Rockies Vs. Phillies: Jason Giambi Hits Three HRs In 7-1 Victory

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row. For Phillies coverage, The Good Phight and SB Nation Philly are your destinations.

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Rockies Vs. Phillies: Jason Giambi Surprises With Three HRs In 7-1 Victory

In an odd night, even Jason Giambi's performance was a sight to behold. Struggling mightily as a pinch-hitter this season, Giambi wasn't even scheduled to start until the rainy conditions gave Tracy a reason to sit Todd Helton. But when the game finished with a 7-1 Rockies victory, Giambi had three home runs and seven RBI.

In the first inning, Giambi came to the plate without having a hit since April 10 (18 at-bats). But with Dexter Fowler and Troy Tulowitzki on the corners, Giambi unleashed a ball to right field for the early 3-0 lead. He would return in the third inning with Carlos Gonzalez on second following a double. Giambi sent another shot to right field, increasing the lead to 5-0. In the fifth, Giambi hit his third home run (fourth of the season) to right field, this time with Troy Tulowitzki on base.

The other odd thing about the game was the Phillies' pitching. Scheduled to start, Joe Blanton had his elbow issues to prevent that. Kyle Kendrick drew the start and gave up Giambi's first two home runs. In the third inning, pitcher Cliff Lee came out to pinch-hit for Kendrick.

Jhoulys Chacin tamed the Phillies for seven innings, the only blemish a Raul Ibanez ground rule double in the fourth inning. He struck out nine and walked one.

The Rockies (23-19, 12-9 away) head to Milwaukee for a weekend series with the Brewers.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row. For Phillies coverage, The Good Phight and SB Nation Philly are your destinations.

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Rockies Vs. Phillies: Jhoulys Chacin, Joe Blanton Duel To Close Out Series

Will the Colorado Rockies and the Philadelphia Phillies be able to turn in another game that features outstanding pitching? On Wednesday night, Jorge De La Rosa and Cole Hamels each turned in outstanding eight-inning performances, but Hamels came out on top with the 2-1 victory. A wild pitch and a sacrifice fly led to Jorge De La Rosa giving up that second run (though Chris Iannetta deserves some fault for not blocking the wild pitch).

On Thursday night, the Rockies will have Jhoulys Chacin on the mound. He has received no decisions in his last two starts. Had the rain not picked up in the seventh inning and had Jim Tracy gone to the bullpen earlier, Chacin may have finished with a victory. Instead, he pitched to four batters in the seventh inning and left after he made two errors on one play, allowing two runs to score. The Rockies eventually lost the game, 9-7, when ex-Rockie Brad Hawpe hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth.

Joe Blanton gets lost among the Phillies starters with Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee ahead of him. He's not much of strikeout pitcher (6.3 K/9) and gets ground balls at a 56.3 percent rate. Though he has a 5.50 ERA, a 3.92 FIP and a 3.41 xFIP demonstrate that he isn't bombing out there. After allowing 12 runs in his first two starts, he's allowed nine in his last four starts.

First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. MT. Tune into ROOT for the game.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row. For Phillies coverage, The Good Phight and SB Nation Philly are your destinations.

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Rockies Vs. Phillies: Jorge De La Rosa Dominant, But Cole Hamels Just As Good In 2-1 Philly Win

After rainy conditions all day, the weather turned in favor of playing a baseball game in Philadelphia. Unfortunately for Jorge De La Rosa and the Colorado Rockies, the Philadelphia Phillies picked up a 2-1 victory, snapping a four-game losing streak.

Jorge De La Rosa picked up an eight-inning complete game loss in what was an outstanding performance. De La Rosa pretty much cruised through the early innings until he allowed a fifth-inning blemish, Wilson Valdez's RBI single. The sixth and seventh innings went without much fanfare, but it was the eighth inning that proved decisive.

Up until that point, the game was tied at one. The Rockies had scored a run off Phillies starter Cole Hamels in the top of the seventh. A Carlos Gonzalez double eventually gave way to a Todd Helton RBI double. Hamels left after eight innings, allowing just one run and striking out eight.

