Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: Rockies Refuse To Sweep LA

Dodgers 6, Rockies 4 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: This game was a complete mess from a strategic standpoint. I'll get into the pitching side shortly, but it really started when Jim Tracy posted his lineup card and it didn't include Carlos Gonzalez. In his career against Wednesday's opposing starter Chad Billingsley, Gonzalez was 10-for-18 with four walks. If you're going to schedule a routine day off for your best player, I wouldn't suggest doing it against a guy he's that locked in against, regardless of the sample size.

Maybe there's something I'm missing and he needed the day off (or maybe Tracy is just married to the two days in a row off thing). I don't know.

With CarGo out of the lineup, Tyler Colvin shifted to the outfield and Matt McBride returned to the lineup. He would proceed to have perhaps the worst game ever for a Colorado first baseman. At the plate, he was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and two popouts (one that failed to advance a runner). That's bad enough.

In the field, he dropped a 1st inning popfly, which extended the inning for Jeff Francis. That's significant when there's a pitch limit in play, and it proved to very significant as this one played out. Later, McBride couldn't handle a throw from Jordan Pacheco that resulted in Pacheco being charged with an error. The throw was definitely high, but it had to be caught. No excuse.

Basically you bench CarGo for McBride straight up.

McBride's defense likely leads to a shorter outing for Jeff Francis.

CarGo never even receives a pinch-hit appearance.

Rockies lose 6-4.


Jeff Francis' Line: 4 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 73 pitches (41 strikes)

The real damage all came within the first three batters. Shane Victorino pulled a single to left leading off. Mark Ellis walked. Matt Kemp then cleaned it all up with a mammoth three-run homer to left. From there, Francis settled in nicely and was rolling right up until the absurdity of Colorado Rockies baseball took over and a worn out middle relief was summoned to begin the 5th. Francis takes the no-decision like Drew Pomeranz and Alex White before him.

It's also interesting to note that Francis only recorded two swings and misses in 73 pitches. Those both came in Matt Kemp's second AB, which resulted in a strikeout.

Carlos Torres' Line: 2 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 1 K

Meet the worn out middle reliever. That's not a pretty line, and it took some good defense and awful baserunning from Los Angeles to keep it from being disastrous.

Let's recap again: You pull a starter when he's rolling because the experiment says so (no real thought even put into it that an error elevated the pitch count), yet you leave the tired reliever in there to get abused because your bullpen is short-handed because you've pulled three straight starters too soon.

It's almost surreal how stupid the people in charge of this team are. Yet we see it over and over again every night, so I'm clearly not dreaming it.

Screengrab of the Game

Just a touch awkward, no?
Highlight of the Night: I honestly thought Wednesday might prove to be a good night when Eric Young Jr. led off with this... 

What's Next: After an off day Thursday the Rockies will move up to the coast to San Francisco to open a three-game weekend series on Friday night. The pitching matchup in that one will feature Tyler Chatwood (1-2, 6.61) against Tim Lincecum (6-11, 5.43), and it will be a super late 8:35 first pitch because the Giants are holding a pregame ceremony to honor Matt Cain's perfect game.

Final Thoughts: In case you haven't read enough ranting tonight, Steve Henson, one of my colleagues over at Yahoo!, wrote a piece on the Rockies pitching setup on Tuesday. I'll leave it at this... he has fewer nice things to say than I did in tonight's recrap.