathan Herrera added two singles.

Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa (4-0, 2.61) didn’t need much help. After allowing two runs in the first — one an unearned run that scored on Tulowitzki’s second error of the season — De La Rosa settled in and allowed just three hits after the first inning. He walked no one, struck out a season-high nine and pitched seven innings for the second consecutive start.

Huston Street picked up his ninth save, but allowed a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth, the first run he has allowed since April 14 against the New York Mets. With the win over the Cubs, the Rockies clinch a third road series win among the four they have played this season. The Rockies also won their 10th game on the road, something they didn’t so until May 22 in 2010.

17 Comments »

  • progmatinee | April 26, 2011 | 9:29 pm

    Awesome win! Great to see Todd step up for the team. Jorge let a lot of players on base but held them when it counted and definatelty got better as the game wore on. Helton will surely play tomorrow with the day off on Thursday.

    Betancourt and Street might be ready for a breather however. It would be really nice to be able to sit both of them tomorrow and give them back to back days off.

  • RocketMan | April 26, 2011 | 9:33 pm

    Jorge is the ace for now, cool and efficient even with a little pressure. Unexpected retro contribution from Todd, he seems looser than the past couple seasons. Steady effort from many others. Nobody’s been spectacular yet, but here they are 16-7. Fun season so far.

  • miketober | April 26, 2011 | 9:35 pm

    This guarantees at least 3-3 for the road trip, which was all I asked for a week ago. Great job!

    I have a question for Ed or one of our other umps:
    What do you think of a hitter like Reed Johnson who crowds the plate and does not make a great effort to avoid being hit? Other than the fact that he is a fool, that is? Here is a guy who apparently is trying to take one for his team, but is bending the intent of the rules.

  • Marc | April 26, 2011 | 10:15 pm

    Todd passes Strawberry on the all time homer list…

  • Doctor_Christopher | April 26, 2011 | 10:24 pm

    Last year a lot of folks on this site thought that Jorge would get more votes for Cy than anyone else on the staff. Of course that was before Ubaldo went all Nolan Ryan on us and Jorge tore that tendon. This year he has been outstanding. A few years back traffic on the bases would have thrown him into a tailspin. Now, he tosses those curves and change-ups and fastballs as if he does not care. This shows the incredible strengths of this organizaion – Dac has worked with him in his motion, the managemen has told him they believe in him (and paid him), and Tracy sticks with him. He is truly a success story of this team’s philosophy. And Helton…hurrah for the old guys! I still think that Todd needs a couple of Todd seasons to get real attention for the Hall. Tonight showed us its possible. Great win. Now lets sweep the Cubs tommorow.

  • rockymountainhigh | April 26, 2011 | 10:55 pm

    1. Pitchers keep bases on balls, hit batsmen, and wild pitches to a minimum. Grade A-: one HBP kept kept it from being an “A”.

    2. Keeping K’s to a minimum. Grade C: Cubs had soft tossing pitchers, not acceptable for position players to strike out more than a couple of times.

    3. After scoring runs early, keep the pedal to the metal against their bullpen. Grade C+: Tacked on a few runs unlike the Cubs in which for the 2nd night in a row they put the bats away after scoring in the first inning. Cubs playing like 2010 Rockies.

    4. Play small ball when needed. N/A

    5. RISP hitting. Grade D: 3 runs on solo HRs; left a few runs on the table with two outs.

    6. Quality ABs with zero or one out. Grade C: some balls squared up but at’em.

    7. Avoid long losing streaks/win 5, lose 4 every nine games – consistency. Grade A: Longest losing streak is two.

    8. One-run game results. Grade A: another one-run victory tonight; 5-2 record in one run games.

    9. Road record: Grade A+: by far and away the best road record and two of the losses were in Florida against the a streaking Marlins team that has the second best staff ERA in the NL. 10-3 road record.

    10. Intangibles: Grade F: Tulo got too cute charging at the grounder for an error when he could have stayed and take the short route to 2B for an easy out. Fowler continues to handicap the Rox offense giving us only 26 outs to manufacture the runs. Starting pitching need to clean up first inning mess.

  • dave in bayfield | April 26, 2011 | 11:02 pm

    16-7 and 10 road wins. Doesn’t get much better than that. Oh wait, it isn’t any better than that right now. Early yet, but a fun start to the ride.

    I, also, have a question for Ed and all the other umps. What is the protocol for taking a ball out of play at the MLB level? I wondered about that during Monday’s wet game…not after the ball had been fielded, but between pitches.

  • JIMMY JOHN | April 27, 2011 | 1:07 am

    I’d like to know what is going on in the bull-pen before the game that our starting pitchers are constantly giving up runs in the 1st inning?

