Braves 6, Rockies 3 (boxscore)
Now see, that's how you take care of business and finish off a sweep. You think the Atlanta Braves cared that the Rockies are short-handed and hurting? No chance. That's a talented, driven, ruthless and scary good baseball team they've put together there. Damn good team.
It's a good lineup. Don't care how much they've struggled to this point, the process of coming together has already begun. They will score runs. The rotation speaks for itself. And the back end of the bullpen is shutdown quality.
But like I said, I'm most impressed with how they took care of business on the field. They took charge of every game, stepped on the Rockies throat and never once let them up. Rockies could learn from that... if they ever get healthy again.
The good and the bad. We've documentated after every start that there's going to be a lot of both. Today was a perfect example. Two good innings, then the wheels just fall off. Learning how to navigate his way through those tough innings is always a difficult hurdle in any pitcher's development. Just look at Ubaldo, Hammel, De La Rosa - all of those guys struggled to get past the killer inning. Once they did, they realized their varying levels of potential.
With the season becoming more of a lost cause with each passing day, might as well let the kid take those lumps. It goes back to what I said after Aaron Cook's start yesterday. The Rockies don't have five guys that are clearly better than Nicasio, so what's the downside of letting him continue to grow?
You serious? A broken foot running the bases? A Rockie does something good - he hustles, he makes a play - and his reward is a trip to the DL? Why does this crap keep happening?
Usually this offensive baseball situation qualifies a as golden opportunity. That's how most teams approach it at least. For the Rockies, it's a rally killer. They might as well send Ian Stewart up there every time they're loaded. As a team, they have about the same batting average. Pathetic.
Only for Todd Helton would I waste the time (hours) voting on MLB's stupid Final Vote, knowing he had no chance going in. I don't regret wasting those hours. Todd Helton is to me what Ron Santo is to my dad. He can do no wrong, and 30 years from now I'll be telling all the young kids about how great he was.
That said, it'll never happen again. The whole process is pointless, stupid, and I also dare say fixed or at least skewed. Just another one of the overwhelmingly dumbass things surrounding what used to be the Mid-Summer Classic, but has now become a watered down exhibition... that somehow determines home field in the freaking World Series.
Bud Selig's MLB.
1. Eric Stults: Not your typical long reliever, but the guy is eating innings for the Rockies and pitching pretty effectively. If I were to rank Rockies players for the first seven days of July, he might rank in the Top 3. I'm not kidding. He's done well. And everyone else has sucked.
2. Johnny Herrera: Hot about that hit-and-run in the third? Pretty good huh? Of course that's the play where Blackmon was injured, but a good piece of bat handling nonetheless.
3. The series is over!
Bad news: Atlanta comes to Coors Field for four more games starting July 18th.Yikes.
The Braves are the hottest team in baseball (due partially to the Rockies). Who's probably the next hottest? Try Washington, where the disaster trip continues over the weekend.