Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rock Solid Recrap: Can't Get Over The Hump

The Rockies had an opportunity to apply more pressure to one NL West leader, while pulling even with another.

Unfortunately they allowed what should have been a commanding 6-1 lead in the early innings deteriorate into a devastating 11 inning loss.

The Rockies did what I figured there were due to do to Clayton Kershaw. As great as Kershaw has been, he will always mix an erratic start in there every 3-4 weeks. It just hadn't happened in the Rockies favor yet... until today.

They took advantage early.

Three runs in the first. Three runs in the second.

Then they stopped taking advantage.

And then they basically called it a day at the bat rack.

It would have been nice if they had continued applying pressure because Jason Hammel looked like a tired man on the mound. Actually, aside from Jhoulys Chacin yesterday, the entire rotation has looked shaky at best this week. Even Ubaldo was battling for every last out.

Looking at this objectively, I have to tell you I'm very concerned that all of these of high stress innings and pitches over the past three weeks will catch up and play a major role in these last two weeks. There's almost no way around it. These guys are human out there and the mental and physical stress of having every pitch under the microscope is taxing.

So now you have to wonder where will the innings come from if Hammel is tired. If Francis isn't effective. If Ubaldo is wearing down. It's a dicey situation, and it won't get any easier against a D-Backs lineup that is dangerous.

On the bullpen. I felt like they did a solid enough job and Tracy did an okay job piecing it together. Unfortunately, the Rockies two best relievers were each touched for a run, which left him with nothing to choose from in the extra frames.

And yes, that's correct, Matt Belisle and Huston Street each allowed one run today. But guess which one will get raked over the coals?

I'm not saying Matt Belisle should, or Huston Street shouldn't, but it can't be one and not the other. Sorry.

There were other things in extra innings that were frustrating. Jim Tracy not sac bunting with EY is among the dumber things you'll see. Tie game, on the road, you play for a run. It's that simple. Bunt EY. Maybe he beats it out anyway and you have two runners on. Do something to increase your chances to take a lead.

And then there was the blown call at first base.

Yeah, it undeniably cost the Rockies the game in that half inning, but the game should have never gotten to that point. An umpire should never blow a call that easy, but good teams should never blow 6-1 leads to teams that quit weeks ago.

Beyond that, I didn't have a lot of faith in the offense scratching out another run, so I honestly don't feel IT cost the Rockies the game. I feel like the Rockies did it to themselves, and that their inevitable demise happened a little sooner than it was supposed to happen.


The Rockies have an off day to travel and sort out a game plan for the final 13 games.

The rest of us will attempt to go through our usual Monday routines while anticipating Tuesday night's first pitch.

You thought the nine day wait for the World Series was excruciating? I got a feeling these next 48 hours will make those nine days feel like the best 10-15 minutes you've ever had in your life. Maybe knock that down to five minutes for the ladies out there.

Lineup Card: Rockies @ Dodgers

Sweep LA!  Sweep LA!

Rockies Lineup (82-66)
  1. CF  Fowler
  2. 2B  Herrera
  3. LF  Gonzalez
  4. SS  Tulowitzki
  5. 3B  Mora
  6. 1B  Giambi
  7. RF  Spilborghs
  8. C    Phillips
  9. P     Hammel
Dodgers Lineup (72-77)
  1. SS  Furcal
  2. CF  Kemp
  3. RF  Ethier
  4. LF  Gibbons
  5. 3B  Blake
  6. 1B  Loney
  7. 2B  Theriot
  8. C   Barajas
  9. P    Kershaw