Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rock Solid Recrap: Nibbling Leads To Crumbling

Padres 13, Rockies 3

I'll attempt to not overreact to one really horrfying loss.

I think I'm going to fail miserably at this.

Jeff Francis

If Jeff Francis is going to come out nibbling, while also completely wearing down 80-90 pitches in to his outings, then he should be considered for removal from the rotation when Jorge De La Rosa returns.

That will never happen, of course, but it could be a consideration.

His command needs to improve. His confidence isn't where it needs to be. His arm strength should be progressing by now. It's just not happening. He's not going to be anything more than a 5-6 inning pitcher unless he sees significantly improvement in each of those categories.

Honestly, I'd much rather live through the growing pains of Jhoulys Chacin and the inconsistencies of Aaron Cook than sit through anything like today again. Seriously, did you not want to jump through your TV, computer screen, IPhone or radio today and scream at Jeff Francis?


Make them earn it. Quit pitching like you're afraid of challenging the likes of Jerry Hairston and Chris Denorfia. He set an awful tone for himself in that first inning -- and then he got drilled in the arm by a comebacker. That surely didn't help him find his comfort zone.

It's weird, but aside from that particular hit, Francis was not hit hard in the game. He just constantly put himself in trouble with the walks, a HBP, several three ball counts. Then he naturally wore down, starting leaving pitches up, and the the Padres pecked away at him with bloops and well placed bleeders.

Franklin Morales

Of course the lightning rod Franklin Morales came out there and poured gasoline on the fire. He was his usual erractic self, while also getting hit hard. We already know what we're getting with Franklin, though. It's asinine to continue using him in a relief role when the trend shows he can't retire the first couple batters he faces. I don't even need to see a stat to understand that one.

Manny Corpas

Has a dead arm I'm sure.

The Offense

Clayton Richard's career high coming in was 8 strikeouts.  Today he set a new mark with 10 strikeouts.

Just fire Don Baylor already and give this team a fresh voice. Whatever he's saying, if he's even saying anything, isn't resonating.


It was just another one of those Rockies mail it in type of games we too often see when a W could really cement something positive.  Oh well. It is what it is with this team. They're still hanging tough in the standings, but something is going to break one way or the other very soon.

We're turning the page to July. This is where the contenders start stepping up and the pretenders start stepping aside.

Lineup Card -- Rockies @ Padres

Rockies Lineup (41-36)

  • CF Fowler
  • 1B Helton
  • LF Gonzalez
  • 3B Mora
  • RF Hawpe
  • C   Iannetta
  • SS Barmes
  • 2B Herrera
  • P   Francis
Nice to see Helton and Hawpe are able to give it a go today, though I'm a little surprised to see both against a left-handed starter and no Spilborghs in there.  

Herrera's hitting streak ended last night and he sees himself dropped to 8th today.  I'm sure that has everything to do with him not being as comfortable as a right-handed hitter.  

Padres Lineup (45-32)
  • 2B  J. Hairston
  • CF Denorfia
  • LF S. Hairston
  • C   Hundley
  • 3B Headley
  • 1B Salazar
  • RF Cunningham
  • SS Cabreara
  • P   Richard
I'm sure Clayton Richard appreciates not having Gonzalez or Eckstein in there.  

The outfield positions may not be totally accurate based on what I read.  

Rock Solid Recap: Barmes The Road Warrior

Rockies 6, Padres 3

Clint Barmes is not a favorite of people who sit around computing stats all day.

Thankfully those people don't manage baseball teams.

For those of us who watch games -- yeah, we get frustrated with some of his unproductive ABs, but for the most part it's hard to argue against Barmes being one of the more clutch bats in the Rockies lineup.

And the oddity in that is that most of his big hits seem to come on the road.

I especially remember the two games in San Francisco. The 2-run single off Lincecum. Then the extra inning GW RBI the night after that. Now tonight he comes through with a crucial 3-run HR in 7th late inning (highlight), followed by the 9th inning insurance RBI (highlight), stretching a one run lead to two.

Those are three extrremely important divisional road wins for the Rockies in this 2010 season.

Also, the Rockies have played the Pades eight times in 2010. Barmes has 12 RBI in those eight games.

Barmes can hold his own. In a perfect baseball world, his offensive production would only be a bonus. Unfortunately, this is far from a perfect world for Colorado, so we should be estatic when Clint carries the offense and team to victory like he did tonight.

-- Jason Hammel got himself back on track after the rough Boston start. Hey, a lot of pitchers will say their worst start came against Boston, so it's nice to see him shrug that right off and give his team six good innings tonight. Now, hopefully next time he can take it a little further and help Tracy ease off the bullpen.

-- Maybe the most encouraging part of Hammel's start tonight was his ability to pitch over some incredibly horrendous defense by Melvin Mora.

Mora's foot actually lost contact with first base three different times. Granted, the throws weren't perfect, but any average 1B makes those plays with his eyes closed. Hell, I was a right-handed 1B for 12 years and I never recall having that happen to me, so clearly any ham-and-egger should be able to handle it.

It's all in the footwork and anticipation. Mora was anticipating a perfect throw every time, so he committed to his stretch too early. The results were embarrassing.

There was another awkward moment when he took a throw from Olivo on a strikeout in the dirt. He caught it straddling the bag and then had to collect himself to touch the bag. It's little league stuff. It's stuff he should be able to correct pretty easily, but it's amazing how awful it was tonight. He actually had looked decent at 1B before tonight, too, so I really don't know how it fell apart that badly.

Maybe it's the Townie Jinx since I gave him credit for playing well at 1B on short notice last night. At least he made up for it with a big throw.  (highlight)

-- That Carlos Gonzalez HR was the prettiest left on left swing you will ever see.  Damn that was a thing of beauty.  (highlight)

-- Congrats to Huston Street on his first save of the season.  His stuff seems to be getting better with each appearance.  (highlight)

-- Rockies back to work tomorrow with Francis on the mound. You hate to weigh the game too much, but yeah, that's a big game. Hopefully the good guys find another way to steal one.