The reality of the Rockies situation seems to have settled in on the players. That said, I was at least expecting energy and urgency tonight as Ubaldo Jimenez went after win #20.
Not to be.
Ubaldo was fantastic. Aside from a shaky first inning that saw him lacking in command and luck, he did everything he could to give the offense a chance. All they needed was one good inning, one crooked number on the board. Unfortunately, all they could muster was a Carlos Gonzalez solo HR into the center field forest.
But then you look at Roy Halladay out there for the Phillies taking matters into his own hands. He pitched a complete shutout tonight to notch his 21st victory. The win also clinched Philadelphia the National East title. That just shows that there is still a wide gap between the tier Ubaldo stands on, and the tier reserved for Cy Young candidates.
This was the third time the Rockies have seen Ted Lilly since August 19th. He shut them out in LA on that date. The Rockies came home to rough him up not long after. Tonight looked exactly like the first time.
They had no answers whatsoever, and that's disturbing to me because like I said, they've seen him a lot in a short period of time. I don't know that there's anything he was doing tonight that they didn't see the first two times, but they were never able to make adjustments.
I don't think you can put everything on the hitting coach, the hitters have to take their own mental notes and adjust on the fly, but it's maddening how lost the offense can look on any given night.
Maybe Don Baylor isn't as awful at his job as it sometimes appears, but maybe his message (whatever it is) isn't fitting this team either. You can't overhaul the entire lineup, but I think the Rockies would be foolish to not consider a change at the hitting coach position. And to be perfectly honest, his return would put a significant dent in my optimism for 2011.
Once-In-A- Season Events
I counted three of them tonight between the Rockies game and Monday Night Football.
- Ryan Theriot walked on four pitches.
- Robbie Gould missed a FG.
- Franklin Morales received a standing ovation. And it wasn't just because he was leaving. He earned it.
Jeff Francis vs Hiroki Kuroda
Of course you know this means the offense will give Francis 7-8 runs of support. Unfortunately, he'll probably need all of them. Expect to see a lot of Jim Tracy and Joe Torre.