Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Running Thoughts: Smith vs LeBlanc


Lineup Card

San Diego opens their broadcast showing highlights of Greg Smith's last outing.

<---- A lot of that from Smith.

1st Inning
  • LeBlanc starts off with an efficient 1-2-3 inning.  Would have preferred a run or two to help Smith settle in.  Can't always get what we want.  
  • Thank you Tony Gwynn Jr.!  Swings and pops up the first pitch.  
  • After a basehit by Eckstein, Olivo guns him out on a failed hit-and-run.  That's right.. help the kid out.  
  • And now Gonzalez walks.  Not the worst result in the world.  
  • Headley grounds out.  Not a smooth start by any means, but encouraging!
2nd Inning
  • 6 up, 6 down for Barry Zito Wade LeBlanc.  Lots of ugly, off balance swings in the early going. 
  • Scott Hairston has a couple good swings that go foul, so Smith walks him, then turns around and picks him off.  We'll just take the outs.  
  • And another walk.  That's three.  Command just isn't there.  
  • Smith gets a popup and a strikeout of Torreabla.  Ubaldo is seen taking notes on how he did that.
3rd Inning
  • LeBlanc has a MUCH wider strike zone than Smith does.  Stewart called out on a ball that was 8 inches outside.  
  • Greg Smith breaks up the perfect game with an infield single.  That figures!
  • LeBlanc returns the favor by singling off Smith.  
  • 5 Padres reached the first time through.  2 hits, 3 walks, 2 outs on the bases, 4 regular outs.   
  • Mora drops a liner.  Should have been a double play.  Now Gwynn gets to run instead of the pitcher.  
  • That's three scoreless for Smith so far.  Not all pretty, but indeed all scoreless.  Let's get the kid some runs now!
4th Inning
  • Rockies load the bases with one out and leave them that way.  Ian Stewart was screwed again on a couple strike calls.  Smith isn't getting those calls I assure you.  
  • Padres on the board first.  Jerry Hairston triples to deep left center, scoring Headley from first.  Smith has been playing with fire all night.  Finally catches up.  
  • Padres 1, Rockies 0
5th Inning
  • Let's wake the bats up already.  Smith is keeping you in the game.  Reward him!  
  • Greg Smith leads off with a double.  EY fails to move him over or do anything productive.  
  • However, CarGo picks him and doubles Smith to the house.  Good to strike right back.  
  • Helton drives in the go ahead run on a hard single to right.  Who needs a home run?  
  • Rockies 2, Padres 1
  • I often wonder how Todd Helton only has three Gold Gloves.  Plays like the one he just made on Tony Gwynn are what make me wonder.  
  • Smith follows that up with his 5th walk.  Sets up Adrian Gonzalez.  
  • Mora botches another double play ball.  Runner on 2nd with two outs.  
  • So Smith gets through five.  I have to believe his night will be over with a chance to win.  
6th Inning
  • Rockies offense quiet in the 6th.  
  • Daley hits the first batter.  Kyle Blanks should have hit into a double play, but Mora's turn was painfully slow.  His third time failed DP of the night.  
  • And now the bases are loaded.  Matt Daley is off his game a little bit lately.  Not good with how Rafael Betancourt is also struggling.  
  • Randy Flores to face Tony Gwynn.  
  • Flores gets the out... on a wild pitch to the screen and the deflects back to Olivo.  Blanks out at home. 
  • Whew.  
7th Inning
  • Another quick and silent inning offensively.  That's great... just keep applying that pressure on the pitching and defense.  
  • Now it's Joe Beimel.  Burning through pitchers quickly this evening.  
  • Fowler in for Young defensively.  Mora still in defensively.  Why?
  • And now the Padres are pecking Beimel to death.  1st & 3rd with one out.  They're going to bust through one of these times.  
  • Tulo with the tailor made 6-3 double play.  Keeps Mora out of the equation.  
8th Inning
  • Offense: WAKE UP.  Need more runs.  
  • I said WAKE UP.  
  • Manny Corpas handling the 8th.  Jim Tracy's confidence in him must be soaring.  
  • Veanble triples on an 0-2 pitch. Ugh.  
  • Tie game.  Sac fly by Jerry Hairston.  
  • I'm sure we'll be seeing Heath Bell now.  Great.  
  • Rockies 2, Padres 2
9th Inning
  • It will be Heath Bell.  Good luck waking the bats up against him.  
  • Finally Ian Stewart breaks the slumber with a two out walk.  At least there's a pulse.  
  • That amounts to nothing.  So yeah, have to hold them again.  
  • Rockies turn to closer Morales in a tie game on the road.  Alright.  Matches up with lefties at least.  

Lineup Card: Game 2 @ San Diego

Rockies Lineup
  • LF Young
  • CF Gonzalez
  • 1B Helton
  • SS Tulowitzki
  • 2B Mora
  • RF Spilborghs
  • C  Olivo
  • 3B Stewart
  • P  Smith
So Barmes has his best game in awhile.  (A clutch 2-run double.  A couple really important defensive plays.)  His reward?  Benched against a LEFTY.  If he's benched it should be against a RIGHTY, not a LEFTY.  

Update: Troy Renck reports Fowler has a minor ankle sprain.

It sounds like some injured Rockies are getting really close.  Let's hope they can keep stealing wins while they're less than 100%.  Let's cross our fingers.

Padres Lineup
  • CF Gwynn
  • 2B Eckstein
  • 1B Gonzalez
  • 3B Headley
  • RF S. Hairston
  • LF Blanks
  • SS J. Hairston
  • C  Torrealba
  • P   LeBlanc
A double dose of Hairston against a lefty.  Kyle Blanks is another guy to watch here.  He has many holes in his swing, but he's crazy strong.

And I guess they figure Torrealba is back to being a Rockies killer.  He filled that role as a Giant.  Did a lot of good things for the Rockies.  Now back to killing.  

Looking Ahead: Man Up Or Shut Up

Greg Smith vs. Wade LeBlanc

It's getting to be now or never time for Greg.

Jeff Francis has a rehab start scheduled. Jason Hammel is working his way closer. Jhoulys Chacin made his presense felt over the weekend. And then there's Esmil Rogers kinda hovering around looking for opportunities.

The Rockies aren't asking Smith to be an ace, workhorse, or even a stopper, they just need him to keep them in games. That obviously didn't happen last time out, and I imagine Jim Tracy will have a quick hook for him again if things don't get off on the right track this time around.

I have a strange feeling he's going to man up and come through. There's probably a lot of false hope and confidence involved in that feeling, but I like to stick by the guys I supported all spring. Smith was pretty clearly at the top of that list.

Rock Solid Recap: It's Ubaldo's World

We're all just existing because he allows us to.

Rockies 5, Padres 2

Winning Player: Ubaldo Jimenez

Because he can establish a new career high 13 strikeouts without having his best stuff.

David Martin of Rockies Review made a really excellent point about Jimenez adjusting to San Diego's offensive appraoch, which assisted him in reaching that outstanding strikeout total. (Jimenez Baffles Padres)

Because he can strikeout Adrian Gonzalez three times in three ABs.  And, because he can pick up his teammates offensively when they fail.  His RBI single might have been the biggest AB of the entire game.

The kid/man/pitcher/baseball player is not made of the same material us mere mortals are made of. We just have to live with those facts and appreciate what we're watching.  It's special.