Friday, April 23, 2010

Looking Ahead: To A Bad Matchup

Greg Smith vs. Ricky Nolasco

Tonight's pitching matchup has the potential for very ugly results.

I say that not because I don't believe in Greg Smith -- because you all know I do if you've been reading since Spring Training -- it's just a very difficult matchup for a lefty with his type of stuff. Extremely difficult.

The Marlins lineup will be loaded with potent and powerful right-handed bats -- Hanley Ramirez, Jorge Cantu, Dan Uggla, Cody Ross, Cameron Maybin, Ronny Paulino -- that are capable of putting up runs in a hurrry.

Remember this day? Rockies 18, Marlins 17

If Smith doesn't have a big swing and miss pitch working tonight, he's in trouble. That trouble will be compounded if he has more command issues. Facing those guys in 2-0, 3-1 counts is a death wish.

On the other side, Ricky Nolasco is a very underrated and underappreciated power right-hander. If he's on, which he has been since a short stint in AAA last season, he will get a ton of strikeouts. And we all know how the Rockies can strikeout in bunches when they're matched with a guy like that.

The matchup even gets a little tougher when you're coming off facing a strictly junkballer like Livan Hernandez. It'll make Nolasco's fastball look even faster a couple times through the order.  Hopefully the Rockies can at least do what Washington did to Ubaldo yesterday and elevate his pitch count with some foul balls.

Tonight is the absolute best time to give Tulowitzki a day off. Against a hard throwoing righty that'll be looking to bust him inside. It's about the toughest matchup he can face, so why not?

My Lineup Card

CF Gonzalez
LF Smith
1B Helton
RF Hawpe
C Olivo
3B Stewart
2B Mora
SS Barmes
P Smith


Rockies 6, Marlins 5

This would be the ideal game for the Rockies. Greg Smith lasted 5 innings, allowed 5 ER on 7 hits and 2 walks, struck out 4. Not pretty by any means, but that could be good enough to keep the team in the game like it was here.

Then you hope the Rockies bullpen comes in and shuts the door: Belisle 2 innings, Daley 1 inning and a win, Morales 1 inning and a save.

Offensively the Rockies pecked away slowly at Nolasco with single runs in the 1st, 3rd and 4th. When Florida turned it over to the pen, the Rockies plated one in the 7th and two in the 8th thanks to a Jason Giambi 2-run single.

Carlos Gonzalez: 3-for-4 3 runs; Todd Helton: 2-for-4 2 RBI