Overamped De La Rosa 'ambushed' by Padres
Rockies starter allows nine runs (seven earned) in two innings of season debut
DENVER -- Jorge De La Rosa was in trouble from the beginning Monday as he made his delayed entry into the 2015 season, a start that was brief and for the wrong reasons also was historic.
The Padres pounded the Rockies, 14-3, doing most of their damage against De La Rosa, the Rockies' top starter whose success at Coors Field has defied belief. He began the season on the disabled list with a left groin strain, and after two rehab starts at Triple-A Albuquerque, De La Rosa was activated Monday.
"It's my first start," De La Rosa said. "Been pitching in Triple-A, but it's not the same. I was really excited. Hope I can be more calm next time and get better."
De La Rosa gave up hits to the first four batters he faced, putting himself and his teammates in a three-run hole before he retired a batter. In all, the Padres pounced on De La Rosa for six hits, including three doubles, and five runs in the first inning.
"He got ambushed there," manager Walt Weiss said, "and I think it made it tougher to find a rhythm, especially after being out for so long."
There was no regrouping in the second for De La Rosa. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki let a leadoff grounder go through his legs to start the inning. But De La Rosa allowed consecutive singles to Derek Norris and Matt Kemp and a one-out triple to Will Middlebrooks. His drive sailed over the head of center fielder Charlie Blackmon. But regardless of whether Blackmon should have caught the ball, De La Rosa was guilty of giving Middlebrooks a pitch he could wallop.
The second was the final inning for De La Rosa, who threw 53 pitches. He allowed seven earned runs and tied his career high by giving up nine runs, something he had done with the Rockies in 2008 and with the Royals in 2007.
"I was overthrowing a lot," he said. "Got excited and was trying to throw as hard as I can. You can't make outs if you don't have command. It happened today. My command wasn't good."
De La Rosa could have pitched Sunday on regular rest at Dodger Stadium, but Weiss opted instead to have De La Rosa pitch at Coors Field, where he has won more games than any pitcher, as the Rockies began a seven-game homestand. He took the mound with a 45-10 record at Coors Field, where he went 10-2 with a 3.08 ERA last year. This was De La Rosa's shortest start at Coors Field and his shortest overall since he lasted two innings Sept. 10, 2013, at San Francisco.
"When I tried to throw in, the ball was in the middle," De La Rosa said. "When I tried to throw away, it ran to the middle, too. I think I can fix it. My command wasn't there. I made really bad pitches today, and they hit it really good."