4/19/2014 6:49 P.M. ET
Chatwood finds focus in strong second start
By Owen Perkins / Special to MLB.com
DENVER -- Tyler Chatwood made his 2014 debut at Coors Field Friday night, pitching seven innings and allowing one unearned run in a 12-1 victory over the Phillies. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if it were a couple weeks earlier.
Chatwood missed his first two starts with a left hamstring strain, but was in great form in his second start of the season.
"I feel good about ironing things out," Chatwood said. "I'm not thinking too much. I'm just out there focusing on the glove and trying to hit it on every pitch."
Chatwood left the game with a 9-1 lead after seven complete innings, and the Rockies added a run in the eighth after pinch-hitting for him. He said he felt healthy and "strong" after seven, and had no complaints.
"There wasn't really any reason to go any further than 88 pitches in his second outing," manager Walt Weiss said. "Taking a pitcher out to start the 8th inning in a 10-1 game, I didn't think twice about it."
Chatwood's return has bolstered the rotation, and his 2-0 record and 1.77 ERA have helped bring the club back to .500.
"We're missing two of our guys still, with Brett [Anderson] hurting his hand and [Jhoulys] Chacin on his way back," Chatwood said. "I feel like we're holding it together pretty good, and hopefully we can get on a little run and keep rolling."
Rockies starters have been especially effective at home this season, posting a 5-2 record with a 3.71 ERA.
Cuddyer sits out second game, likely to miss finale
DENVER -- Rockies right fielder and reigning batting champ Michael Cuddyer sat out a second consecutive game Saturday, and according to manager Walt Weiss he is unlikely to start during the three-game Phillies series. Cuddyer suffered a left hamstring cramp in the seventh inning of Thursday's Rockies win in San Diego.
"He's still pretty sore," Weiss said. "We'll have to watch him closely the next few days here and see how he responds to treatment and go from there."
Weiss declared Cuddyer's status as "unchanged," joking "They're always available to pinch hit." Weiss may be reluctant to show his cards to the Phillies and reveal which bats are available off his bench, but after a 12-run outburst from the Rockies' Friday night lineup with Cuddyer watching from the dugout, the Rockies could be even more reluctant to push Cuddyer as he nurses a sore leg muscle.
"You can probably carry a player like that for three or four days before you start having to think about making a decision -- whether he's going to get better at that point or he's not," Weiss said, holding out hope that Cuddyer will improve in time to stave off a trip to the disabled list.
Cuddyer is hitting .317 (19-for-60) with three homers, 10 RBIs and a stolen base through his first 16 games.
Weiss fine with mixing and matching outfielders
DENVER -- The Rockies matched their season-high production of 12 runs Friday night without Michael Cuddyer in the lineup, but don't expect the 2013 batting champ to be "Wally Pipped" any time soon.
Drew Stubbs took Cuddyer's two-hole slot in the Rockies lineup, playing center as Charlie Blackmon slid over and took Cuddyer's spot in right field. Stubbs went 3-for-5 with three runs, and Blackmon was 3-for-5 with two runs.
"We had a good night last night," manager Walt Weiss said of the 18-hit assault. "I'm not real smart, but I'll stick with the same lineup when we win 12-1."
In addition to Stubbs, Blackmon, and Cuddyer, the Rockies have Carlos Gonzalez, Brandon Barnes, and Corey Dickerson available in the outfield.
"I'll move it around," Weiss said of his outfield rotation. "Dickerson and Barnes are hopefully going to get starts, maybe in center or left, or right. Dicky doesn't play right, but he plays left or center. Barnes can play all three.
"I have a good feeling about who they are and what they bring. All those guys can help us win games."
Colorado entered the day tied with the Angels for the most runs in the Majors, with 94. They're the only team with five players having scored 10 or more runs, with Troy Tulowitzki (13), Gonzalez (12), Blackmon (11), Cuddyer (11) and DJ LeMahieu (10) pacing the club.
Their offensive surge starts from the one-and-two spots in the lineup, with the top of the order hitting a best-in-baseball .360 (54-for-150) with 19 RBIs and 29 runs scored. Blackmon laid claim to the leadoff spot by setting a .426 (26-for-61) clip through the club's first 18 games, and any outfielder wielding a hot hand has a chance to earn more playing time.
"I'll play the matchups -- that's got to be part of it when you've got this many outfielders," Weiss said. "But when guys perform well and are swinging the bat well, they're going to get opportunities. Those guys are going to get opportunities at some point this year. They're going to get hot."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.