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Rockies ace: Jorge De La Rosa?

Most Rockies fans see Ubaldo Jiminez as the blossoming star of the squad's pitching staff. But Jiminez got absolutely shelled Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants, making last night's series-ender against the SF crew the sort of must-win no one wanted to call a must-win -- but it was a must-win anyhow. And while the Rockies' bats finally woke up to some degree (they went from comatose to woozy but ambulatory), the real reason they recorded a 4-3 victory was Jorge De La Rosa, who gave up just three hits in eight innings. Too bad he couldn't have gone the whole way, since substitute closer Franklin Morales and fellow hurler Rafael Betancourt came so close to blowing what should have been a comfortable lead that fans are probably lined up outside heart clinics at this very moment.

De La Rosa's 4.17 ERA is hardly spectacular, but he's quietly put together a fifteen-win season -- and the Rockies will need him to add to that number. Before that, though, they need to build up their lead over the Giants again as they head down the stretch. True, the margin's back to three-and-a-half games thanks to De La Rosa -- but their season ends with three games against the Dodgers in L.A., where the Rockies win about as often as Jay Leno says something funny. And that's no joke.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts