Helton, Tulo lead Rockies to first road series win since April

June 8, 2011 | 8:12 pm | 21  

Aided by big days from Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki, the Colorado Rockies finished their West Coast swing with a 5-3 win against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.

The Rockies took two of three from the Padres, their first series win since sweep a two-game series at home against the San Francisco Giants on May 16-17, their first road series win since taking a two-game series from the Cubs in Chicago on April 25-26 and their first three-game series win since taking two of three from the Cubs at home April 15-17. On the nine-game road trip to Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, the Rockies scored just 18 runs but managed to go 4-5.

Rockies hitters reached double figures in hits for the first time since producing 14 hits but just one run in the first game of the road trip. A combined seven hits for Helton and Tulowitzki accounted for the bulk of the offense.

  • Helton produced the Rockies’ first run with a solo home run in the third inning that tied the game at 1-1. The Rockies added another run in the inning with consecutive singles by Tulowitzki, Seth Smith and Ty Wigginton.
  • Helton and Tulowitzki combined to add on in the fifth inning. Helton doubled with one out and Tulowitzki singled to bring him home and put the Rockies up 3-1.
  • Tulowitzki drove in the Rockies’ final runs in the ninth. With the game tied at 3-3 and Padres closer Heath Bell in the game, Carlos Gonzalez started the inning with a single and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Herrera. Helton was intentionally walked, and both Gonzalez and Helton moved up a base on a wild pitch. Tulowitzki, who was 0-for-14 with three walks in his career against Bell coming in to the game, doubled to right to score both runs.

Helton finished 4-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, a walk, three runs and an RBI Tulowitzki was 3-for-4 with a double, a run and three RBI. In all the Rockies produced 12 hits, including the first major league hit for Charlie Blackmon.

Aaron Cook was solid at times in his return from the disabled list. He allowed six hits and walked four in 5 2/3 innings, but only had trouble in two innings — the second, when he gave up a run on three hits, and the sixth, when he gave up a walk and a single and allowed a crucial run to score on a wild pitch. Matt Lindstrom, who gave up two hits and was helped out by a play at home in the eighth, picked up the win. Huston Street recorded his 17th save.


  • RocketMan | June 8, 2011 | 8:20 pm

    Well. That was a pleasant surprise. Todd showing the youngsters how the game is to be played. Tulo and Cargo both contributing at key moments. Ninth was a pleasure to watch, top and bottom. Tuned in too late to see Cook, but looks like he did alright. The longest journey begins with a single step…

  • Miketober | June 8, 2011 | 8:45 pm

    I guess despite all the purple bleeding we’ve all felt, a 4-5 road trip isn’t that bad at all. Maybe they are starting to break out a little.

  • Julian | June 8, 2011 | 8:53 pm

    Good win. I particularly liked that in the 9th Tulo hit his double to right center instead of pulling the ball.

  • Karl | June 8, 2011 | 9:23 pm

    As The O’s go, the rest of the team follows…or is the Toddfather still in charge? Either way it was a combo tonight with Todd hitting very well and then Tulo getting big double in the 9th. Slightly overlooked is production first base has done with combo of Todd and Giambi and slight contributions too from Wiggy there. Don’t have baseballreference up at moment to give stats by position.

    Nice win to build from and big homestand to build from as EdtheUmp says in other thread. Also agree about CDI and blocking balls. Easier said than done and perhaps is JT’s logic for keeping catchers’ fresh now. But, he has to do better and so does Morales. I still think with big and I do mean BIG streak CDI could merit all star nod, but needs strong next month.

    More importantly team needs to win more than 1 in a row to get us to take the tourniquet’s off of the purple bleeding wounds from May.

  • dave in bayfield | June 8, 2011 | 9:30 pm

    5 runs? That takes us back almost to when Ed was just a little umpire…and tacos were just in Mexico. (sorry big guy…i’m just a little behind or maybe a little ahead of you in the years thing)

    In any case, a road trip record better than I would have expected. Also did not have to stay up for hours to watch game conclusion.

    Time to put “team” things together.

  • Nels177 | June 8, 2011 | 9:44 pm

    Sure hope they don’t mess with the line up. Leave Cargo batting 1st Helton and Tulo 3rd and 4th. DON”T change it!!!

