Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rock Solid Recrap: Ugh

This is why I cringe anytime I read a comment saying this series or that series is a cakewalk. There are no cakewalks in baseball. There are series that appear more winnable than others, but there are no cakewalks.

Jim Tracy assured us before Friday's game that he wouldn't allow his team to overlook Arizona. I'm not saying they have, but they're damn sure learning the lesson of why you can't fail to respect every team in MLB.

Now the D-Backs head in to Sunday looking to sweep the Rockies.

Those who are thinking that's not possible with Ubaldo Jimenez pitching should reread the first two paragraphs again several times.

D-Backs 4, Rockies 3

Losing Player: Aaron Cook

But you're saying Aaron Cook didn't pitch tonight. That's correct.

He also didn't pitch well enough or long enough last night. His early exit led to Jim Tracy wearing out his bullpen, which led to Jim Tracy sticking with Jhoulys Chacin about 30 pitches too long tonight.

You can look at the numbers (which too many people do) and you'll see Chacin struck out nine. Pretty good, right? Maybe even dominant?

Well, when you consider at least four of those strikeouts came on hanging breaking balls that missed location by a mile, it's not so impressive. He's really quite lucky none of those pitches were offered at.

Chacin's final pitch (#113) was an out of gas fastball that was pulled down the line for the game deciding two-run double by PH Ryan Roberts.

It's a classic example of how one baseball game ties into the next.  It's why you hear announcers say a team needs to string together quality starts, or a starter needs to pick up last night's starter.  If Cook goes 6-7, maybe Tracy can use a Matt Daley against Roberts in that spot.  That option wasn't available tonight.

I pick on Cook here because he's the veteran... and Chacin has held up his end more times than not in his rookie campaign.

Another thought on Chacin. He and Chris Iannetta did not work together well at all. Chacin was very relunctant to throw what Chris was calling pretty much all night. Typically I'd be annoyed with the pitcher far more for not trusting (or possibly respecting) his catcher, but judging from Chacin's location issues, maybe he was right to shake off pitches he couldn't command.

Either way, it killed the pace of the game. I almost don't blame the Arizona fans for breaking into the wave in the bottom of the sixth. My goodness were those first six innings ever slow, dreadful and boring.

Of course the overriding story tonight is Colorado going 0-for-11 with RISP. That's never going to win, but I can't honestly say I was discouraged by the offense. There was constant traffic. There were quality ABs happening for most of the game. The one big hit just never came.

A last thought..

It's time for Melvin Mora's playing time to increase by a lot. Whether it be first base or third base, he needs more than 1-2 starts a week. He giving this team an element offensively that is sorely lacking. That element is consistent professional at-bats. Where else are the Rockies getting those these days? Seth Smith. That's it.

OK... this is really my final thought.

The Jason Giambi error was freaking brutal. Take the one sure out and then make the throw. Or better yet, take the sure out and hold the ball. Never throw it. Ever.