And sadly, they will continue missing him for as long as they are fortunate enough to be playing in 2010.
That's not to say he was going to be a dominating pitcher down the stretch, but you can bet he was going to give you innings. Solid innings. Keeps you in the game innings. Doesn't look like we'll be able to count on that from Jeff Francis.
Now the question is: How do the Rockies piece together their #5 spot in the rotation?
I mean I'm sure Francis will get another start, and I'm sure his pitch count will be higher, but what if he can't be effective? What kind of plan will the Rockies have in place to combat that? They almost have to plan ahead, because you can't afford something like tonight where you're forcing Esmil Rogers to throw multiple innings on consecutive days.
That's just a brutal, bad, uncomfortable position to be in, so I'll be curious to see how things unfold over the weekend.
This one is very simple to break down.
The San Diego Padres played nine innings of really good defense. They combined that with just enough timely hitting. Their manager had a solid game using his bullpen, pinch-hitters and defensive replacements. They played as close to a perfect game as their capability allows.
The Rockies didn't.
The first 4 1/2 innings for the Rockies were brutal. It started with Francis not being efficient or effective. The offense was sleep-walking. Defensively there was sloppiness all over the field. It dug them a hole they just couldn't climb out of in this particular game.
It was bound to happen eventually. Unfortunate it had to come against the Pads, but all you can do it show up again tomorrow and make San Diego be the better team. I don't think they are if the Rockies play even a little better than the average baseball we saw tonight.