    Good Win

  • Doctor_Christopher | June 8, 2011 | 9:54 pm

    Wow. That is all I can say (to clarify my computer lost its keyboard so I could not comment on last night’s debacle). I think this team needs Todd Helton’s leadership. Last night Root didnt show Todd sitting in the dugout for 5 minutes, which they had. One of the good things about this team is it is young, but even though Tulo is a proud leader (and vocal) we need Helton and Giambi to make it clear that losses are never okay. Today’s game felt like a whole new sense of urgancy. Maybe it was Cookie (and I joine Tracy R in wondering if he simply got tired in the 6th). Maybe it was the old man hitting #8 out of the hardest part to homer in (I am beginning to think Todd may yet get his deserved place in Cooperstown). This team has had zero intesity, which is why they have given ABs away in late innings. BTW, let me say, Mike Adams is a stud. I do not know if any great hitter, including Tedd Williams could have gotten a hit against him in the 8th (can we please trade for him, say Street and anyone else they want).

    This win felt big…I know we have all thought that other wins were big but…today it was the right people at the right time stepping up. Cookie. Helton (X times). Tulo (several times). CarGo getting a hit against Bell. Street closing strong (actually thw whole pen, and how about that stat showing the Rocks with the best ERA in June…honestly, would that ever have been true before the humidor, and given that all the games in June have been in LA and SD, still the starters are making me confident.

    The 9th inning rally showed the three guys we are counted on can still do it. For some reason as a fan and a stat geek I just feel better after this win (and no, it isnt just the first 3 game series win since April). Confidence in baseball is everything. If the Rox can still be 5.5 back after 6 weeks of the worst baseball I have seen (and I saw the Sky Sox when they were the Indians farm team, including some 30+ run games), I think the West is going to regret not putting away the Rox when they had the chance. Tulo and Helton look finally locked in. Others had nice hits. The big “if” is CarGo, but he had a nice hit in the 9th. If he gets the strike zone zerod in (despite only 1-5, he did not strike out…I believe that is big time!!!)

    So, call me overly optomistic but…I think this is a big game (and just think, they were Morales doing his best Ianetta impression from perhaps sweeping the Pads…again, why was Chris sitting when this team is major league slumping Manager Tracy) and I actually have hope for this next home stand…something despite my rose colored glasses I have not had since April and that visit from the Giants.

    BTW, kudos to Charlie and Brothers for their first hits and holds. The first impact of the next Generation of GenR!

  • Doctor_Christopher | June 8, 2011 | 9:59 pm

    Wow. My keyboard is still a mess (had to reprogram keys to stand in for others). Please all ITR readers, excuse typo city. The good news, I made those typos on a Rox win. 5.5 back on the 8th of June…our Rox may not be where they want to be, but they are surely making a lot of team (SFG and AZD) wish they had buried them during the worst 7 weeks of offense in this team’s history. I hold to this thought, the season is not won in April-June, but it can be lost, and thanks to our division, it is not lost.

    Go Rox, how about a Dodger sweep against theri 1-4, beat Kershaw and let the Avalanche flow.

  • Michael | June 8, 2011 | 10:05 pm

    Cook wasn’t pretty but 5 runs is an offensive explosion for this rag tag group. Chris Nelson has to start proving himself worthy of being in the big leagues and playing. Charlie Blackmon has to figure it out quickly too or he will be back in AAA. Give him a three series to show some game.

  • Cameo | June 8, 2011 | 10:12 pm

    The best thing about Tulo’s hit in the 9th was he hit it to right center. When you don’t try to do too much and just hit it where it is pitched, good things will happen. He didn’t try to do too much and got rewarded with a game winning hit. 5 runs feels awesome. LOL. I didn’t get to see much of the game at all, but I did get home just in time to see Tulo’s hit. So that made me happy.

  • NorCal Jimi | June 9, 2011 | 1:24 am

    What was that Spilly dance in the dugout after Tulo’s big hit?

    My gosh what a relief to see that hit. I feel like I’ve been waiting for that hit for a month and a half.

