Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rock Solid Recap: Walkoff Cycles FTW!

Well we're starting to see things we've never seen. That must mean the Rockies are back at Coors Field and playing good baseball.

ML record 11 straight hits. Franchise record 12 runs in an inning. Walk-Off cycles.

Yup. Things we've never seen before.


Carlos Gonzalez

What else would you like me to say? Just watch the walkoff to complete the cycle for yourself.  (Highlight)

Jason Hammel

So deserved a win tonight. Seems this team just can't find a way to get him one lately. Whether it be offense, defense, bullpen, sometimes all three, the Rockies don't support Hammel the way they support the other four starters.

Hammel was pretty much in control from the game's first pitch. He rolled rather easily through the first four innings, needing only 33 pitches. Had somewhat of a defensive lapse from Melvin Mora on a ball down the line in the 5th. One run scored directly on the play and a second run was set up at 3rd base with no outs.

After three more solid innings, Hammel, at 86 pitches, was lifted after two batters reached in the 8th.

Rafael Betancourt

Blew away Starlin Castro with some gas. Couldn't slip the cheese past Derrek Lee through. Three-run bomb to straight away center tied it up.

Huston Street

For the second straight appearance after the ambulance ride, Huston Street needed only 5 pitches to cruise through a 1-2-3 9th inning. Efficiency. He get the W.

Melvin Mora

6-for-6 from the 8th inning last night through the 7th inning tonight. I wonder if Tracy finds a way to keep his bat in the lineup tomorrow.

Tom Gorzelanny

For the second straight season, Gorzelanny's start at Coors Field results in a Rockie hitting for the cycle.

Last year it was Troy Tulowitzki on a Monday night in mid-August. Gorzelanny only lasted 1 1/3 that night because Dexter Fowler blistered his chin with a line drive. He lasted much longer tonight, and actually pitched himself a pretty decent game overall.


Rockies go for the sweep with Jorge De La Rosa. Cubs attempt to win the season series with Carlos Silva.

Advantage Rockies.

Lineup Card: Rockies vs Cubs

The last time the Rockies won a game by 10+ runs (last Tuesday in Florida), they went on to lose 8 games in a row.  So I hope you'll pardon me if I don't get too overly excited about last night's historic breakout inning against a really questionable middle relief core.

For last night's game to mean as much as Rockies fans so desperately want it to, it has to be followed up with another win.  This team can't afford to turn right back around and lose 3-2 or 8-4 or 10-1.  They have to follow up and keep the good feelings going.

Here's the lineup they'll attempt to do that with...

Rockies Lineup (53-50)
  1. CF  Fowler
  2. 2B  Barmes
  3. LF  Gonzalez
  4. SS  Tulowitzki
  5. 3B  Mora
  6. RF  Spilborghs
  7. 1B  Hawpe
  8. C    Olivo
  9. P    Hammel
Iannetta sits against another lefty. Why?  That he's even sitting at all right now kind of drives me crazy.  That he's sitting against yet another lefty makes me wonder what Jim Tracy sees from his dugout perch that the rest of us don't.  

PS: Iannetta should be rested by now, right?  Or is little Ashlyn not letting him get his rest?  

PSS: Johnny Herrera... where has thee gone?   

Cubs Lineup (46-57)
  1. RF  Colvin
  2. SS  Castro
  3. 1B  Lee
  4. 3B  Ramirez
  5. CF  Byrd
  6. LF  Soriano
  7. C    Soto
  8. 2B  Fontenot
  9. P    Gorzelanny 
Get to Gorzelanny early.  Get into this Cubs bullpen early.  Chances are good things will happen.  

Let settle Gorzelanny settle in.  Let fill-in manager Alan Trammel setup his 'pen the way he wants it, maybe using Marmol or 4-5 outs if he can, then you're in real danger of letting the game slip away.

Also... I like that Trammel filled out his lineup card early.  Lou usually leaves us waiting until 90 or so minutes before first pitch.  

