LOS ANGELES -- It hasn't been an easy year for the Rockies' pitching staff. Injuries and inconsistency have forced Colorado to bring up young arms to learn on the job, while living with the results of the growing pains that inevitably accompany young pitchers carrying much of a pitching staff's load.
So when four Rockies pitchers, led by starter Drew Pomeranz, shut out one of the Majors' most star-studded lineups in Monday night's 2-0 win over the Dodgers on Monday, it was a cause for celebration.
For veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez, who was behind the plate on Monday, it was also a sign of hope.
"To have a nice game like last night, I think it brings everybody's confidence back up," Hernandez said. "It makes them feel like they can shut down any team in baseball -- now they feel more comfortable."
Hernandez, in his 14th season, has been a veteran presence behind the plate charged with helping inexperienced arms navigate Major League lineups. While the results haven't always been there, Hernandez says he's just trying to help his hurlers keep things simple.
"You just give them a lot of confidence -- they're here because they have the stuff that can work here," Hernandez said. "Do what you normally do, because what you did in the Minors is why you're here. You're gonna get caught up in everything going on here, but try to control that and have confidence."
Part of the reason Monday night's shutout was such a boost to the Colorado staff, however, is that many of those young arms have struggled at times.
"I think you learn more from the mistakes when you make them," Hernandez said. "I tell them to keep a strong mentality when you're down -- every inning you pitch you learn something, and every pitch you throw means something. If you try your best, sometimes it's going to go your way and sometimes it doesn't, but you keep a strong mentality."