  • Jeem | June 9, 2011 | 1:53 am

    Good win. Sorry to be a downer but has anybody noticed the Pirates are 30-30 while we are 29-32? Uh-oh.

  • Miketober | June 9, 2011 | 7:55 am

    From an MLB.com article:

    “of Tulowitzki’s 36 RBIs this season, 30 have come in victories.”

  • egossage | June 9, 2011 | 8:29 am


    I felt the exact same way. When Tulo got that hit I felt such a big relief. It was nice to see.

  • Jaredean | June 9, 2011 | 8:36 am

    Wow Miketober, that is an amazing stat.

    I think it is funny that a win like this will make a lot on here (myself included) say, “here we go. We are back!” and then we come out the next day and look terrible again. I’m not getting ANY hopes up anymore until we can swing 3 wins in a row together or go 7 and 3 over a 10 game span. We haven’t won back to back games in I don’t know how long. I know after the Cardinals blowout I thought we had “turned the corner” but the next day it was like it never happened. Same with the Dbacks double header.

    So, I loved watching last night and it was the first time I’d yelled, “YES” outloud in a LONG TIME during a game (Tulo in the 9th), but am thinking tonight will again be a 2 or 3 hit affair. It will help me deal with a loss. It is like going into a movie thinking it will suck and being pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t, as opposed to going in thinking it will be the best movie of all time and then it can never live up to your expectations.

  • miketober | June 9, 2011 | 8:58 am

    Jaredean, I know exactly how you feel. After the wins in LA, SF, and game 1 of this series I was completely unimpressed because I “knew” they were going to come out and blow the momentum the next day.

    But this win somehow feels different. Maybe it’s the 9th innings runs. Maybe it’s winning off Bell. Maybe it’s coming home. Maybe it’s doing it to SD after ROOT showed that statistic on how good SD is in late innings. Maybe it’s Tulo finally producing. For the first time in weeks I have a little hope.

  • Rocky | June 9, 2011 | 9:40 am

    Man was that schweet. Is anybody here going to the game today? I’ll be at Swanky’s draining a few pre-game refreshments. I’d love to buy some fellow ITRers a cold one if your around. Ask Jilly for Yancey.

    Kershaw’s going down hard today. Rockies are on their way back.

  • progmatinee | June 9, 2011 | 10:13 am

    Its hard to stand up and say that I believe this is a turning point, because we’ve had a few games over the past 3 or 4 weeks that I thought should have been, but in years past a win against a dominant closer such as Heath Bell is usually something that the team uses to their propel to a winning streak.

  • Trip | June 9, 2011 | 12:39 pm

    I’m feeling like you, the team is ready to turn it around. If JT will quit over thinking, just sit down and let the players play.

    Tulo, as was pointed out by someone, did not try to hit a home run when a single was all we needed. He hit the ball where they threw it to him. Cargo did not strike out all game. He had only one hit, but a step in the right direction. You are right in your assessment, if those two hit, along with Todd and Smith, the boys will be all right.

  • Bill | June 9, 2011 | 1:05 pm

    It’s a great win but I think we ITR’s seem to get over excited after one win while we take each loss like it’s the end of the win. Yesterday’s win was great, especially because both Cargo and Tulo contributed in the 9th against Heath Bell.

    But let’s put together a little streak (2 out of 3 against a last place team is not a streak) before we go overboard.

  • Doctor_Christopher | June 9, 2011 | 2:32 pm

    Bill, you are of course right, that we should not get too pumped or down after any game. But…the game yesterday and the way the players played and responded after the game felt like they have finally found some confidence (also, great points everyone on Tulo relaxing and only doing what was necessary). Lansford evidently told the guys that they should treat that day as opening day, fresh start, 0-0. Seemed to work. The past is the past, nothing can be done about it. They seemed far more relaxed in that light. Of course we need to see if it carries over tonight.

    BTW, as many of us have wondered about Lansford and his future in light of their struggles…Texas and Florida just fired their hitting coaches yesterday. I do not know about Florida, but the Texas guy was in his first season. The management didn’t wait (and Texas has not been awful), they acted. Not saying that Lansford should get fired but interesting to see how other clubs are dealing with their coaching staff when things are not as they out to be.