Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rock Solid Recap: Superstar Wednesday

A very solid win today over a very hot San Francisco Giants squad.

It happened because every Rockies superstar in uniform had a BIG day.

Ubaldo Jimenez

Has cleared the mental hurdle and corrected whatever mechanical issues were holding him back. I'm very thankful for that because the start in Philadelphia had me extremely worried about his psyche (and mechanics) going forward this season.

Jimenez was in attack mode right out of the gate. He was commanding his pitches better, though not perfectly. Still ran into some extended pitch counts, but was eventually able to put those hitters away with the fastball, the slider, and a splitfinger that was absolutely filthy.

And how about those wheels in the 3rd inning? Legs out the infield hit and then scores from first on the Spilborghs double. (Highlight)

Heaven & Helton exclusive (official sounding): Why that wasn't bad baserunning by Spilborghs

Hats off to "The Chief" on his all around great day.

Heaven & Helton: More on Ubaldo.  

Carlos Gonzalez

Please please please take this swing with you to Pittsburgh and New York. Please! You don't have to swing harder on the road, just keep swinging like you're swinging right now. The ball absolutely jumps off your bat. It'll jump just as much anywhere!

Home Run #1 (Highlight)

Home Run #2 (Highlight)

Troy Tulowitzki

That longball had to feel good. A striaght up bomb to straight away center. Like I told CarGo, Tulo, please pack that swing in your suitcase. We're going to need it on the road.

Tulo's Blast (Highlight)   

Todd Helton

Flashed a little leather.
Mora Injury

Tough break for Melvin. Ugh. Hated to see that.

Bautista is an awful pitcher. No clue where the baseball is going on a given pitch. Just atrocious command and even worse poise on the mound. We saw that in Colorado. Why the Giants continue employing this clown is beyond me, but he's out there, and the Rockies will be lucky if they aren't missing Mora for an extended period of time.


It's on to the second most beautiful park in the National League (behind Coors Field), PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

The Rockies send a recently rejuvinated Jeff Francis out there against James McDonald, a former Dodger that was just acquired at the trade deadline for Octavio Dotel. McDonald has a 4.63 career ERA against the Rockies in five appearances (two starts).

I'm looking for a really good start to what is a do orr die road trip.

Why That Wasn't Bad Baserunning

Third inning: Ryan Spilborghs rips a ball into the leftcenter gap that ends up rolling to the wall.

Chris Iannetta walks home from third.

Ubaldo Jimenez races around second and gets the wave home from Rich Dauer. He makes the turn around third and races towards the plate. The ball is getting to the relay man and is about to come in towards the plate.

About this time Ryan Spilborghs reaches second and makes the turn towards third. This causes the throw to the plate to be cut off.

Ubaldo scores easily, Spilborghs is out at third.

This is not bad base running.

Why?  Because I think Spilly saw the same thing developing that I did.

An impending collision (or at least a play) at home plate involving the franchise pitcher. That's not something any of us wanted to see.

By making the turn to third, Spilborghs put the focus on himself, knowing he'd be out, but also knowing the run would score easily and the health of Ubaldo Jimenez is preserved.

There are definitely times when this practice is stupid. Times when the run will score without a play. Times when you get yourself tagged out before the run crosses the plate. This qualifies as a rare good time to make an out on the base paths.

Watch the play -- (Highlight)

Ubaldo: Mental or Physical?

Troy Renck tweets on Ubaldo Jimenez after his disaster start in Philadelphia.

Today wasn't mental as much as physical. Ubaldo was flying open, overthrowing. You could say that starts with a misguided thought.
But it is ultimately a physical issue. He was overthrowing. And when he has done that during his career, his location is compromised
Physical as in mechanics, yes. His velo was 98. Arm looks fine. He's rushing, trying to K guys. When he does that, he throws balls.
My thoughts in the Rock Solid Recap
By the way, I know Troy Renck likes to argue this is mostly a physical issue. I don't think so. To me it's a clear mental issue, leading to poor mechanics, which is a physical issue, which leads to less confidence, which is another mental issue, and it just keeps compounding itself and getting uglier.
Ultimately it's a mental issue. Anything physical is born directly out of that fact.
Troy Renck Today (tweet)
Ubaldo has Topped at 99 mph. Problems weren't physical last month. Just mental drain of having to win every time out
I'm not trying to take credit for being right here. I just enjoy pointing out how these people that are so connected to a baseball team or baseball players miss out on things that are plainly obvious to any of us not directly connected to the team.

Aside from that, you don't see Renck acknowledging that his original assessment was completely off base. He just tweets this updated viewpoint as if were something he's been saying all along.

Lineup Card: Rockies vs Giants

Yeah... these aren't the Cubs anymore.  This is a Giant team that is on fire right now, really making a strong push to the playoffs.  I don't know if the Rockies can catch them regardless, but I know they can't if they don't somehow win this game today.  

Rockies Lineup (55-51)
  1. LF  Spilborghs
  2. 1B  Helton
  3. CF  Gonzalez
  4. SS  Tulowitzki
  5. 3B  Mora
  6. C   Iannetta
  7. RF  Hawpe
  8. 2B  Barmes
  9. P    Jimenez
Giants Lineup (62-45)
  1. CF  Torres
  2. 2B  Sanchez
  3. RF  Huff
  4. C    Posey
  5. LF  Burrell
  6. 1B  Ishikawa
  7. 3B  Sandoval
  8. SS  Renteria
  9. P    Bumgarner
Damn these Giants for finding offense!  

Andres Torres?  Where did he come from?  

Buster Posey... yeah, OK, he's good.  We saw that coming.  

I'll never forgive the Rays for simply allowing Burrell to walk so San Fran could scoop him up.  

And Ishikawa was barely in the Giants plan until he hit that Grand Slam off Jimenez last trip to Denver.  Now he's playing every stinkin' day.  

Thank God they aren't getting anything from the Panda, or this thing would really be over.