Braves 9, Rockies 1 (boxscore)
Terrible first inning. Bounce back second inning. Relapse third inning. Settles down in the fourth and fifth. Runs into trouble and exits immediately in the sixth. That's how you sum up Aaron Cook's start tonight, which feels pretty close to the pattern he's used since his return from the DL.
Maybe I should compliment his consistency. Or maybe I should add my name to the list of folks who are ready to cut ties with Cookie. It feels like the right thing to do, but the Rockies are in a tough predicament. I don't just mean from a loyalty standpoint. In fact, that's never seemed like an issue for them.
Financially and logistically it's tough to just let him go. I mean yes, chances are Cook won't be able to rehab his value to the point they can move him without taking a big hit, but it's not like the Rockies have another pitcher or two beating down the door to the Majors. They don't. They have Clayton Mortensen, Greg Reynolds and maybe Esmil Rogers. If there's no real clear upgrade to make, sticking with Cook might not be their worst option.
That said, it's possible he's gone tomorrow. It's possible he's gone during the AS break. It's possible he's here all season. I don't know what they're going to do, but I can see why they have and possibly could continue to give him chances. It might not help them, but it might be a "risk" worth taking if he figures something (anything) out.
Tracy deserves credit for moving Carlos Gonzalez to the lead-off spot. It accomplished what he set out to do, which was getting CarGo rolling. Unfortunately, when people want to defend Tracy, that's pretty much the only significant decision they can point to that has strongly benefitted the team.
On the flip side, there are endless little things he does from game-to-game that are maddening, ridiculous and sometimes absurd. For example, down 5-1 with a little rally going against Jair Jurrjens, he double steals with Todd Helton and Ty Wigginton.
Guess how that worked out?
Right after Wigginton was gunned down, Mark Ellis walked. Ian Stewart then grounded out to end the inning with no runs scored. No one knows what would have happened without the failed double steal, but any way you slice it it's flawed and smeared with Tracy fertilizer. A terrible decision by a clearly desperate manager.
Win, lose or draw: I'm going to try to do this every day. Not sure how I'll pull it off most nights.
1. Ian Stewart: He had the best at-bat of the series for the Rockies so far. I kid you not, he worked Jurrjens deep into a count, fouled off some two strike pitches, and then doubled off the center field wall. He then scored the only run on Matt Pagnozzi's single.
2. Matt Belisle: Not that I was worried, but it was good to see him come out with a good outing after Sunday's disaster.
3. No errors: The Rockies played a strong defensive game. If not for some good leather early, Cook probably wouldn't have lasted through three innings. So that's going to go down as a positive.
We've seen how poor the Rockeis are at finishing out sweeps, let's see how good they can be at avoiding them. The pressure goes on Juan Nicasio, who might actually be the best guy to throw here (sadly). He's looked fearless out there, but it all depends on which pitches are working for him. Here's hoping they all are!
Note: No Lineup Card tomorrow morning. Have some work to get done before settling in for the early start time.