Rockies 10, Dodgers 0
For a pitcher known for his stoic reputation, Jeff Francis
showed rare emotion on the mound Monday night.
After striking out Shane Victorino to escape a jam in the fifth
inning, Francis slightly pumped his fist. Just the excitement of
the moment getting to him.
”Kind of the turning point in the game,” Francis said.
Francis and three relievers combined on a four-hitter as the
Colorado Rockies beat Los Angeles 10-0 to spoil the Dodgers debut
of Josh Beckett.
With pinpoint control of his fastball, Francis (5-4) scattered
three hits in five innings and struck out a season-high six.
Relievers Josh Roenicke, Rex Brothers and Matt Belisle closed out
the game with Belisle pitching 1 2-3 innings to earn his second
save of the season.
Asked if this was one of his most memorable wins, Francis just
”It’s funny, you know, because it’s only five innings. In the
world of starting pitchers, it’s really nothing to get excited
about,” Francis said. ”Within our role on this team, it’s our
job. That’s what we go out there to do. So, it is very
”It’s weird to stand here and think I did a really good job – I
threw five innings.”
Yeah, but he stymied a powerful Dodgers lineup.
No more so than in the fifth, when he gave up a one-out single
to Luis Cruz and a double to A.J. Ellis. Francis worked his way out
of the jam by striking out Beckett and then Victorino – on a 68-mph
”I was able to make a few pitches here and there,” Francis
Beckett (0-1) was decent in first outing with Los Angeles, but
he needed to be dazzling.
The right-hander was acquired in a nine-player megadeal deal
with the Boston Red Sox over the weekend. His career in Los Angeles
got off to an inauspicious start as he gave up a leadoff homer to
Tyler Colvin on his second pitch, a 91 mph fastball that Colvin hit
into the second deck.
He allowed three runs over 5 2-3 innings as the Dodgers fell 2
1/2 games behind idle San Francisco in the NL West.
”I’ve only been here a couple of days,” Beckett said. ”I’m
still feeling things out. As I move forward, I’ll get more
Colvin had a big day, adding a two-run triple as part of a
seven-run eighth inning that broke open a tight game. Wilin Rosario
added a two-run homer in the inning.
With Francis and Beckett on the mound, this was a rematch of
Game 1 of the 2007 World Series. In that game, Beckett went seven
innings and allowed one run en route to a 13-1 win. It set the tone
for the series as Boston swept the Rockies.
Since that time, Francis underwent shoulder surgery that
sidelined him for all of 2009, spent last season with Kansas City
and started this season in the minors for Cincinnati, before
returning to Colorado, which drafted him with the ninth overall
pick in 2002.
In his tenure with the Rockies, Francis has been quite
productive on the mound. He’s among the franchise’s all-time
leaders in wins (60), starts (166), innings (965) and strikeouts
”He had probably the best fastball he’s had since he’s been
here,” manager Jim Tracy said. ”The ball was coming out as well
or better than any other start that he’s had up to this point. He
was in the strike zone with all pitches.”
The Dodgers are hoping a change of scenery for Beckett results
in a change of fortune. He struggled this season in Boston, going
5-11 with a 5.23 ERA.
Beckett was a key part of the Red Sox on their way to the 2007
World Series crown, but he also was the ringleader last year when
the team struggled in September and missed a playoff spot on the
final day of the season. Reports of players drinking beer and
eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games surfaced
afterward, and Beckett’s bombastic demeanor aggravated fans.
But that’s all in the past for Dodgers manager Don Mattingly,
who said before the game that Beckett gets ”a little bit of a
do-over, for a guy that’s coming from a place that there is a
negative vibe all around him.”
After the game, Mattingly said he liked what he saw.
”(Beckett) did what we ask our guys to do,” Mattingly said.
”We just couldn’t do anything for him.”
Notes: SS Troy Tulowitzki (groin) and 1B Jason Giambi (viral
syndrome) were scheduled to play Monday night with Double-A Tulsa
before returning to Denver for more evaluation. … The Dodgers
will send LHP Chris Capuano (11-9) to the mound Tuesday against RHP
Tyler Chatwood (3-3). … 2B DJ LeMahieu drove in two runs and
pinch-hitter Josh Rutledge singled in another for the Rockies, who
returned to Coors Field after a 5-2 road swing. … Colorado has
five shutouts this season.