Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rock Solid Recrap: Going Out With A Thud

The Colorado Rockies decided to say good-bye to their home field and their fans with their worst home series of the season -- a sweep at the hands of their division rivals from Los Angeles.


This was another tough one to sit through as the Rockies did more to beat themselves than the Dodgers did to beat them. Oh sure, Matt Kemp provided the power that sent a Jhoulys Chacin pitch over the wall for a Grand Slam, but it was the Rockies sloppiness that made it possible.

And it's not just the sloppiness of the fielder in this case. Yes, that's a play Ian Stewart has to make every single time. But guess what? He didn't make it this time (and at the time there was no damage done). So now you have a young pitcher in a situation where he has to pick up a teammate. How does he react?

He walks Loney, which is sloppy on his part. I understand the frustration and refocus factors, but he has to make pitches there. He gave the AB completely away. He then allows the Grand Slam to Kemp. He just couldn't collect himself in time to stop the bleeding.

Like Esmil Rogers, you take the good with the bad with a young pitcher. Chacin has shown far more good than bad so far, but there are still significant hurdles for him to get over before you can truly feel good about him as your #2 starter, which is where Chacin is likely to be slotted next spring.

He'll get there eventually. I have no doubts at all about that.  I wouldn't even be surprised if he reached #1 status in the next 24 months, but there's a ways to go in many respects.

We all beg Dexter Fowler to hit more balls on the ground. Today. Dexter hit two on the ground about as hard as one can hit them, with nothing to show for either. Just stick with that approach, Dex, the hits will come. And maybe if you just hit them a little softer... or even bunt once.

That Tulo guy does alright though doesn't he? We saw the frustration shine through again at the end of last night's game, but he impressively shook it off to give his team a big game today. 4-for-4, a walk, and 4 runs scored. I think that's good enough.

Other positives: Ryan Spilborghs took advantage of his start as well with three hits and a couple RBI.

Franklin Morales, Manny Delcarmen, Edgmer Escalona and (the returning) Matt Daley each threw a scoreless inning of relief, which allowed the Rockies to crawl back into the game. Well done by those four.


Jason Hammel vs Chris Carpenter

I can't wait to see what we'll get from the Rockies in St. Louis. If these last ten games are any indication, and I don't see any reason why they would not be, then you can probably feel free to plan something else with your time. Maybe get some yard work done or something, unless you really really really need one last baseball fix before it's gone.

PS: Wouldn't it be something if the Rockies did a reverse 2007? Loss 13 of their last 14 instead of winning that many. Could happen.

Rock Solid Recrap: Goodnight Everybody

Of course I'm not going anywhere, but the Rockies 2010 playoffs hopes were officially put to bed on Tuesday night.  

I've already said plenty about what I believe got to the Rockies to this point, so I'll spare you another rant by taking a quick look at tonight's proceedings before slipping into a temporary baseball depression.

I told you we'd see a lot of Jim Tracy and Joe Torre tonight.

This could very well prove to be the final Jeff Francis start at Coors Field as a member of the Rockies.  If so, he'll be leaving Coors with an awful taste in his mouth.

Regardless of what happens (I have no idea how it will play out), Jeff has been through the ups and downs with us over the past few years, and he has earned my respect.  He suffered through a couple of those leaner years.  He was the starting pitcher in the Rockies first World Series game. Then the injuries overwhelmed him and left him a shell of the reliable starter he once was.

He was never a true ace type, but Jeff Francis at his peak behind Ubaldo Jimeenz and Jhoulys Chacin would have made the Rockies a really damn tough team to beat.  It would be a pipe dream to hope he could be that guy again.  It may even be far-fetched to say he'll register a 20+ start season again in his career.

I wish him all the best in whatever happens.  If he's back as a low-risk, high-reward guy next spring, I'll be pulling like hell for him to be healthy and be effective.

Tonight was a good night for Esmil Rogers (4 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K) as he looks to regain some lost confidence.  Of course it would have been impossible to not take a step forward after his last two outings.  But still, you take the good with the bad with a young, developing arm.  Rogers will be a wild card heading into 2011.

Huston Street has been throwing with side pain.  I guess that explains why we didn't see him in some situations that made sense for him.

Chris Nelson's started quickly with a double, run and a fancy play at 2B.  The rest of his evening was very quiet.  We're all curious to see what he can offer over these last five games, but I hope he doesn't end up putting too much pressure on himself.

Good night at the plate for Dexter Fowler.  A mere double shy of the cycle.

Carlos Gonzalez, Todd Helton and Melvin Mora each contributed a pair of knocks.  No surprises there.


Jhoulys Chacin vs Clayton Kershaw

The final home game of the season and the final start for Chacin.  I couldn't thing of a worse way to end the home schedule than being swept by LA.  That's a hideous thought.  Please don't let that happen!