Chatwood extends road scoreless streak

Righty's 24 2/3-inning run is third longest in Rockies history

Chatwood extends road scoreless streak

SAN DIEGO -- Listed at 6-feet, 185 pounds and carrying an easy smile on his bearded face, Rockies right-handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood doesn't strike you as imposing.

But when his team truly needs him, Chatwood casts a figuratively large shadow. It needed him Wednesday, when he threw eight innings in a 2-0 defeat of the Padres, who had won the first two games of the series.

"If you're catching back there, you'll see his face and you'll be kind of scared of him," Rockies rookie catcher Tony Wolters said.

If he leaves his teammate feeling that way, imagine the nightmares he is sparking in opponents, especially on the road. After striking out seven against three hits and a walk against the Padres, Chatwood has given up one earned run in 27 1/3 road innings this season, including a 24 2/3-inning scoreless streak.

That streak is third-longest in Rockies history -- behind Rex Brothers' 35 1/3 innings Aug. 20, 2012 to Aug. 1, 2013, and Ubaldo Jimenez's 27 innings May 9-June 6, 2010.

"We have confidence in all our guys, but 'Chatty' has been great so far," rookie shortstop Trevor Story said. "He's fun to play behind. He works quickly. You can just tell that he loves competing. You look forward to it."

Rockies manager Walt Weiss said, "The starting pitcher sets the tone for the day, sometimes even before the game starts because of the mentality he creates. I'm trying to get that with all our guys, but 'Chatty' certainly is one of those guys where if you see his name on the lineup card you feel really good."

After the game, the smile and easy voice were back. With the contest won, he didn't talk a big game.

"I just try to go out there and get outs, keep us in the game for as long as I can," Chatwood said. "Luckily I was able to do that today, and the offense came through, scored some runs."

Chatwood became part of the offensive effort when he moved Wolters, who had walked, to third on a fifth-inning hit-and-run single off Padres starter Cesar Vargas. Wolters scored on Cristhian Adames' fielder's choice grounder.

The Rockies didn't need more because Chatwood threw an effective fastball in the 91-94 mph range, and worked his cutter, sinker and changeup.

"All four of his pitches were lights-out, he had control of them and he never got into any patterns," Wolters said.

Guile came into play in the seventh, when Brett Wallace doubled with two outs. Chatwood threw chase pitches to Melvin Upton Jr., who didn't bite and drew a walk, before forcing an Alexei Ramirez grounder.

The Rockies placed a large piece of pitching hope in Chatwood, who suffered an elbow injury in late April 2014 and was out of the Majors for the rest of that year and 2015 because of Tommy John surgery. There was more than the usual uncertainty because Chatwood had the same surgery in high school. But at 4-2 with a 2.15 ERA overall, Chatwood has allayed many fears.

"All the hard work that went into it and the people that backed me, I feel I owe it to them," Chatwood said. "I had a good support system. Now being able to pitch again is fun."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.