I watched Troy Tulowitzki's eagerly anticipated return game on Friday night half expecting the Rockies to look like a team reborn; sadly, it was more of the same. Aaron Cook had one of his less memorable starts on the year, Colorado's offense continued to frustrate (taking some walks would help, boys), and the equally troubled Mets got the series opener.
Yesterday, in a game I would have attended had it not been for my work schedule interfering, things got a little better. Ubaldo Jimenez had an interesting line: eight innings, one run, only two strikeouts. U-Ball, along with Greg Reynolds, is the Rockies' great hope of developing the franchise's first true #1, strikeout starter. So in his second win of the season, over the once-great Pedro Martinez, where were all the strikeouts? I think -- I hope, actually -- that the return of Tulowitzki has built confidence in the team's pitchers to throw strikes and let the balls in play fall where they may. If the Mets lineup couldn't get out of its own way, good for Jimenez to let them do his work for him.
Willy Taveras must not have gotten the memo that I wasn't able to use my ticket last night -- another RBI for him. He's an animal.
It's nice to see a more familiar lineup card, but those expecting an immediate return to playoff-caliber play will be disappointed. The Rockies weren't playing all that well before the rash of injuries started, and their starting pitching still has a long way to go. They also as an offense need more walks and more hits with runners on in scoring position. The bullpen is more stable now than it has been all season -- maybe the acquisition of Luis Vizcaino wasn't just a token free-agent signing after all -- but even at full health this is one of those .400-ish Rockies teams from the last several non-2007 years. Which is way better than losing a hundred games.