De La Rosa dazzles once again as Colorado Rockies avoid sweep

David Martin Avatar
June 15, 2015

 

The reason a team deems a pitcher as their ace is because on any given day, he gives them the best shot to win. The Colorado Rockies have that with Jorge De La Rosa.

The Rockies No.1 walked to the mound on Sunday with the team he was pitching for not having won since the last time he took the mound five days ago. With an offense mired in a power outage, De La Rosa did what an ace does. He went out to the mound and pitched his team to victory.

Sunday was a game that has become the standard for De La Rosa. The Rockies ace delivered seven strong innings, giving up just one run on four hits. He struck out four and walked four. Besides his line that had just one run, De La Rosa did what happens on most occasions. He worked his way out of trouble and continually wiggled off the hook.

In the 1st inning, De La Rosa worked around an error and a walk with Giancarlo Stanton at the plate with only one out and an early three run cushion in jeopardy. In the 2nd inning, De La Rosa worked around a leadoff double from old friend Jeff Baker. In the 5th inning the Rockies lefty worked around a leadoff walk. He then got out of a one-out walk to Stanton in the 5th when he got Marcell Ozuna to ground into a double play to end the inning. In the 6th, De La Rosa worked around a walk and two singles before he got Donovan Solano to ground out to second base.

At first, De La Rosa might produce a fan to have some anxiety with the traffic. However, after watching him pitch his way to being the best Rockies pitcher in history, it simply comes with the territory. It almost seems that De La Rosa is more comfortable with runners on base. He bears down and is able to get outs more efficiently. Similarly, when De La Rosa has a mild injury, a thumb a couple of years ago, a nagging groin in 2014 and several finger issues throughout his career, he seems to be more focused when adversity comes.

That reason is one of the many why De La Rosa, after his win on Sunday, is now the all-time leader in wins for the club with 74. Since he made his way to the Rockies in 2008 in one of Dan O’Dowd’s best trades, he has become the pitcher that all of the talent suggested that he could become. He worked through some of the issues that held him back in some of his other stops and suddenly settled in.

The Rockies are in a place where they are looking to grow into a winner. Having a guy like De La Rosa to depend on when losing streaks come about is a huge benefit for this team. Having a pitcher who is as dependable as De La Rosa every fifth day gives the Rockies hope and something to build on.

While it may be a coincidence, the Rockies also seem to perform better at the plate with De La Rosa on the mound. That might come with a pressure of having to score a ton of runs in order to win removed. Instead of feeling like the have to press to score as many runs as possible, the Rockies offense can relax and focus on finding ways to scratch out a few runs.

Sunday, the runs came in the 1st inning. Charlie Blackmon led off the game with a home run, then Nolan Arenado continued his campaign to be an All-Star with a two-run blast to give the Rockies an early three-run lead, something that they have been missing since they left Denver.

The Rockies leave Miami with just one win. Their task doesn’t get any easier as they head to Houston to face the surprise Astros, the first-place team in the American League West.

 

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