Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lineup Card: Rockies vs Cardinals

As exciting as these last couple games have been, I'd gladly settle for a simple 4-1 win with Huston Street grabbing a 1-2-3 9th inning save.

Who's with me?

Rockies Lineup (45-38)

  • CF Fowler
  • 2B Herrera
  • LF Gonzalez
  • 3B Mora
  • RF Spilborghs
  • C   Iannetta
  • 1B Eldred
  • SS Barmes
  • P   Cook
Eldred?  Say what?  This is actually good news and bad news.  The bad news is Todd Helton needs a stint on the DL.  The good news is the Rockies are actually putting him on the DL so he can attempt to rest up and come back effective.

The timing works out well with the All-Star break coming next week.  That said, I think it's fair to wonder whether the name Todd Helton and the word healthy will ever go together again in the same sentence.  It's sad, but it's clear the toll on his body at this stage is pretty overwhelming.  

Eldred has huge power to all fields.  Decent defender.  An upgrade over Giambi and Mora to be sure.  I'm confident he'll help out a lot more than he hurts during his stint.  

Cardinals Lineup (45-38)
  • 3B Lopez
  • CF Rasmus
  • 1B Pujols
  • LF Holliday
  • RF Jay
  • C   Molina
  • SS Greene
  • P   Garcia
  • 2B Schumaker

The Day After: How Much Does Jeff Francis Have Left?


Everybody recovered was last night's insanity?

Hopefully the Cardinals aren't over it yet and I hope they don't get over it until Friday at the earliest.

Blog: We Have Angry Cardinals Fans Tweets 

As amazing as last night's comeback was, there were still 8 1/2 innings of less than satisfying baseball played by the Rockies. Yes, they wiped it all away; but yes, it can't be ignored entirely either.

Jeff Francis

Turns out my overreaction to Jeff Francis' last awful outing probably wasn't really much of an overreaction.

Maybe he's just going through that period all pitchers go through.


Maybe he isn't though.

I'm concerned about him. Last start he was afraid to challenge hitters. That cost him. Last night he may have showed why he didn't want to challenge hitters. His stuff was flat. Just about everything was hit hard against him.

He was able to work around it for a couple innings, because he's still a professinal, but again, he hit the wall early. He seems to hit that wall a little earlier each time out. Cardinals batters were able to do pretty much anything they wanted to him in those 3rd and 4th innings.

That can't keep happening to the Rockies every 5th day. The loss in San Diego could have been demoralizing. Thankfully it wasn't. Last night's game could end up being the symbolic win of the season, but the bottom line is you need more from your 5th starter.

This isn't me questioning anything Jeff Francis has in his mind or his heart, he's proven to have everything you need in both those departments. I just really question what he has left in his left arm/shoulder.

After his excruciating comeback that lasted 18 months, maybe Francis has already given all he can give.

Jhoulys Chacin

Deserves to be in the Rockies rotation, not their bullpen. He's not cut out to be a reliever.

I love that he wants to help the team any way he possibly can, but the fact is he doesn't belong in the bullpen. If the Rockies are determined to roll with Francis, which I'm sure they are, then allow Chacin to continue his growth and progress as a starter in the minors.


This may be an extreme comparison, but I really don't want to risk another Franklin Morales type situation where you take a young starter and turn him into reliever out of necessity. All the sudden you're forcing him to do something he's neither good at or comfortable with, and now you're just hoping you can restore something resembling the old Franklin Morales.

I also don't trust Jim Tracy to use Chacin properly in the bullpen.

So again, I beg the Rockies to put Chacin back in their rotation or allow his growth to continue in AAA. There's no gain for anybody having in the bullpen.

13 LOB

That pretty much speaks for itself. 20 LOB in the 15 inning game, but 12 of those came after the 8th inning. Thankfully the floodgates opening in the 9th last night.

It would be nice if that inning led to much better and more relaxed ABs with RISP. A comeback like that should tell Rockies hitters they don't need to press in those spots early in the game. Just give the good AB, hopefully it works, but don't go in with the mindset you have to do too much.

