Marlins 7, Rockies 4 (boxscore)
What Went Wrong: The Rockies scored four runs in the first thanks to four consecutive hits. Jordan Pacheco and Carlos Gonzalez both singled. Michael Cuddyer cracked a two-run double off the left field wall. Troy Tulowitzki crushed a two-run homer over the left field wall.
They didn't record their next hit until the 8th inning.
It was a truly futile offensive performance that included a five-pitch 3rd inning, an eight-pitch 4th, and a nine-pitch 6th. It's like they got their hits out of the way early and then flushed the gameplan down the toilet, or they had no gameplan and got lucky in the 1st.
Turning Point: Well, aside from the offense disappearing, the game-changing moments came in the 4th inning. That's where Mark Buerhle doubled hard off the right field fence (missed a homer by three feet). Jose Reyes followed that with a single to center that Dexter Fowler overran, allowing Buehrle to score from second.
Then things completely unraveled as Moyer walked Hanley Ramirez and Austin Kearns ahead of a Giancarlo Stanton Grand Slam.
4-1 lead to game over in the a matter of six hitters.
Jamie Moyer's Line: 3 2/3, 6 ER, 9 H, 4 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 100 pitches (57 strikes)
The string of strikeouts was cool and all, but there's still no margin for Moyer to walk batters, be squeezed by an umpire, or have lousy defense behind him. None. And unfortunately, tonight, he walked batters, got squeezed a couple times, and had a couple more misplays behind him that added urgency to pitches in the 3rd and 4th. All of those extra baserunners, pitches and the stress added up to 100 pitches in less than four innings.
Not good enough.
Not all his fault, of course, but quality pitchers work around those messes from time-to-time. Moyer can't. Moyer needs everything to set up perfectly or it's going to ultimately end up with these results.
That said, the Rockies don't have much choice but to stick with Moyer. I understand. Options are a bit limited right now. But I've seen more than enough of the downside to know he's the next guy that deserves to go when Jorge De La Rosa gets healthy or they're ready to promote Drew Pomeranz again.
It's been a nice story. Kinda cool to see him achieve a couple historic things in a Rockies uniform. It's just getting to be time to start looking at someone who can help in 2013.
Screengrabs of the Game: I swear I was in the process of writing something similar about Jamie Moyer when these two tweets popped up almost simultaneously. (Note: These came before Moyer allowed Giancarlo Stanton to destroy the left field scoreboard with his line drive Grand Slam.)
|The most awkward screengrab I'll take all season.|
Final Thoughts: This excerpt from Dave Krieger's Sunday blog post made me laugh.
* * *
"There's no Lombardi speech you can give," said veteran Jason Giambi. "We've just got to try to win one game and make it that simple. I mean, we can't play any worse than we have. We need to pick it up and win tomorrow. And then win the next day. I think we can't get ahead of ourselves."
Manager Jim Tracy was more succinct:
"Obviously, we're in a rut, and we have to dig ourselves out," he said. "That's what we have to do. We've got 122 chances to do it."
* * *
If they can't make SIGNIFICANT headway by that date (and they won't), they're going to be so completely buried come July 1 that my prediction of 78 wins is going to start looking absurdly high.
Not that it doesn't already.
So no, genius, you don't have 121 chances to turn it around. It's more like you only have 121 more chances to manage the Colorado Rockies... and in the big leagues for that matter.