Do the Rockies have the Brewers' number?
With the 5-3 win in Monday's opener, Colorado has won seven straight from Milwaukee after going 6-0 in 2009. The Rockies will look to surpass their longest winning streak against the Brewers -- they won seven straight from August 26, 2001 to July 21, 2002 -- on Tuesday night at Miller Park.
The Brewers will send their big free-agent acquisition to the mound to try and stem the tide. A year after finishing next to last in the National League with a 4.83 team ERA, Milwaukee looked to improve its rotation. Lefty Randy Wolf, fresh off an 11-7, 3.23 ERA season with the Dodgers, was the beneficiary, getting a three-year deal to help out the cause.
"I think this team has a young group that can win," Wolf said. "I know the people are down on the pitchers who were here, but there are guys who can pitch. It was an off-year, obviously, but if things go back to normal for those guys, I think I can help this staff."
Whether he can help them keep the Rockies from rolling off another win remains to be seen, though it should be noted that Colorado did hit better against right-handers (.264/.346/.445) than vs. southpaws (.253/.335/.430).
The Rockies will send their own lefty to the mound, though it's not the one who was supposed to be there. With Jeff Francis on the disabled list due to a sore shoulder, the ball will go to Greg Smith, who is hoping to bounce back from an injury-plagued 2009 season. After a strong Cactus League showing, he had been told he had pitched well enough this spring to make the staff out of the bullpen.
"It takes a little bit of weight off my shoulders knowing that I'm not on the team just because somebody got hurt," Smith said. "He [manager Jim Tracy] told me, 'You've made the team.' Now that Jeff got hurt, I'm just going to slide into the rotation."
Rockies: Street-less 'pen survives Day 1
With closer Huston Street on the disabled list with shoulder stiffness, the Rockies have been forced to shuffle the bullpen a little bit. Franklin Morales becomes the main closing option, but Tracy has said he'd switch that up if the matchups -- a slew of right-handed hitters in the ninth, for example -- dictated it. On Monday, the 'pen hung on to back up Ubaldo Jimenez's strong start. While Matt Belisle gave up a home run to Carlos Gomez, and Morales allowed a ninth-inning run, the staff was able to cobble together three innings of work among five arms to preserve the victory.
Brewers: Hart to start
For the first time in four years, outfielder Corey Hart was not in the Opening Day lineup. Jim Edmonds got the start in right field on Monday against Jimenez. While it's not being called a platoon, it's looking like Edmonds will get some starts against certain right-handers, either because they're particularly tough or because he has a good history against them. Hart will be in the lineup on Tuesday to face the lefty Smith. The 2008 All-Star has a career .844 OPS against left-handers compared with a .775 mark vs. righties, but in 2009, those numbers were reversed, with a .773 OPS vs. right-handers and a .690 finish against southpaws.
Rockies first baseman Todd Helton's two hits on Monday moved him past current Colorado hitting coach Don Baylor on the all-time hit list. Helton now has 2,136 base hits. He's made 12 straight Opening Day starts for the Rockies, second among active players with the same team. He also now has an 11-game Opening Day hitting streak. ... As impressive as Carlos Gomez's 4-for-5 performance was on Monday, the new Brewers outfielder did something very out of character. No, not the home run, though he has just 13 of those in his career. Gomez grounded into a double play, just the eighth time he's done that in 1,102 big-league plate appearances. ... Monday's attendance of 45,808 was the second-largest crowd in Miller Park history. The largest came on Sept. 6, 2003, when 46,218 filled the park to watch the Brewers take on the Cubs.
Tue, 4/6 8:10 PM ET
Eighth time is the charm for Brewers
The Brewers entered Tuesday's contest having lost seven straight to the Rockies, but Casey McGehee's first-inning homer propelled Randy Wolf, who struck out eight, to a victory in his Milwaukee debut.
|Gonzalez, C, LF||5||1||2||2||0||1||1||.600|
|Stewart, I, 3B||4||3||3||1||0||1||0||.571|
|Smith, G, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b-Smith, S, PH||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||.000|
|Hart, C, RF||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.000|
|Escobar, A, SS||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.125|
2B: Gonzalez, C (1, Wolf), Barmes (1, Wolf), Stewart, I (1, Wolf).
3B: Stewart, I (1, Hoffman).
HR: Stewart, I (2, 2nd inning off Wolf, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Gonzalez, C 3; Fowler; Helton 3; Stewart, I 9; Barmes 3.
RBI: Helton (1), Stewart, I (3), Gonzalez, C 2 (2), Smith, S (1).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Helton; Giambi.
SAC: Smith, G.
Team RISP: 2-for-10.
Team LOB: 6.
E: Barmes (1, fielding).
PB: Iannetta (1).
DP: 2 (Tulowitzki-Barmes-Helton, Barmes-Tulowitzki-Helton).
2B: Fielder (1, Smith, G).
HR: McGehee (1, 1st inning off Smith, G, 2 on, 2 out), Weeks (1, 5th inning off Smith, G, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Weeks 4; Braun; Fielder 3; McGehee 5; Escobar, A.
RBI: McGehee 3 (3), Weeks (1), Fielder (1), Escobar, A (1).
2-out RBI: McGehee 3; Weeks; Escobar, A.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Gomez; Edmonds.
GIDP: Zaun 2.
Team RISP: 4-for-13.
Team LOB: 5.
SB: Hart, C (1, 2nd base off Daley/Iannetta), Weeks (1, 2nd base off Smith, G/Iannetta).
|Smith, G(L, 0-1)||5.0||4||5||5||2||5||2||9.00|
Groundouts-flyouts: Smith, G 7-0, Corpas 2-1, Daley 1-2, Belisle 0-1, Wolf 7-2, Stetter 0-1, Hawkins 1-0, Hoffman 1-1.
Batters faced: Smith, G 20, Corpas 4, Daley 5, Belisle 7, Wolf 29, Stetter 1, Hawkins 3, Hoffman 5.
Inherited runners-scored: Stetter 2-0.
Umpires: HP: Brian O'Nora. 1B: Phil Cuzzi. 2B: Chris Guccione. 3B: Jerry Crawford.
Weather: 68 degrees, roof closed.
Wind: 0 mph, None.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media