Then again, maybe this team doesn't know to win when they're relaxed.  Don't change a thing!

Rock Solid Recapping A Nine Run 9th Inning Comeback

Those Colorado Rockies did it again. They made me fall in love with the game of baseball... for about the 813th time.

I'd be lying if I said I saw that 9th inning coming. In fact, I was already in the process of putting my thoughts together on a Rock Solid Recrap. I mean seriously, a 6 run deficit in the 9th inning? A team that's left a total of 33 men on base the last two ball games? There's no way they can come back here, let alone make it interesting.

Hey, if there's ever a good time to be wrong, this would be one of those times.

How does a comeback like this happen? It takes a lot of work, and some of the most important work actually comes well before the decisive moment or string of moments.

Manny Corpas

Jim Tracy threw Manny Corpas out there in the 8th thinking this would a great time to get him some confidence. Corpas responded with an efficient and perfect 8th inning. So efficient, in fact, Tracy stuck him out there again in the 9th. Corpas responded again with a perfect inning.

That was step one in two different comebacks. 1) The Rockies victory. 2) Manny's confidence.

Miguel Olivo

Three hits, including TWO in the 9th inning. Yadier Molina got a good look at what a real all-star is, especially when Olivo crossed home plate as Molina lolligagged after his Passed Ball. What a joke.

Melvin Mora

A professional AB down six runs. Doesn't give away the AB, just puts a ball in play. Gets himself a hit. Extends the rally.

Clint Barmes

Here's an overlooked plate apperance. Clint Barmes drawing a walk is news all by itself. Clint Barmes drawing a walk under these circumstances is momumental. Terrific job by Barmy.

Chris Iannetta

That HR was a freaking clothesline.

It's so nice to see Chris hitting the ball well. I always predict good things for him, he always seems to leave us wanting more, but he's getting his house in order at a perfect time. His value is on the rise not only to the Rockies, but possibly other teams as well.  And he played third base for a couple innings!

Dexter Fowler

Understands the importance of just getting on base now. His basehit was important because often times a HR signifies a rally killer. Dexter assured us that wouldn't happen.

Carlos Gonzalez

Where the hell was Randy Winn playing? Under normal circumstances CarGo's well hit liner would have found the RF's glove and left us all deflated. With Winn playing practically in the Rockies bullpen, the ball dropped just shy of Winn and extended the inning a little more.

Thanks for that Randy Winn.

Highlight: CarGo's 2-run HR

Jason Giambi

Think he's not loving his playing time? He's a closer killer. Like CarGo's ball, Giambi's may have been playable for a nomrally positioned RF, but Winn again was back and a little more towards the line. The ball dropped, Winn bobbled, Winn dropped, Winn threw in weakly. CarGo scores from first.

Aaron Cook

Always ready to contribute on his non-pitching days. His 1st-to-3rd on Olivo's 2nd hit didn't up factoring in in any way, but just getting to third there gave the Rockies 30 different ways they could have won. Thank you for that effort Aaron.

Seth Smith

Mr. Late Night is quickly becoming one of my favorite Rockies of all-time. We're talking Dante Bichette/Todd Helton/Vinny Castilla levels here. You hate to ever expect a guy to hit a HR or double off the wall when the situation warrants it, but my God, Smith comes through every time.

And that swing? That swing is Helton-esque in his prime years. Seth Smith, my friends, is the best pure hitter on the team.

Highlight: Smith's Walk-off

I think I'm going to wear that highlight out a ton the next 24 hours.

Whew. I'm exhausted. I don't think anything I could write could do this game justice. I I'm incredibly proud of those 25 men wearing Rockies uniforms tonight. That's as good as a feeling as one can get watching a Major League Baseball game.

Yes, even Jeff Francis, who struggled again, but whose comeback shows he's no quitter either.

We'll delve more into that tomorrow.

Tonight, we enjoy our stay on cloud 9.

Go Rockies.

And maybe vote CarGo too if you get a few minutes.