Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: Rockies Still Can't Hit Santana, Drop Series Despite Late Heroics (Manning Face Included)

Mets 6, Rockies 5 in 11 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: First and foremost, the Rockies can't figure out Johan Santana.

How bad has it been?

Well, in 22 career innings against them — spanning three starts — his ERA remains a perfect 0.00 (with no unearned runs scored either). And I have to be honest, I don't know that they've had more than five or six runners reach second base in those outings. He simply overwhelms and overpowers them, and the only saving grace today was that Terry Collins pulled him after six to help ease his workload. Otherwise, you'd probably be tacking another inning or two on that total.

Also bad? How about 1-for-11 with RISP (mostly late). That one of course being Todd Helton's pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning. That, and the first four hitters in New York's lineup killed them again (10-for-21, 3 RBI, 4 Runs, 3 walks). They simply could not find an answer for any of those guys all weekend.

Turning Point: The Rockies had come off the deck to tie the game twice when Michael Cuddyer and Ramon Hernandez stepped up with a chance to put New York away in the tenth (winning run was on second). Unfortunately, neither could deliver Troy Tulowitzki home — Cuddyer struck out, Hernandez popped out — and the game continued on. The Mets would then scratch another run across against Matt Belisle in eleventh and the Rockies would go down 1-2-3 to end it.

Jamie Moyer's Line: 5 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 109 pitches (70 strikes)

That many baserunners coupled with that many strikeouts means a lot of pitches and a shorter afternoon that we were hoping for from Jamie Moyer. I mean sure, you can absolutely accept and even applaud an outing like this because he kept the team in the game (and he's Jamie Moyer). But it would be a lot easier to absorb a shorter outing if it had followed two or three quality ones. Unfortunately, the Rockies didn't have that luxury after Friday and Saturday, so the pressure was on Moyer to get 18-21 outs this afternoon.

That said, it did look like his afternoon would be even shorter after a brutal first inning and a stressful second, so I'll again credit him for regathering and at least allowing the Rockies to rally late.

Highlights of the Afternoon: So this loss and a series loss to the Mets at home really, really sucks, but let's still take a look back at the incredible heroics of one Todd Helton and Carlos Gonzalez. Both of which gave me goosebumps.

Screengrabs of the Game
A couple decent football players.
Eric "Upper" Decker
Pregame Manning Face.
Post Todd Grand Slam Manning Face.
All pictures courtesy of Roots Sports and MLB.TV.

What's Next: This relatively easy stretch comes to an end on Monday as the scorching hot Matt Kemp and first place Los Angeles Dodgers make their way to Coors Field. The pitching matchup in the opener is scheduled to be Juan Nicasio vs. Aaron Harang and will come your way at 6:40.

Final Thoughts: Maybe it's just me, but it feels like this is setting up to be a painful homestand. I'll let you know for sure tomorrow night, because if Juan Nicasio and the Rockies bats don't come out strong there, it'll be another tough series to win with Clayton Kershaw scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

More Rockies thoughts await you if you follow me on Twitter: @Townie813 & @HeavenHelton