  • Karl | April 27, 2011 | 6:25 am

    Gladly eating my crow (I have earlier compared 2010 Todd to Doug Meinkiewicz) from last night and first 23 games of the season on Helton bouncing back. Maybe we should all do P90x if that’s really what happens. Of course, I am not sure we could contribute to ITR if we were all doing P90x all the time, so let’s let Helton do the working out and we will just enjoy the show he is AGAIN putting on.

    With each double, each HR and each great defensive play this year, he is gaining early traction on comeback player of the year.

    DLR was phenomenal after the first inning and was able to get around the error even in the inning. Tulo bounced back as great players too and drove opposite field double. Someday Castro will do the same, let’s just hope its against someone else.

  • miketober | April 27, 2011 | 6:58 am

    Since there is not much to complain about from the game itself, let me just say I don’t mind the Toyota talk streamer going across the bottom of the screen, but it is annoying when Goodman/Frazier/Huson read them aloud.

  • Matt | April 27, 2011 | 7:16 am

    Can’t say enough about DLR’s performance given the conditions. He made some good hitters look pretty bad last night.

    Cargo’s adjustment made him look like someone walking for the first time but you had to like his first two swings. Once he owns the new swing and has success with it, look out! I’m excited to watch him today.

    I think I’m one of the only people not worried about the Rockies’ bats. Yes it was nice to see Wiggy and Todd get into some pitches but this team has proven over time they will hit. Look for this team to breakout with 15 hits today.

  • EdtheUmp | April 27, 2011 | 7:20 am

    Ump questions and answers…

    Miketober…no rule as to how close you are allowed to get to the plate…the rules says you must make an effort to avoid being hit before you are given 1st base…i could go into what is an effort but won’t because in the “bigs” and the minors you can just stand there and get hit and you are awarded 1st base…all managers accept that interpretation…that’s why you never see a manager come out and complain…reality, not what we’d like to see, but reality nonetheless.

    Dave…umpire keeps the ball in play between pitches unless 1) the pitcher wants a different ball(usually because of the seams or moisture) or 2) the ball hits the dirt(usually a pitch but can be other factors)and puts even the tiniest of “smudges” on it.

    Hope that helps…keep the questions coming…i love “teaching” fans some of the stuff that mostly only we umps know.

    Let’s get the sweep today against the cubbies!

  • miketober | April 27, 2011 | 7:49 am

    Thanks Ed. The contrast between Johnson calmly pivoting his back to the ball and Tulo practically jumping out of his shoes to avoid being hit really sticks with me. Interesting what you say about managers just accepting it. I recall hearing some managers complain about the baggy uniforms and the use of all the protective armor now available. Don’t get me wrong – protection is great – but if it makes it safer to get plunked on purpose then that is misuse.

  • edtheump | April 27, 2011 | 8:14 am

    1. Pitchers keep bases on balls, hit batsmen, and wild pitches to a minimum. A

    2. Keeping K’s to a minimum. C

    3. After scoring runs early, keep the pedal to the metal against their bullpen. B

    4. Play small ball when needed. B

    5. RISP hitting. N/A

    6. Quality ABs with zero or one out. A

    7. Avoid long losing streaks/win 5, lose 4 every nine games – consistency. A

    8. One-run game results. A

    9. Road record A

    10. Outside distractions (i.e. bad songs at stadium/constant criticism of umpires/accusations of Coors Field effect or juiced balls.) B+ (G & H…did they read previous comments regarding their constant harping on the umps?…criticism was held to a minimum…refreshing to say the least…keep it up if you two are reading this)

  • Robb | April 27, 2011 | 8:23 am

    RMH, I disagree with you on your comment about Fowler and the 26 outs. I believe Dex has done a pretty good job at lead-off, Grade B. While some of us feel like Ianetta’s defense overrides his lack of offense, which I have said many times doesn’t balance out, Fowler’s D is excellent and he hits enough and gets on-base enough to be a solid player. Seems like Wiggy is starting to come around which is great. Lopez has been hitting some balls hard, but right at people. They will start falling. Looking forward to Morales today behind the plate.

  • Mike Raysfan | April 27, 2011 | 10:27 am

    Another win which is good. Hopefully they will win today.

    It’s great they are winning the games that many claim they should win. Hopefully they will also start winning against teams like the Marlins and the Giants. I think the Marlins have only come up on the short side of a series once so far this season.

    I also was glad to see Todd hitting the HR’s. He needs a few more along with some doubles before he retires.

    I really hope Jorge gets at least 16 wins this season.

  • wn8ghz | April 27, 2011 | 12:20 pm

    Oh….and another win for the blue jerseys. Puleezz don’t pull them white and greys off the shelf for a few months!