Chatwood finds his groove on the mound

Chatwood finds his groove on the mound

Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood didn't want to stop at 99, and who could blame him?

That's where Chatwood's pitch count stood after six innings -- he had shaken off early control issues -- of the Rockies' eventual 7-2 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night. While the conversation in the dugout with manager Bud Black wasn't heated, it was animated.

"He walked up and said, 'You got 10 pitches to try and get through it,'" Chatwood said. "I think I threw 11, but I got through it, which was nice."

Actually, it took 13 in a spotless seventh with two strikeouts, but who's counting when the team's most experienced pitcher is committing his new-found groove to muscle memory? Chatwood threw seven scoreless innings, held the Phillies to one hit and fanned eight as the Rockies won the series. They have a chance to complete the sweep on Thursday.

"He threw the ball well. I thought he had good stuff all the way to his very last pitch," Black said. "That's something he's able to do -- hold his stuff, by that I mean velocity, the action on his pitches, the stamina.

"His delivery was under control again for the most part. The tempo, his rhythm, we talk about that so much because he does have such a momentum-building delivery, that the timing has to be there. For the most part, it was there."

Chatwood's quick pickoff move

Before Wednesday, Rockies rookie starters had earned a club-record eight straight winning decisions. But Chatwood (4-6), who is only 27 after breaking in with the Angels in 2011 and joining the Rockies a year later, and lefty Tyler Anderson, a second-year man who pitches Thursday, had not found their groove.

While Anderson has been showing signs with 25 strikeouts and two wins in his last three starts, Chatwood was coming off two losses that saw him walk nine in 9 1/3 innings.

"You don't want to be the guy left behind," Chatwood said.

Wednesday, Chatwood walked two in the first and threw strikes on just half of his 20 pitches. But a two-strikeout second and a fourth in which he overcame a leadoff walk with two grounders, one a double play, put him on track. The Rockies' seven-run third inning let him relax.

Rockies score seven in the 3rd

Andrew Knapp delivered the Phils' first hit with two out in the fifth.

"He really wasn't giving us much to hit, so you have to take what you get with that and shoot it the other way," Knapp said of his single.

It was somewhat familiar territory for Chatwood. He was perfect for 5 2/3 innings of a 5-0 shutout of the Giants on April 15. He yielded no hits through five against the Padres on May 2, only to give up five runs while managing one out in the sixth and lose.

This time, he didn't let the Phils back into a contest that he didn't want to leave. Even before he and Black talked after the sixth, his work on the mound had presented a convincing case for one more inning.

"We talked about how he was throwing," Black said. "We talked about how he felt. I gave him some of my thoughts. He gave me some of his thoughts, and he went back out in the seventh."

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.Ben Harris is a reporter for based in Philadelphia and contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.