Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Running Thoughts: Cook vs. Niese


Chris Iannetta makes his hopefully triumphant return to the starting lineup tonight.  Not a big fan of the catching rotation so far, even if Olivo has knocked a couple balls over the fence.  I prefer to see Iannetta get 60-40 split in his favor unless it's clear he's struggling.  Right now it's looking more 60-40 in Olivo's favor.

No Hawpe or Gonzalez in the lineup.  Hawpe sounds more likely to pinch-hit or play defense.  Indications are CarGo would only see emergency action.

Less than 10 minutes from first pitch.  Let's ensure a winning homestand tonight.

1st Inning

  • Bob Apodaca mic'ed up tonight.  This oughta be interesting.  
  • Todd Helton made an error.  Holy Sh*t.  
  • Jose Reyes walks to third as the Rockies completely fall asleep defensively.  Not the sharpest start mentally.
  • Cookie pitches around the error, the mental lapse, and a little bit of wildness to earn a scoreless first.  I fully expect him to settle in now.  
  • Kinda starting to wonder when Dexter Fowler will start hitting righties or lefties this season.  *Inhale* Patience.

Strength & Conditioning

Is it fair to question the strength and conditioning coaches and routines used by the Rockies?

I ask this knowing that every team deals with similar injuries, it just seems like they pile up on the Rockies a little more than most, especially in the early months.

It's not so much the significant injuries -- Tulo's quad tear in 08, Francis' shoulder in 09, Huston Street now -- that bother me, it's the little lingering muscles strains and tightness that always seem to be plaguing one or two players at a time.

Looking Ahead: Sink or Stink

Aaron Cook's second start of 2010 comes a week and about six hours after his first. That's worth noting because a rested arm is detrimental to the sinkerballer. Not only do the numbers bare that out (6.50 ERA in 21 starts with 6+ days rest), you can easily see it on the television when the overthrown sinker only has time to sink right into hitter's happy zone.

So the math here says: Second start of season + 7 days rest = Lots of arm strength.

I'm not predicting Cook will get shelled based on all of this, but I think the Mets are going to get pitches to hit early in the game. What they do with them is entirely up to them.

Rock Solid Recap: All About Smith... And Don't Forget Smith

Rockies 11, Mets 3

Winning Player: Greg Smith

You can't really call him a kid, but you can definitely call him the man tonight. Greg Smith did it all. 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 8 K. That's just the pitching side. At the dish: 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, R. Showed some nice wheels on the bases beating out a possible DP to get his second RBI. There's a lot to like about his athletic ability and all the ways he can help the team win games.

He gets paid to pitch though, and wow, like I've been saying all spring, the stuff he has in his arm is big league caliber. He can make good hitters look silly when he's confident and in rhythm. That's exactly what he was tonight.

For him to roll out there like he was tonight, getting into that seventh inning, has to make all of us feel better about where this team can go. So many of the top notch clubs are looking to to find a solid 4th or 5th. The Rockies have six if Francis is healthy. As it stands, they have five.