September 17 2009, 8:48 AM
Be grateful for Colorado Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, who pitched eight scoreless innings last night and led the Rockies to their first win in San Francisco in what seems like way too long. A bit of offense helped, too, considering the Rockies had given up 19 runs in the last two games and scored a paltry three. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki crushed a fourth-inning home run, and third baseman Ian Stewart launched his own bomb, lifting the team to 4-0 over the Giants heading into the ninth inning (via The Associated Press). Things seemed to be going well, but the bullpen fell apart, giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth and pushing me perilously close to throwing my television remote through my sliding glass door. Reliever Rafael Betancourt managed to end the game at 4-3, ensuring the Giants wouldn't sweep the Rockies for the second time in a matter of weeks, and giving his team a three-and-a-half game lead over the Giants in the National League wild-card race. MLB.com notes that De La Rosa (pictured) has been lights-out since the beginning of June, going 15-3 on his way to being the winningest pitcher in all of baseball. There was a time when De La Rosa started and you could almost count on a loss, but now the guy looks like he could strike anyone out at the plate. The San Jose Mercury News thinks the Giants scoring 26 runs in three games was an anomaly and their low offensive output last night is more true to form. Let's hope that's right; the Giants have 16 games left to catch the Rockies, who head into Arizona Friday for a three-game series and then come back to Coors Field for a nine-game homestand. The Rockies went 9-1 the last time they played at home and will likely need to come close to a 90 percent winning clip here next week to hold off the Giants. They have it in them, but the way they've played the last week or so is somewhat worrisome. One key to the Rockies riding out the last two weeks of September is outfielder Carlos Gonzales, who recently talked with USA Today about things unrelated to baseball, including some advice to President Barack Obama on international affairs.