Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Dodgers 2, Rockies 1
2005-05-01 17:27
by Mark T.R. Donohue

The road futility continues, despite Shawn Chacon only allowing one run and Derek Lowe looking hittable. Don't feel too sorry for Chacon, though. You can hardly be called a hard-luck loser when you walk seven and give up only two runs. He was lucky to be a hard-luck loser, if that makes sense. Still, Chacon's ERA moves to a isolatedly respectable 3.27. The Rockies have very few veterans with reasonable contracts and trade value, and with the epidemic drought of decent starters out there among the competitive teams, Chacon should be one of the first guys Colorado thinks about shopping a month or so down the line.

The star of the game for the Rockies was 20-year-old reliever Marcos Carvajal, who pitched 2 innings, allowing a lone double to Cesar Izturis. In the seventh he had two nasty back-to-back strikeouts. He snapped off a breaking ball to J.D. Drew that fooled Drew so badly he lost the handle on his bat. More promising for Carvajal's prospects at Coors, he then took Jeff Kent down simply by moving fastballs around in the zone. Colorado desperately needs a young star to emerge from among the no-names in the bullpen; Carvajal, who's 6'4" and throws mid-90s, could well be the man.

Aaron Miles scored the Rockies' lone run when he struck out and reached first on a wild pitch, then later crossed on a Brad Hawpe single. This was only one of two incidents in the game where Miles was bailed out by a boneheaded Dodger defensive play. In the 8th, Miles botched a sacrifice, popping up directly to reliever Giovanni Carrara, who promptly chucked the ball down the right-field foul line (first baseman Hee Seop Choi wasn't even covering). The runner in that inning was the amazing Clint Barmes, who didn't start but still managed to get a hit, coming in on a double switch with Carvajal in the bottom of the sixth.

The game did not end without a little drama. After Hawpe walked (his third time reaching base), Luis Gonzalez came out for a bizarre pinch-hitting appearance which featured no fewer than three bat tosses and a rare batter's interference ruling. Hawpe was called out on a stolen base attempt as Gonzalez swung at strike three, then blocked out Dodgers catcher Jason Phillips. Los Angeles's Yhency Brazoban, apparently put out by the antics, then scored a bulls-eye on next batter Dustan Mohr's back. This may have been a rash decision, as Mohr promptly scooted to second on a wild pitch, but Todd Greene ended the game on a long fly to left.

The good news? The pitching was good enough to win. The bad news? The hitting wasn't. For a team that has indicated a desire to play small ball, execution was poor all day. The performances of Carvajal, Barmes, and Hawpe certainly have to be listed as positives. Brian Fuentes was shaky but unscored-upon out of the pen as well. Garett Atkins meanwhile was hitless for his first time since coming back from the DL.

Final thought: This team is bad, but it's interesting!

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