De La Rosa came out for the eighth and allowed a leadoff single to Wilson Valdez, who moved to third on a sacrifice and a wild pitch. Then Jimmy Rollins came to the plate and scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly. Now, viewers on the ESPN telecast saw numerous replays to see that Valdez left on time. But ROOT showed several replays that were out of sync, but finally showed the correct ones.

Ryan Madson came in to close out the game. After allowing a leadoff double to Seth Smith, Madson struck out the side for his seventh save.

The Rockies (22-19, 11-9 away) finish this series on Thursday night at 5:05 p.m. MT. Jhoulys Chacin and Joe Blanton are the scheduled starters.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row. For Phillies coverage, The Good Phight and SB Nation Philly are your destinations.

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Rockies' Aaron Cook Strong In Rehab Start With Tulsa Drillers

Colorado Rockies veteran pitcher Aaron Cook was penciled into the starting rotation before spring training, but a series of unfortunate injuries have sidelined him this season. After spending some time in extended spring training building arm strength, Cook was scheduled to pitch three rehab starts for the Rockies AA affiliate Tulsa Drillers, and then one start with the AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox affiliate.

Cook pitched his second rehab start for Tulsa today, and was very effective. After allowing a leadoff double to score, the veteran pitcher shut the door, allowing only three total hits and pitching five complete innings (despite a strict pitch count). He threw 77 total pitches, 49 for strikes.

A known sinkerballer, Cook thrives on an effective sinking fastball to produce plenty of groundball outs. In Tulsa, he forced eight groundball outs while allowing zero flyball outs. It was a very effective start for Cook, who is in the final year of his contract and needs to pitch in the majors this season — and soon — to prove he is healthy and deserving of another contract after the 2011 season, whether with Colorado or another club looking to upgrade their rotation.

He is eligible to return from the 60-Day Disabled List on May 31, 2011. Clayton Mortensen would be the likely demotion candidate at the point, should the club decide that Cook is ready to slide into the major league rotation.

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Rockies Vs. Phillies: Back In 1st Place, Colorado Heads East For Philadelphia

With first place in hand, the Colorado Rockies are in Philadelphia for a two-game series with the Phillies. Both teams hold slims leads in their divisions, one game for the Phillies and half a game for the Rockies. But the Rockies enter this series on a two-game winning streak, having swept the then NL West-leading San Francisco Giants in a mini two-game series. The Phillies, though, are on a four-game losing streak with losses to the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Phillies ran into solid pitching by Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook in the Cardinals' series, scoring just two runs. Will the Rockies run into strong Phillies pitching? In Wednesday's game, Cole Hamels will make just his second career regular season start against the Rockies, having allowed seven runs in 3.2 innings in a game at Coors Field in 2009. He is 0-2 at Citizens Bank Park in two postseason starts against the Rockies, though that doesn't mean much.

Hamels has improved his ground ball rate from the mid-40s to 50 percent while also raising his strikeout rate to 9.4 per nine innings. His 2.53 FIP and 2.52 xFIP demonstrate that his 3.19 ERA is hampered a bit by what happens in the field of play.

Jorge De La Rosa will look to pick up a National League-leading sixth win. De La Rosa struggled once he hit the the middle part of the game. He allowed five runs on nine hits and three walks in 5.2 innings. But he was helped by the run support the offense provided, 12 in total, eight during De La Rosa's time on the mound.

Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki both started to heat up during the series with the Giants, driving in key runs. Now they will need to carry that over and continue playing like everyone expects them to do.

Expected Pitching Matchups
Wednesday, 5:05 p.m. MT, ROOT/ESPN
Jorge De La Rosa vs. Cole Hamels

Thursday, 5;05 p.m. MT, ROOT
Jhoulys Chacin vs. Joe Blanton

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row. For Phillies coverage, The Good Phight and SB Nation Philly are your destinations.

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