Yesterday’s 5-4 loss was frustrating: The Rockies were up 4-1 at one point and looked to be making all the right moves. But pitcher Aaron Cook (right) had a rough sixth inning, allowing the Brewers a couple of hits and easy runs to get right back in the game (recap via The Associated Press).
Despite the 1-2 start to the season, some positive signs point to a recovery.
Outfielder Carlos Gonzales, one of the best players in last year’s playoff series against the Philadelphia Phillies, has been on fire so far this season. His eight hits have him tied with Edgar Renteria of the San Francisco Giants, according to MLB.com, and his presence at the plate is impressive. This is a kid who used to chase every pitch, always behind in the strike count.
Now, with some discipline, he’s a beast behind the plate and is already looking like one of the Rockies’ most potent offensive threats.
Third baseman Ian Stewart is also looking good early. The Denver Post points out that last year was bad for Stewart against left-handed pitchers, but so far this year he’s found a magic touch, going 4-7 at the plate, including 2-3 against Randy Wolf, a left-handed hurler who would have given him fits last year. But things are still not boding well for the bullpen. Some relievers have looked good early—like 2007 World Series run hero Manny Corpas and eighth-inning pitcher Rafael Betancourt—but others have looked terrible.
Randy Flores, one of the only left-handed relievers available in the bullpen, is looking like a liability. The Post notes in a separate article that Flores has faced four left-handed batters so far, and three have reached base. He gave up what turned out to be a game-winning double in yesterday’s game in Milwaukee, showing that he may not get it done this year.