No News Is No News

Quick thoughts on the Rockies deadline inactivity.

I wouldn't have minded seeing the Rockies part with some higher salaried guys (Hawpe, Cook, even Barmes) that aren't producing up to par, thus opening up playing time for younger or cheaper guys (Chacin, Smith, Herrera/Young).

That said, when those are the guys you're trying to move, chances are the trade partners will be more difficult to find.

On the other side of the ledger, I'm quite pleased the Rockies didn't give up any pieces they covet for a longshot run at the playoffs.

Let's face it... it's a longshot. The Rockies always seem to have that run in them. I'm not doubting they can't make that run again this season. My only word of caution to Rockies fans in that regard is that the National League is a far better and deeper league as a whole then it was in those seasons.

In other words... a lights out run in 2010 doesn't guarantee a spot in the playoffs. It would have to be coupled by at least 3-4 ahead of them completely collapsing. I don't see that happening.

One quick note on a trade that didn't happen.

Per Tracy Ringolsy... The Rockies/Marlins deal that would have sent 1B/3B Jorge Cantu to Colorado would have involved Franklin Morales.

That would have been an awful trade in my estimation. Two months of Jorge Cantu for a kid I still believe will possess great value at some point would have bitten Dan O'Dowd in the ass.

That is why I trust Dan O'Dowd. He doesn't make the trade that will bite him in the ass -- not because he's afraid to take a chance, but because he has a firm grasp on what makes the most sense for his team.  That's all he's tuned into.  He's not worried about public opinion or making a splash.  He's worried about making the Rockies a better baseball team.

Also remember there is a slight possibility for trades in August. Players have to clear waivers in order to be moved between now and August 31st (the deadline for players to be eligible to make the playoff roster) though. I would assume guys like Aaron Cook and Brad Hawpe could clear waivers with their salaries, so I would say we can't assume just yet that the Rockies are standing pat in 2010.

Time will tell.

A decent explanation of the August 31st trade deadline can be found here.

Rock Solid Recap: The Pitching Was Pretty Okay

All those situations the Rockies needed just ONE little hit. Five one run losses on the past road trip. Two frustrating losses at home to Pittsburgh. So many tough losses to bleh teams early in the season.


ONE little hit in so many of those games could have given the Rockies a W.

Tonight, in a good they were likely going to win anyway, a ML record 11 hits in a row.


Oh well. That was still a lot of damn fun and pretty freakin' historical (and hysterical).

Guess what? I'm not going to talk about the offense anymore. That's all you're going to be reading about everywhere you go. No sense for me to beat it into the ground here.

Jeff Francis

Holy crap. Francis is getting some things figured out and is really gaining some confidence. These last two or three starts he has really started pounding the strike zone early in the AB, establishing some things, getting ahead in the count, and then he's dropping the hammer and finishing hitters with efficiency.

Hopefully the arm strength continues to build and we'll continue seeing impressive steps towards consistency. That's all we really ask from Jeff is consistency. Don't need dominance or ace like performances, just be a guy you can rely on to not blow up the bullpen every 5th day.

Matt Belisle

Filthy. Steady. Underappreciated.

Rafael Betancourt

Good Lord he was dealing. If Raffy had been healthy through spring training and not dealt with the flu during a portion of the mid-season, the Rockies would probably have 3-4 more wins. He's that important when he's on.

Taylor Buchholz

Kicking off a little rust each time out. Such a good, valuable arm to have waiting in the wings.

If the Rockies offense hadn't absolutely exploded tonight, they were in really good hands with this total team pitching effort. Very good and encouraging stuff all the way around.

Now... the important thing to remember is it is only one game. A damn good game. A damn important one to win. But still only one. Can't afford to come out tomorrow with a clunker and lose 3-2. That would totally wash this one away.

That pitching matcup tomorrow is Jason Hammel vs Tom Gorzelanny.

I like the Rockies chances again. Especially if they can knock Gorz out in the 5th or 6th frame.