Jeff Francis won 17 games for the Colorado Rockies in 2007, and was a key factor in the team’s unlikely run to the World Series. But the next year, he went 4-10, and suffered an injury that pulled him away from Major League action until Sunday. Despite the nearly two-year absence, Francis returned and held the Washington Nationals to just one run in seven innings, leading his team to its third win in two days.
Francis wasn’t the only guy pitching like it was 2007, according to The Denver Post. Manuel Corpas, who converted 19 saves in 2007, returned to form, shutting down the Nationals yesterday for the third game in a row. Purple Row points out that Corpas has now retired the last 13 hitters he’s faced on 50 pitches, a remarkable rebound after giving up four runs to the Philadelphia Phillies last week.
The win gives the Rockies a 4-2 record on a muddy homestand, when three games were rained out in four days, writes the Post. “This is what made us so good last year,” manager Jim Tracy tells the Post. “Offensively, we had just enough to win, and then we let our pitching and defense take over. That’s exactly what happened.”
The Rockies are now 19-18, three games behind the San Diego Padres for first place in the National League West (via MLB.com). With Francis making his return and Jason Hammel coming off the disabled list to get a win on Saturday, the Rockies now have four-fifths of the starting rotation back in place; Jorge De La Rosa is still out with a finger injury.
But the Rockies did get some bad news about highly paid closer Huston Street. Working his way through a minor-league rehab assignment, Street was to return May 25, but that’s probably not going to happen now that he has suffered a slight groin injury that may keep him out into June, according to a Denver Post blog.