|Johnny Herrera tumbles after squeezing the final out of the 6th inning.|
Three one run decisions the Rockies either led late, or had more than one quality opportunity to take a lead late, and the efforts fell short.
Monday's game is the one you'll look back at if things don't work out, but just missing a chance to beat Josh Johnson will also leave a pretty sour taste in your mouth.
He's good. Really good. Great even. Dominant.
He's just not efficient.
That's why I still hesistate to say he's the best pitcher in the league... or baseball... or the universe... or wherever else baseball is played.
Great "stats" are one thing. He certainly has those to the max. Workhorse mentality and efficiency are another element I value just as much. He's not there yet.
To be fair, Ubaldo isn't all the way there either. Lump those two in with Lincecum and a handful of others that are hovering at or around complete awesomeness.
The Rockies were able to drive the pitch count up by laying off a lot of two strike waste pitches. Credit to Johnson for being consistently ahead 0-2, 1-2, but also note he was just as consistently reaching 3-2 with those batters before putting them away.
And that's what I mean. The results are often terrific. He just wastes so many bullets, which leads to a 6th or 7th inning exit, which leads to a no-decision, which means the Marlins lose a lot more of his starts than they should.
They just didn't lose today's.
Because Jose Veras is one lucky SOB. (Highlight)
Turns out another rehab start or two probably would have been the best route to take with Jorge just so he could get over the mental hurdle of gripping the ball without reinjuring himself.
At least that's my take. I don't blame them for wanting him back when they did, but looking back they should have done a better job evaluating his progress and recognizing he wasn't where he needed to be mentally.
Physically he was healed. Mentally he wasn't ready to trust his finger to hold up to the pressure of the grip.
He started out pretty much the same way he did the last two outings. Velocity down. Location erratic. Inability to put hitters away up in the zone.
But as the game progressed he started breaking out some of the nasty swing-and-miss stuff we were accustomed to at the end of last season. The fastballs were hitting their spots, which set up the changeup. He dropped a few good breakers in there.
It was very encouraging, and it's something he should be able to build upon in his next two starts against Pittsburgh and Chicago. Two offenses who will be closer to Florida in lack of discipline than Cincinnati or San Diego were.
If you're looking for your silver lining after losing three of four in Florida, look no further than De La Rosa's start today, put together with solid starts by Aaron Cook and Jeff Francis. That would be the first time since like January 10th that the Rockies have felt good about all five starters at the same time.
This Halladay guy is the true definition of a workhorse. Unlike Johnson, he stands on the mound until you physically make him go away. No exiting in the 6th or 7th inning with 120 pitches. You have to light his ass on fire to have any chance of seeing a Phillies reliever in the 8th or 9th innings.
The Rockies actually did a pretty decent job of that in Denver. I don't see why they can't again.
Just to be safe though we should alert Aaron Cook that'll he needed another seven or more innings of shutout baseball.
Got that covered, Aaron?